The move is a sign of Endemol Shine’s focus on building a worldwide network of production entities that feed one another with programs, formats and talent that travel easily across borders. Putting Abrego and Corwin in charge of U.S. operations and Latin America underscores the company’s view of Spanish-language TV production as a ripe for growth serving one big market that spans the U.S. and major territories in Central and South America.
Under the new contract, Abrego and Corwin will serve as co-chairman of Endemol Shine Americas, in addition to remaining co-CEOs of Endemol Shine North America.
Endemol Shine Group was formed in 2014 through the merger of 21st Century Fox’s Shine Group and Apollo Global Management’s Endemol and Core Media Group. The company is among the largest of the new breed of globally focused production congloms assembled by deep pocketed media players through a wave of acquisitions during the past few years, a list that includes ITV Studios and All3Media.
Endemol Shine is revving its engines this year after nearly 18 months of integration and restructuring that sorted out the overlaps after Fox and Apollo sealed their joint venture. The parent org is based in London and headed by CEO Sophie Turner Laing.
“Alongside strong ratings and new pickups in scripted, non-scripted and digital, Charlie and Cris’ first year leading Endemol Shine North America as a combined business has seen significant success in the U.S. Hispanic market and Mexico,” Laing said. “This creates a solid foundation for greater collaboration throughout the Americas under their guidance and having them in these expanded roles will help further leverage our strengths across these key markets.”
Production and development efforts stemming from Latin America will flow through the Miami-based Endemol Shine Latino office headed by president Laurens Drillich, who reports to Abrego and Corwin.
“Charlie and I feel like we’re building something very special here in North America,” Abrego said. “The integration process is behind us, the team is in place and we have a lot of momentum across many of our divisions.”
Corwin said the increased emphasis on a pan-American business strategy made sense at a time when the rigid borders that once defined the international TV market are disappearing. “It’s clearly an exciting time in our industry and Endemol Shine is uniquely positioned to excel in this rapidly changing environment both locally and globally,” Corwin said. “We are focused on offering talent, brands and broadcasters a new studio model for a new paradigm.”
Corwin and Abrego took the reins at Endemol USA in October 2013. A year later, the two were tapped to lead the combined Endemol Shine in the U.S.
Spanish-language programs launched on the pair’s watch include “Gran Hermano,” an adaptation of “Big Brother” for Telemundo as well as Spanish-language renditions of “Big Brother” and “MasterChef” in Mexico. Later this year, Endemol Shine Latino will produce its first scripted series, “El Vato,” for NBCUniverso.
Endemol Shine’s recent series sales in the U.S. including reality series “Hunted” to CBS and the Showtime comedy “I’m Dying Up Here.” Endemol Shine is also developing a remake of the British fantasy drama series “Utopia” that has quietly come back to life at HBO after appearing to fall apart last year.
Corwin came to Endemol after selling his Original Media film and TV production shop to the mega-indie in 2007. Abrego sold his prosperous 51 Minds banner to Endemol in 2008.
(Pictured: Cris Abrego, Charlie Corwin)