Sony sets 'Pretenders' for Televisa


Sony Pictures Television International said Wednesday that it is producing "The Pretenders" for Televisa, marking its first scripted series for Mexico's top network.

Shot in high definition, the series will bow April 30 on Sony Entertainment Television Latin America, followed by a debut May 6 on Televisa. SPTI initially will produce 13 hourlong episodes for the Mexican media giant, with an option for an additional 13 episodes.

SPTI acquired international remake rights for "Pretenders" from Argentina's Telefe.

"For a long time, we have been in touch with SPTI to develop several joint projects," said Eduardo Clemesha, director of new contents and formats at Televisa. "When we found out that SPTI had the rights for 'The Pretenders,' we knew that we had to make the series."

The popular Argentine program revolves around a group of trained individuals who carry out simulated operations to help people solve their problems.

SPTI senior vp Brendan Fitzgerald called the deal a "landmark agreement" as it gives his company the opportunity to work with the world's top producer of Spanish-language programming.

Known throughout the world for its melodramatic soaps, Televisa has been stepping up production on high-def series. Last year, the network revamped its lineup with genres that get little airtime in Mexico, ranging from a horror series and sci-fi programs to neo-telenovelas and action programs.