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TVLine Items: Love, Simon Casts Mom, Idris Elba's Car-Stunt Series and More

Ana Ortiz Love, Simon

Ana Ortiz is bringing the love to Disney+: The Ugly Betty vet will co-star in the streamer’s Love, Simon series, inspired by the 2018 movie of the same name, our sister site Deadline reports.

The half-hour spinoff — from This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who co-wrote the film — will carry the same title as the movie, but will follow a new character named Victor. Ortiz will play his mother, Isabel.

The coming-of-age film followed a closeted gay teen (played by Nick Robinson) growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta. Jennifer Garner co-starred as Simon’s mom.

Ortiz is coming off ABC’s one-and-done drama Whiskey Cavalier. Her other TV credits include Devious Maids, The Mindy Project and Marry Me.

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…

* Idris Elba (Luther) will star opposite rally driver Ken Block in the car-stunt show Elba vs. Block, airing on the upcoming short-form streaming service Quibi, per The Hollywood Reporter. The program will pit the two against each other to see who can outperform the other in a series of stunts in London’s Docklands.

* Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany will narrate a new audio series that continues the story of the cult BBC America drama, available later this summer on Serial Box.

* Hulu has given a series order to the eight-episode drama Fertile Crescent (working title), starring James Purefoy (The Following). The show “dives into the depths of the Syrian civil war through the eyes of Antoine, a young French man in search for his estranged, presumed-to-be-dead sister,” per the official synopsis.

* Spectrum Originals’ anthology Manhunt has tapped the following actors as series regulars for Season 2, per Deadline: Desmond Harrington (Elementary, Dexter), Arliss Howard (Moneyball), Kelly Jenrette (The Handmaid’s Tale, Pitch) and Ness Bautista (Sense8). The new installment, subtitled Lone Wolf, chronicles the search for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber.

* Jersey Shore Family Vacation will return with new episodes on Thursday, July 11 at 8/7c on MTV.

* Epix has released a teaser for the drama Godfather of Harlem, starring Forest Whitaker, Vincent D’Onofrio and Giancarlo Esposito. The series premieres Sunday, Sept. 29.

Which of today’s TVLine Items pique your interest?

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