BOGOTA — Expanding still further its production alliances with top Latin broadcasters, Sony Pictures Television will team with Colombian broadcast network RCN Television to co-produce TV series “Lady, la Vendedora de Rosas,” about the real-life rise and fall of actress Lady Tabares.
The production drives of a clutch of market trends: Still continued growth in Latin America’s TV market – Latin American pay TV households alone will more than have tripled in a decade to 51.3 million to 2015, per IHS Technology; a feeding fever the world over for upscale TV fiction; SPT’s ability to combine co-production with powerful international distribution muscle.
SPT already has a three-year production alliance with Telemundo; in May, SPT inked an extensive deal with Televisa to produce 840 hours of programming over five years to air on Televisa and Univision sibling channel UniMas. SPT and RCN already teamed to produced
Colombian hitwoman thriller “Rosario Tijeras,” which notched up sturdy ratings across Latin America.
“Lady” homes in on a spectacular tale of social deprivation.
A rose-seller in her early teens, Tabares was chosen by Colombian film director Victor Gaviria to co-star in “The Rose Seller,” a reworking on Colombia’s mean streets of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Little Match Girl.”
“Rose Seller” went on to compete for a Cannes Festival Palme d’Or, taking Tabares to Cannes with Colombia’s president Ernesto Samper. TV images capture her flushed with happiness on the Croisette.
Tabares found fleeting fame and not much fortune. Back selling roses on the streets of Medellin, she was convicted aged 20 in 2002 of the murder of a taxi driver and sentenced to 26 years in jail, though she has always denied her guilt.
News of the TV series comes two months after Tabares was released from jail to serve out the rest of her sentence under house arrest.
RCN will air the 70-seg one-hour series in Colombia; SPT will handle international distribution. Production has already kicked off on locations in and around Medellin and Bogota. SPT production house Teleset is producing the series-
“There are many incredible twists and turns that sometimes it is hard to imagine that ‘Lady, La vendedora de rosas’ is based on a true story,” said Angelica Guerra, SPT SVP production for Latin America and U.S. Hispanic.
Fernando Gaitán, the VP of international product at RCN Television, added: “The real-life story of Lady Tabares is a wildly compelling yet paradoxical tale that contains the essential elements of a classic melodrama: a protagonist who overcomes a tragic and haunting past to ascend into stardom, only to then again fall and without the pity of those who once embraced her.
Alexander Marin, the senior VP of distribution for Latin America and U.S. Hispanic at Sony Pictures Television, commented: “As we continue to see unprecedented demand for high-quality, cutting-edge teleseries, we look forward to adding this remarkable new original series to Sony Pictures Television’s extensive and diverse library of content.”