Two shorter-format TV series, “The Hunter” and “Merciless,” both ratings drivers in and outside Brazil, underscore one hallmark trend at Latin America’s biggest TV operator, Globo: Ever more diversified content production.
Both also illustrate Latin America drive into ever higher-end drama. Weighing in at only 10-segs as Globo plunges into shorter story arcs, “The Hunter” turns on a wrongly jailed cop who, once out of prison, now a bounty hunter, battles to clear his name. Caua Reymond, star of Globo worldwide hit “Avenida Brasil,” toplines.
Launched at Natpe, 12-episode serial killer thriller “Merciless” offers scripts from famed scribed Gloria Perez, (“The Clone”), and ultra HD 4K camera and post-pro technology.
With a 70%-plus market share, and an estimated $3.75 billion TV ad revenue in 2014, Globo remains at heart a content producer, Latin America’s biggest, whose shows are devised to engage Brazilian audiences in as many varying ways possible.
But domestic moves can yield international upside. High-profile series expand knowledge of the Globo brand as a content producer which goes beyond telenovelas to a wide range of program types which re-enforce one another,” said Raphael Correa, Globo exec director of intl. business.
Also, “our new catalogue allows us to sell different shows to the same clients, establish commercial relations with new partners in new markets or in territories which we already license to.”
“In international terms, Correa, added, Globo’s natural evolving ever-more diversified content – which sees Globo bringing onto overseas markets, minis, drama series, sitcom, factual with Globo Docs, which now offers nearly 40 titles, and from 2014, movies – jells with new distribution outlets, consumer habits and audience engagement abroad as well.
As audiences from Pasadena to Portugal gobble up series, new market opportunities abound. “The Hunter,” for instance, grabbed a 35% share in both Brazil and later Portugal, bowing there March 21 in a new post-primetime Saturday series slot on Portugal’s SIC, one of its big three broadcasters.
With regards to mini-series, Globo will continue to sell at Mip TV, the eight one-hour “Doomed” (“Amores robados”), introduced at Natpe. “A highly original story with international production values,” per Correa, “Doomed” was shot 70% on location in Brazil’s North-East at a real winery and between Pernambuco’s Petralina and Bahia’s Paulo Afonso. it stars Caua Reymond once more as Leandro, a sommelier who has two passions, wine and women, including the wife of the biggest wine producer in the region. Then he meets and falls head over heels for his boss’ daughter (Isis Valverde, also “Brazil Avenue”), and suddenly disappears. Billed as an action romance mystery, “Doomed” scored an average 70% audience share, reaching near 38 million people daily, per Ibope.
For Correa, Globo’s telenovelas are evolving in two ways: “They are connecting more strongly with audiences by telling different stories in different ways, and evolving in narrative, the way they’re written,” he said, citing “Precious Pearl,” which won a 2014 Intl. Emmy for Best Telenovela in at November’s New York gala, and “Empire.”
1930s-set, and kicking off in the Himalayas, “Precious Pearl,” which snagged a 46% primetime audience share, reaching over 26 million viewers daily, turns on a millionaire saved from an avalanche by Buddhist monks who return to Brazil to battle for control of his family business and the heart of factory worker Amelia.
“The novella has classic conflict, but its development is different, its beginning, middle and end contrasts with U.S. and European soaps,” said Correa. “Pearl’s” crew spent 20 days shooting in Nepal. Back in Brazil, at its production center, Globo mocked up two cities taking up a total 86,000 sq. ft, surface.
Turning on a jewel empire magnate (Alexandre Nero), a diamond smuggler in his youth, now locked in a loveless marriage, confronting a woman who claims to be his bastard daughter, and battling to keep his business together, “Empire’s” early years were part filmed in Switzerland. “It’s a urban, contemporary novel about power and revenge with an unscrupulous but charismatic strong male lead,” Correa said.
“Different program types allow you to enter different markets with different needs exploiting different business opportunities,” he concluded.