Pantelion Films and South Shore, the film and TV ventures of Lionsgate and Mexico’s Televisa, continue to build up their talent roster. The companies have signed a first-look film and TV deal with Wilmer Valderrama for him to develop, star in and produce feature projects for Pantelion as well as produce scripted and unscripted TV projects for South Shore. The pact expands the companies’ relationship with Valderrama, one of the stars of Pantelion’s first film, From Prada To Nada. (The company is currently riding the success of hit Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included.) The deal with Valderrama follows a similar deal Pantelion and South Shore inked last week with George Lopez and a pact with Zoe, Cisely and Marel Saldana’s Cinestar Prods. “Wilmer is a versatile acting and producing talent with strong crossover appeal to mainstream U.S. and Latino audiences,” said Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films and Managing Director of Televisa USA. Valderrama is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment.
Popular 2004 Televisa telenovela Rubí is getting an English-language adaptation via Fox. The network has put in development an hourlong series based on the telenovela. Written by Lisa Loomer, it centers on a beautiful but poor woman who will do anything to make her dream a reality and become rich – she will even give up the greatest love of her life. 20th Century Fox TV and Televisa are producing the project, executive produced by Loomer and Michael Garcia. The telenovela was a monster ratings hit when aired in the US on Univision from September 2004 to March 2005, with its two-hour finale drawing nearly 8 million viewers.
Sony Pictures Television and Spanish-language giant Televisa have signed an exclusive first-look co-production deal for scripted, unscripted and telenovela formats. Under the pact, SPT will get a first-look at all of Televisa’s scripted and unscripted formats for potential co-production worldwide, …
Rivals of Carlos Slim are protesting to government regulators his delivery of TV programming over the Web in Mexico, Bloomberg reports. Grupo Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga complained last month and TV Azteca has filed suit against Slim’s companies as well as complained to the nation’s phone regulator over Web broadcasts such as last month’s Pan American Games. Slim’s America Movil and Telefonos de Mexico are forbidden from using their networks to offer TV service under the terms of their telecommunications license that was acquired in a 1990 privatization sale. Slim has tried unsuccessfully to reverse the ban, especially as Televisa has begun offering phone and Internet service to lure away his customers.
Banning web videos without a broadcast license would also affect companies such as Netflix, which has begun streaming services in Latin America, and Mexican phone company Maxcom, which started an online TV plan in September. Jose Otero, an analyst at Signals Telecom Consulting based in Uruguay, said that “if you’re going to need a broadcasting license to offer video streaming, you’re going to need to block a lot of companies.” America Movil is already the biggest pay-TV provider across all of Latin America, with 12.5 million subscribers, mostly in Brazil, compared with DirecTV’s 10.3 million. And America Movil is moving aggressively toward delivery of pay-per-view and streaming of Hollywood movies.
EXCLUSIVE: ABC is developing an English-language remake of mega hit telenovela Soy Tu Dueña, with Jorge Zamacona (10-8: Officers On Duty) writing and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria executive producing. ABC’s version will be co-produced by Televisa, the company behind the Mexican telenovela; Lionsgate TV; and ABC Studios. It centers on a Texas heiress who loses her fortune and is forced to move back to the ranch she grew up on. Zamacona will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Longoria though her Unbelievable Entertainment, as well as Tariq Jalil, who helped put the English adaptation together, through his Intrigue banner.
Soy Tu Dueña — which means I’m Your Owner but is translated into English as “A Woman Of Steel” — itself is a remake of the 1995 telenovela La Dueña. It became a ratings sensation when it aired on Univision from June through December last year, ranking as the most-watched telenovela ever and the second-highest-rated in 18-49 on the leading Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. Toward the end of its run in December, Soy Tu Dueña posted a string of timeslot wins over its English-language competitors and led Univision to a couple of nightly wins among 18-49 — including one for the telenovela’s December 27 finale, which was the highest-rated program of the night on any U.S. broadcast network and the second-highest-rated non-sports program of the week behind an original episode of Longoria’s Desperate Housewives.