'Hollywood' to offer telenovela TV
HOLLYWOOD — World of Wonder Prods. (“Inside Deep Throat”) has partnered with Luis Balaguer’s Latin World Entertainment to bring Latin telenovela stars Stateside via reality TV.
Parties are shopping “Viva Hollywood,” which will follow the telenovela thesps as they struggle to make it big in the U.S. market. Tom Campbell is executive producing the show alongside World of Wonder principals Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey.
Campbell said the project is timely, given the breakout success of Latin-flavored programming like “Ugly Betty,” based on a Colombian telenovela, and MTV’s upcoming “Road to Menudo,” from “Betty” exec producer Ben Silverman.
“We wanted to figure how to translate the popularity of Latin shows into what World of Wonder does best: observational documentary,” Campbell said.
With the expertise of Balaguer’s LWE, a Miami-based management/marketing/production company, “Viva Hollywood” will recruit several of the biggest telenovela stars from the Latin world and follow them as they move into a Hollywood home together and attempt to break into U.S. television and film.
“It’s a classic ‘making it in Hollywood’ story, very aspirational,” Campbell said. “Add to that the complications of culture, language and the adjustment of going from international superstars to relative unknowns — it’s pretty compelling.”
Balaguer added the project will appeal to “loyal Spanish-, bilingual- and English-speaking audiences.
“The cast will speak fluent English, but you never know when they will have an emotional outburst in Spanish,” he joked. “The real telenovelas happen behind the scenes.”
LWE reps talent including Sofia Vergara (ABC’s “The Knights of Prosperity”), Raul de Molina and Danna Garcia.
Campbell, who joined World of Wonder in July, exec produced TBS’ “He’s a Lady” and Bravo’s “Boy Meets Boy.” Before that, he was a development exec at Warner Bros. Television and at ABC Daytime.
World of Wonder’s upcoming projects include a reality series starring Tori Spelling for Bravo, Sundance Channel’s “One Punk Under God” and TV Land’s “Generation Boom.” Company is known for its documentaries including “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Party Monster” and “Monica in Black and White.”