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Gomez and her production company, July Moon Productions, will produce a true crime docuseries called Mi Vecino, El Cartel (The Cartel Among Us) for Univision’s forthcoming subscription streaming service. Blackfin, a production company owned by Hasbro’s eOne, will also produce the series, which focuses on the “story of a murder that rocked a quiet suburban town in Texas and launched a multiyear international investigation.”
The program, which marks Gomez’s first Spanish-language series as a producer, is part of a larger investment in streaming by Univision, which plans to launch an untitled global subscription streaming product next year after its merger with Mexican TV giant Televisa is completed.
“We are going very big when it comes to the launch of our streaming services,” says Rodrigo Mazon, executive vp and GM of SVOD at Univision. “Our goal and our promise is to have the most extensive offering of originally produced Spanish language content in the world.”
Added Mazon: “Because we want to and will appeal to the entire 600 million Spanish-speaking population around the world, we will be programming about the broadest offering possible in terms of genres and formats. We want to appeal to all ages, all nationalities and all tastes, and want to be the leader in that space,” Mazon added.
The deal with Gomez is notable not only because it opens the door to a further relationship with the multihyphenate (Gomez produced the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why), but also because it underscores the importance of the true crime and docuseries genres, which are seen as critical backbones of streaming.
“We certainly hope to do more with her,” Mazon says, adding, “Selena Gomez is obviously a superstar — there’s probably nobody bigger — and she also cares a lot about elevating Latinx voices and storytelling. So the match was perfect. It is a pretty gripping and thrilling and crazy story, so we felt that it would be extremely interesting to everyone in the Spanish-speaking world and around the world to hear about it.”
With the Televisa merger still under review, Univision, led by CEO Wade Davis, has been somewhat vague about its streaming ambitions. However, it has begun to lock in deals to make sure the content pump is primed for next year’s launch. In October, for example, the company inked a streaming-centric deal with actor-director Eugenio Derbez and his 3Pas Studios.
“We have obviously established a relationship with Eugenio Derbez, but we are also committed in particular to bringing voices and stories from female Latina storytellers, because that is also a group that has incredible stories, that has incredible work, and I think Selena Gomez is a perfect example of someone we wanted to work with, and now have been able to,” Mazon says, adding that the service will include originals and library fare from Univision, Televisa and third parties.
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