Telemundo Acquires Argentina's Underground Producciones

Courtesy of Viacom
The cast of the Argentinean series '100 Days to Fall in Love'

The production company recently developed hit TV formats like '100 Days to Fall in Love' and the country's foreign-language Oscar bid 'El Angel.'

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises has acquired Underground Producciones, the Argentina-based production company led by Sebastian Ortega that recently delivered several hit TV formats, like 100 Days to Fall in Love, as well as Argentina's latest foreign-language Oscar bid, El Angel.

The new wholly-owned subsidiary will become an extension of Telemundo Global Studios, strengthening Telemundo’s position in the Spanish-language content market in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Acquiring Underground Producciones is a strategic investment to help us meet the growing demand for high-quality, cutting-edge Spanish-language content in the U.S. and around the world," Marcos Santana, president of Telemundo Global Studios, said Wednesday in a statement. "It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to incorporate talent like Sebastian Ortega, who has led one of the most creative teams in the region and has been able to set the standard at a global level with extremely original ideas, into Telemundo Global Studios Development Committee. Underground represents a huge competitive advantage for Telemundo Global Studios, as we continue to develop and produce the best premium content and formats for Hispanics and audiences worldwide."

"We are thrilled to be joining the NBCUniversal Telemundo family and it’s an exciting milestone for Underground," said Ortega. "This union represents a new era and a huge leap in artistic evolution for all of us on the team. We look forward to this partnership and we will continue to focus on developing top-notch productions, bringing hard work and passion to everything we do." 

Under Ortega, Underground has produced local TV hit shows that became attractive formats for the international market, such as the urban telenovela 100 Days to Fall in Love, which premiered in primetime in May 2018 and maintained a 45 percent share throughout its 125 episodes, thus becoming the most-watched series of the year. The show won Argentina's top TV award, the Martin Fierro de Oro, after breaking local audience records with its final episode, which achieved a 56.8 percent share. The format was recently bought by Showtime to develop an English-language remake by Viacom International Studios and Paramount TV.

Another Underground hit show currently in its third season, the prison drama El Marginal, was adapted by Telemundo International Studios last year under the title El Recluso for the U.S. Hispanic market.

Underground also partnered with Pedro Almodovar’s El Deseo, Viacom's Telefé and K&S Films to produce the company's first feature-length film, the 2019 Cannes entry El Angel, a crime drama about notorious real-life serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch, which was Argentina's submission to the 2019 Oscars.

Telemundo made history last season by ending as the No. 1 Spanish-language network in weekday primetime for two consecutive years. Most recently, it successfully broadcast the runaway hit series La Reina del Sur, which dominated its time slot during its entire run, as well as the first round of Democratic debates and major sporting events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Copa America from Brazil.