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‘Mama’ man sets TV slate

Vergara projects include pic spinoff, soccer reality skein

Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara, co-producer of Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y tu mama tambien” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone,” is ramping up a slate of television projects aimed at the U.S. Hispanic and international markets.

U.S. projects under Vergara’s Los Angeles-based Apuesta Pictures banner include a TV spinoff of IFC hit release “Y tu mama tambien” and a reality show based on Chivas, the Mexican soccer team that Vergara owns.

These are being developed through Apuesta’s first-look deal with Reveille LLC, Ben Silverman’s television and film production company based at Universal. Reveille has produced reality and scripted shows such as “The Restaurant,” “Coupling” and “Dreamhouse USA.”

Skeins brewing under Vergara’s film and TV company Anhelo Prods. in Mexico include soccer sitcom “Birria del corazon” (Goat Meat) and a mute toon series based on original animated characters “Chivaldo y Pancho.”

“I expect this cartoon to sell well in the international market because language won’t be a problem,” said Vergara.

The TV projects complement a growing slate of feature films under the Anhelo banner, including Cuaron’s next Mexican pic, “Mexico ’68” and brother Carlos Cuaron’s directorial debut, “Toto” (Daily Variety, March 25).

Recently wrapped Anhelo pics “Cronicas” and “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” are tipped to enter Cannes or Venice.

Vergara is a Guadalajara City-based businessman who made his fortune from nutritional supplements venture Omnilife. He owns several soccer teams and is a renowned philanthropist.

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