A new fictional true-crime podcast from actress Stephanie Beatriz (In the Heights) was recently launched and is now in the works to be adapted into a TV series.
In collaboration with Sonoro and Telemundo, the first season of the six-episode audio series Tejana is now available to stream on all podcast platforms. Tejana follows Eileen Castillo (Beatriz), a lone Latina Texas Ranger who is haunted by the memory of a serial killer when copycat murders begin to start happening in Austin.
“In true-crime fashion, Tejana is an incredibly dense and complicated mystery,” Beatriz told Deadline. “Inside of that overarching story, there are also a bunch of different crimes that she and the other Rangers are trying to solve.”
Beatriz referenced “cultural touchstones” like Walker, Texas Ranger, and The Lone Ranger as past TV series that have touched on the “storied” Texas Rangers and what an agency like that could bring to a narrative, especially with a Latina taking on the main role.
“[The Texas Rangers] are these rarified, fantastical heroes in our media culture,” Beatriz said. “[Tejana] puts a Latina as the lead and as this story’s hero. She’s a hero but she’s also very relatable because she’s flawed. She wants to be the best on the field and she’s a rising star who often has trouble navigating office politics. She has a heart of gold, but she often puts her foot in her mouth at work.”
Currently, Beatriz is working on building a writing and producing team to adapt Tejana into a streaming TV series. She also wants to continue expanding the Tejana podcast with future episodes and maybe even a feature film.
“We’re interested in creating audio content that will have a life past podcasts,” she said. “The story is so good! There are so many possibilities as to where this can go.”
Beatriz is no stranger to playing characters in law enforcement. She just wrapped up eight seasons as Detective Rosa Diaz on the TV comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.