7:53am PT by Leila Cobo, Billboard
Juanes, Ben Silverman Shop Bilingual TV Series Described as 'Narcos' Meets 'Entourage'
Latin music may get its own Empire-like TV drama, thanks to a recently forged partnership between Golden Globe-winning producer Ben Silverman (Ugly Betty, Hands of Stone) and Latin star Juanes and his manager Rebeca Leon.
The three have joined to develop and produce a TV show titled Persiguiendo el Sol (Chasing the Sun) that will chronicle Juanes’ rise to stardom, from his beginnings in Colombia through his arrival in Miami, Billboard has learned.
"It's a mix of Entourage and Narcos,” Silverman told Billboard, referencing the drug drama not for its content but as an example of a show shot in Latin America for mainstream audiences. However, there is a further link: Producer Eric Newman, the showrunner for Narcos, will also be executive producer and showrunner for Persiguiendo.
"He's the first American producer to bring American showrunning to Latin American production," said Silverman, who has worked on several Latin-themed projects in recent years, including Jane the Virgin and Killer Women.
Silverman, who is the founder and chairman of entertainment production company Electus, arrived in Miami on Sunday in time for the NATPE global television market. He will be shopping the show concept to potential production partners in both Latin and mainstream media with plans to start shooting as early as spring or summer.
Persiguiendo el Sol, which is named after Juanes' memoir, will be a bilingual show and will feature cameos from multiple artists in both the mainstream and Latin worlds.
The notion of the show began to brew after Silverman met Juanes through Leon in 2014 and enlisted him to perform in an episode of Jane the Virgin. Silverman was already heavily vested in Latin-themed productions. Among other projects, he was putting the finishing touches on bilingual film Hands of Stone, which is due out in April and tells the story of boxer Roberto "Mano de Piedra" Durán. Its cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Ruben Blades, Usher and Robert De Niro.
Juanes has also been dabbling further in mainstream film and television. Last year, his song "Juntos," co-written with fellow Colombian Fonseca, was used for the end credits of the Disney film McFarland USA.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.