Grand Hotel fans were outraged earlier this week when ABC announced that it was canceling the summer soap after a single season, largely because it meant they may never get an answer to the show’s big cliffhanger: Who shot Santiago Mendoza?
“We left it with a number of possible suspects,” executive producer Brian Tanen tells TVLine. “It felt like half of the cast was angry with him — Gigi, Mrs. P, the stepdaughters, Felix and Mateo. We were really hopeful that we could do a Season 2 and play out that question. I’ve toyed a lot with various ideas about who it could have been, but honestly, I keep changing my mind. I really like the idea that someone is arrested who did not do the crime and a lot of Season 2 would be about trying to clear their name.”
So if you’re hoping for a concrete answer about who pulled the trigger, you won’t get it from Tanen. He explains, “I’m being a little bit coy about answers for a potential Season 2 because, somewhere deep in my heart, I’m hopeful that there’s life for the show — if not on ABC then possibly on another platform. We’ve had meetings, and if anyone is out there reading this and wants a fun, soapy gem, I think everyone would like to come back and make another season of the show.”
“If you’re a fan, you know we like to end things on a big cliffhanger,” Tanen adds. “I know it was frustrating for fans to be left without an answer, but it felt like the right thing to do. It was a great representation of what the show did well.”
And speaking of representation, Tanen is also proud of Grand Hotel‘s diversity, both in front of and behind the camera. “[Executive producer] Eva Longoria is a champion for Latinx representation on screen, and she’s very vocal about increasing representation with women directors. That was something we talked about early in the process. And I’m from Miami, so when we were conceiving this project and decided to set it there, it felt really intuitive to have this be a Latinx family and have the cast be largely Latinx. We were pleased with the way that turned out.”
In addition to Demian Bichir, who plays the aforementioned shooting victim, Grand Hotel also stars Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids), Denyse Tontz (The Fosters), Bryan Craig (Valor), Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Lincoln Younes (Home and Away), Shalim Ortiz (Magic City), Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why), Chris Warren (High School Musical), Feliz Ramirez (Bull) and Justina Adorno (Sweetbitter).
We’ll have more of Tanen’s thoughts on a potential second season of Grand Hotel in the next few days, but for now, drop a comment with your own thoughts below: Who do you think shot Santiago?