Eva Longoria's 'Grand Hotel' premieres Monday on ABC

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Eva Longoria is best known as a TV star, but in the years since she broke through on "Desperate Housewives," Longoria has become active behind-the-scenes as a producer with a dozen projects in development, and a new series premiering Monday night on ABC 7.

Sexy people in a glamorous place where all is not as it seems: "Grand Hotel" is based on a Spanish telenovela that Longoria developed for America as an executive producer.

"The original was fantastic," she said in Los Angeles. "And we got to really explore that in a contemporary way, and in a place like Miami, which is sexy and it's a character itself."

The Riviera Grand is the last family owned hotel in Miami Beach. Oscar Nominee Demian Bichir plays the patriarch. In flashbacks Longoria is seen briefly as his late wife, who is still very much missed by her daughter, Alicia. She must now contend with wife number two and a couple of spoiled stepsisters, but all is not that grim when a hunky new employee shows up, and they are great together.

"The two of you on-screen: crazy chemistry," Ken told Denyze Tontz and Lincoln Younes. "We did," they agreed.

Both said Longoria makes a great boss. Denyze observed that, "Initially, you would think it would be a nerve-wracking thing, but mostly she's just a source of..."

"Just warmth," Link chimed in, "and she has just this amazing ability to defuse any nerves, any tension."

For the rest of us, she's bringing welcome diversity to Network TV, "And that's what excites me more than anything," Longoria said. "Is creating jobs for people and then the content that I think certain communities need to see."

Longoria said she wants her name to be a stamp-of-approval on a project, and I had a lot of fun watching "Grand Hotel." One of the perks of my job is I get to see shows in advance so I've watched through episode 4 and can't wait to see more.

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