History boosts Latin America originals

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MEXICO CITY -- The History Channel is boosting production in Latin America as the network shows growing interest in original programming with local flavor.

Miguel Brailovsky, vp of programming and production for the History Channel's Latin America operations, said on the sidelines of a Wednesday news conference that production volume will jump to 40 hours this year, a significant increase from last year's 10 hours.

For 2008, he expects production output to reach 80 hours, representing about 50% of the Latin America division's annual budget.

Among this year's productions is "The Assassination of Trotsky," a special focusing on the circumstances surrounding the murder of exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky in Mexico.

Later this month, the History Channel will air the latest segment in its successful series "Historia Secreta" (Secret History). "Secret History," as the title implies, explores secrets of the past in various cities throughout Latin America. The new chapter looks at the Mexican industrial city of Monterrey.

Other productions include a special on Argentina-born revolutionary Che Guevara, a program on Mexican immigration to the U.S, and a documentary that centers on Mexico's Zapatista rebel movement.

As productions increase, Brailovsky expects the Latin American content to gain broader international appeal.

"For the first time we are looking to export these programs to other History Channel territories," he said. "Right now, we are in very advanced talks to export some of these programs to the U.S., Germany and Spain."

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