NBCU’s Spanish-language entertainment and sports cable network NBC Universo is jumping onto the scripted series bandwagon with the dramedy “El Vato.” Produced by Endemol Shine Latino and Boomdog, the 10-episode dramedy stars regional Mexican artist Dasahev Lopez, aka El Dasa, in his acting debut.
Inspired by El Dasa’s life story, the weekly series tracks an aspiring crooner, El Vato, as he leaves the comforts of his life in Mexico to try to land a record deal in Los Angeles. At its core, “it’s a fish out of water scenario,” said Bilai Joa Silar, NBC Universo’s senior vice president of programming and production. “This series showcases El Dasa’s versatility as an artist; his fans can expect to fall in love with his character El Vato, and his entourage, as they embark on their journey to stardom.” The show will be shot in Mexico and Los Angeles with a target launch date for early April.
“El Dasa’s inspirational, true-life story and all the fun that ensues on his rise to stardom should make ‘El Vato’ quite a ride for the network’s viewers,” said Cris Abrego, co-chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, and co-CEO, Endemol Shine North America.
“El Vato” also stars Cristina Rodlo (Mariana), Gustavo Egelhaaf (El Pollo), Ricardo Polanco (Brandon), Itati Cantoral (Wendy), Arcelia Ramirez (Tia Eli) and Mauricio Martinez (Marcos).
“El Vato” is the first of a slate of scripted series NBC Universo hopes to make. Aside from programming major sports events, NBC Universo has also been producing a slew of reality shows, led by “Larrymania,” entering its fifth season.
The cable network has been revamping its programming since changing its name last year from mun2 to stress the channel’s affiliation with the Peacock. Aside from airing original and acquired programming, it features major sporting events, starting with the Spanish-language simulcast of NBC’s Super Bowl telecast in February last year, and including the upcoming simulcasts of the FIFA World Cup soccer championships with broadcaster sibling Telemundo and NBC’s blanket coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer.
NBC Universo currently reaches 40 million households in the U.S.