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Natpe: Telefe Sets Up L.A. Beachhead

Diego Piasek to head U.S. operations

Argentina’s leading TV network Telefe has set up a production outpost in Los Angeles in a bid to further expand its international reach.

Diego Piasek, who was most recently the VP for Int’l Production, Distribution and Acquisitions at Ben Silverman’s Electus Int’l ,and previously held key executive positions at Shine and Fox Television Studios, will head U.S. operations, reporting to Telefe global content chief Tomas Yankelevich.

News broke during Natpe where Telefe recently announced a two-year development partnership with FremantleMedia to create entertainment/non-scripted formats for the Argentine and Latin American markets.

Telefe has also been presenting its new slate, which includes such ambitious series as “El Regreso de Lucas” (“The Return of Lucas”), shot in Ultra HD with 4K technology in co-production with Peru’s America TV. Its pan-Latin American cast includes Ana Maria Orozco from Colombia, Peru’s Salvador del Solar and Diego Bertie, and Argentina’s Pablo Martinez and Maca Achaga.

The U.S. beachhead for Telefe will further bolster Telefe’s objective to develop, produce, and distribute its content across the world. Piasek will spearhead productions in English in order to tap the lucrative U.S. market. Piasek can draw on his experience at Ben Silverman’s Electus Int’l, which has successfully adapted two Latin American shows for the U.S. market: Colombia’s “Ugly Betty” and Venezuela’s “Jane the Virgin.”

Telefe’s move comes at a time when other major Latin American broadcasters have strived to make inroads in the U.S. television market, which continues to open up to more diversity and cross-cultural formats. In 2012, Mexican media giant Televisa launched Televisa USA and now Cisneros Media Distribution, the multimedia entertainment unit of Venezuelan conglom Grupo Cisneros, has just inked a representation pact with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

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