Management group acquires Latino division

The Collective, a group of management and production entities, has acquired Payaso Entertainment to serve as a Latino division devoted to English-language content.

Scott Montoya, producer of “The Original Latin Kings of Comedy,” will helm the division. Yvette Yates will continue to serve as development exec.

Payaso (the name means “clown” in English), will have a first-look distribution agreement with Salient Media, jointly owned by Vivendi Visual (part of the Universal Music Group) and the Collective, under the deal. The division has TV skeins and comedy tours in the works.

“The English-speaking Latin market is booming, especially in comedy,” said Michael Green, CEO and managing partner of the Collective, who calls Payaso a pioneer in the market.

“The Original Latin Kings of Comedy,” which features Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez and George Lopez, is one of the highest-grossing Latino-themed standup DVDs in English.

The first production under the new division will be “Payaso Comedy Slam: The Series.” It will feature English-speaking Latin standup comedians and kick off on Showtime on Sept. 21. Salient will handle the subsequent DVD release of “Comedy Slam.”

“Funny is funny, and that will be the primary goal of the series — to make people laugh no matter what their cultural background may be,” Montoya said.

Payaso is also planning a comedy tour based on the “Payaso Comedy Slam” series and is developing a “Hick-Spanic” TV skein based on Alex Reymundo’s standup.

Salient is distributing several of Payaso’s standup specs on disc, including “Alex Reymundo’s Hick-Spanic: Live in Albuquerque,” and “Latin Divas of Comedy,” both of which appeared on Showtime earlier this year.

The Collective, formed less than two years ago, is overseen by Green; Jeff Golenberg, Sam Maydew and Aaron Ray are partners. The group reps Forest Whitaker, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Izzard, Mo’nique, Emile Hirsch, John Leguizamo and Katt Williams. It has produced TV shows such as HBO’s “The Pimp Chronicles” and MTV’s show “Wild ‘n Out.”

Its principals have film producing credits including “Big Momma’s House 2″ and “Are We Done Yet?”

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