Show is loved and hated by Hollywood celebs
MADRIDShine France is among the latest companies to option remake rights to Madrid-based 7yAccion’s “El Hormiguero,” a show that is an obligatory port of call for Hollywood stars promoting their movies in Spain. Orange Prods., a subsid of Juan Frutos’ Colours Communications Group, has tied down a German redo. Mireia Carrillo’s Bogota-based Mivic Media has optioned Colombia. In Spain, the 6-year-old celebrity comedy chat show airs weekdays in primetime on free-to-air broadcaster Antena 3 — a big buyer of Hollywood movies — and has become the top-rated show in its timeslot. Presented by Pablo Motos, “El Hormiguero” features muppet rappers and movie parodies. Hollywood A-listers are interviewed, then incorporated in Spanish-language song-and-dance routines, and sometimes used as guineapigs in quasi-scientific experiments. Celeb list includes best actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and her “Silver Linings Playbook” co-star Bradley Cooper plus Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Sylvester Stallone, Cameron Diaz, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds among others. Reportedly a fan of the show, Will Smith won the day singing “El Torito” in Spanish. Other celebs are plainly uncomfortable. Jesse Eisenberg told Conan O’Brien that “El Hormiguero” was seemingly designed to humiliate Americans. Latest sales add to “El Hormiguero’s” international roll-out. Produced by Shine Iberia, the Spanish arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s production shingle, the Portuguese format airs on SIC. China’s Idea Asia Media produces it for Hunan TV; in Brazil, a version from Cuatro Cabezas/Eyeworks airs on Bandeirantes; and Chile’s Canal 13 screens a version produced by Daniel Gutman’s Powwow. “‘El Hormiguero’ has no R-rated content, is fast-paced and fit for family viewing,” said Gonzalo Sagardia, 7yAccion international development director. Spanish broadcasters are belt-tightening, which generally favors light entertainment production over fiction. Latin American TV stations are increasingly looking to open up to content beyond telenovelas, creating or remaking entertainment formats, Sagardia added.