Lionsgate, Televisa Ink TV Pact for the U.S. Hispanic Market

Jon Feltheimer
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Debmar's model convinced Feltheimer, CEO of parent Lionsgate, to try to get into business with Sheen.

Lionsgate will work with Televisa to create English-language programming –- both scripted and unscripted-- and adapt formats with a Latina flair.

Lionsgate is making another push into the stateside Hispanic market.

On the heels of its 2010 Pantelion film pact, Lionsgate and Televisa announced Tuesday that it is forming a programming and development partnership for the small screen as well. The news comes as the U.S.-based Hispanic demographic, a population of more than 50 million, is poised to grow four times faster than the remainder of the country’s population.

Lionsgate, which acquired Summit Entertainment earlier this month, will work with Televisa to create English-language programming -- both scripted and unscripted-- with a Latina flair. Among the other possibilities: format adaptations from Televisa’s library of telenovelas and other programs. In addition, the pact includes a significant development fund designed to lure talent to six to eight projects a year.

The move comes two years after Lionsgate signed a longtime partnership with Televisa to acquire and produce features for the Hispanic market. Over on television, the two companies are already working together on a series of projects, including comedy From Prada to Nada, Panteleon’s debut film, which is being adapted for the small screen. Among the others: Badlands, a scripted drama set up at ABC, which is based on Televisa’s hit novella Soy tu Duena.

"Televisa is one of the greatest programming forces in the world, and they have consistently shown the ability not only to serve Latino audiences but to reach viewers around the world with exciting, entertaining and compelling content," said Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer, adding: "I've known Emilio Azcarraga and Pepe Baston for many years, and I'm delighted to extend our Pantelion Films relationship into the U.S. television market as well.”

Added Azcarraga, Televisa's chief executive: "We believe that our proven success in creating exportable content for markets around the world, coupled with a strong, savvy and experienced local partner in Lionsgate, is a winning formula for establishing a strong presence among viewers in the U.S. English speaking television market.” 

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