El Rey Making a Bid for the Big Time

Written by PTC | Published September 10, 2016

The start-up cable network is making a bid for more attention. Launched in 2013 by movie director Robert Rodriguez, El Rey is an English-language cable, satellite, and internet television network. Specializing in action and horror programming, the network shows a mix of kung-fu, cop, and serial killer movies, old TV shows like Knight Rider and Miami Vice, and some family-friendly films like the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Though broadcasting in English, the network’s original programming has a heavy Latino cultural undercurrent, and a “grindhouse” sensibility which pushes the boundaries of decorum. However, the network is innovative in that it openly solicits proposals for new series from small, independent filmmakers and producers. Despite its proclivity for “edgy” programming, El Rey earned the PTC’s praise. During a showing of the R-rated movie Sin City, the network had inaccurately rated the film TV-14, instead of the appropriate TV-MA (mature audiences only). When the PTC pointed out the mistake, El Rey wrote an email acknowledging the mistake and promising to be more careful in rating its content in the future. In a bid for more viewer awareness, El Rey has taken the step, unusual for a pay-TV network, of presenting its programming at the Paley Center fall preview screenings this year, which usually are confined to new broadcast network shows. In the interests of fully informing our readers, the PTC offers evaluations of El Rey’s original content presented at this year’s screenings.

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