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Televisa, Mexico’s top media company, has relied on supplying a steady offering of melodramatic soap operas to its longtime partner Univision, but as viewing habits change, the U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster wants to see more original series that can connect with younger audiences and that have broader international appeal. In addition, advertising revenue at Televisa has declined in recent years as streaming platforms win over more viewers.
Under one of two new deals, Televisa and Spain-based Mediapro will collaborate on at least three original series over three years, with Televisa handling production and Mediapro overseeing creative direction. First up is the scripted series Unwanted, created by Ran Telem, an Emmy Award-winning producer of Homeland. Unwanted tells the story of families from two different backgrounds whose lives changes dramatically when a surrogate pregnancy takes an unexpected turn.
The second production slated is Stroke, a 62-episode series to air on Univision and Televisa in 2020. Acclaimed film and TV writer-director Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace) will oversee the creative team on Stroke, which follows a struggling man who undergoes an extraordinary event that turns his life upside down.
In a separate joint production venture, Televisa and Endemol Shine’s Endemol Shine Boomdog, a unit focused on the U.S. Hispanic and Mexican markets, will produce the drama series Hijos de Tigre and game show Me Caigo de Risa (Anything Goes). Endemol Shine and Televisa have worked together on numerous formats since 2002, including Big Brother and Fear Factor. Most recently, Televisa and Endemol Shine collaborated on the sixth season of the talent competition Strictly Come Dancing (Mira Quién Baila).
“Our Mexico City-based team at Endemol Shine Boomdog is already developing several promising new series with the team at Televisa and we look forward to successfully launching them together,” said Laurens Drillich, president of Endemol Shine Latino.
Both Netflix and Amazon have stepped up production in Mexico as part of an assertive effort to go head-to-head with Televisa and rival network TV Azteca. Netflix has shot more than 70 original shows in Latin America, including the hit crime drama Narcos: Mexico.