In a bid to further expand its original primetime production, NBCU’s Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo has inked a multiyear production pact with Estudios TeleMexico, the Mexican outpost of Fox Telecolombia.
New deal comes on the heels of a similar agreement with Sony Pictures Television (SPT), unveiled last year, which has SPT producing three primetime series in as many years for Telemundo. Telemundo has had a long-term production pact with Mexican shingle Argos Comunicacion, the producer of some of Telemundo’s hit telenovelas and series including “El Senor de los Cielos,” now entering its third season on Telemundo’s successful 10 p.m. Super Series timeslot.
More content from these pacts and co-productions between Telemundo Studios and other Latino broadcasters such as Brazil’s Globo and TVN Chile will allow Telemundo to program its sked well in advance and contribute more programming to the pipeline of distribution arm Telemundo International, which has positioned Telemundo as the second-largest provider of Spanish language programming worldwide.
Telemundo’s Super Series dovetails with the company’s U.S.-centric counterprogramming strategy against its main rivals Univision and UniMas. The Super Series deviates from the traditional telenovela format through fewer episodes – 60-to-70 instead of more than 100 – and most importantly, the presence of cliffhangers, which allows for multiple seasons. Skeins are also more grounded in reality, sometimes with ripped-from-the-headlines themes.
“The Super Series is a hybrid between a U.S. series that features more action, drama and more character-driven plotlines and the traditional telenovela,” said Luis Silberwasser, Telemundo Network president.
Ratings have been stellar. Season one of “El Senor de los Cielos” has lured an average of 1.48 million viewers in the 18-49 demo while season two has attracted 1.29 million.
Telemundo’s primetime Monday to Friday market share has grown two percentage points to 31% for the first quarter, said Silberwasser.
In a bid to expand its appeal to a younger demo, Telemundo is launching an innovative marketing campaign in the lead-up to the April 21 season-three premiere of “El Senor de los Cielos.” This includes a downloadable comic book of season two and 16-hour surveillance footage of lead character Aurelio Casilla in the prison cell he ended up in at the end of season two on Telemundo.com.
In addition, an interactive campaign includes a six-city CineTransformer experience tour, a dedicated Facebook application and an exclusive digital special featuring the original super series cast titled “Los Secretos de El Señor de los Cielos,” available across all Telemundo digital and social platforms.