NBC U-owned Spanish-language web Telemundo and talkshow host Laura Bozzo are parting ways after more than six years that were punctuated by political scandal, corruption charges and house arrest.
Production on the made-in-Peru talker “Laura” ceased on Monday. A 100-person production team has been let go; Telemundo human resources staffers are in Lima this week, handling severance packages.
Telemundo spokesman Alfredo Richard said Bozzo’s contract was up for renewal and that both sides agreed to opt out.
The talker emphasized social issues that affect women, such as domestic abuse and teen motherhood, and the travails of the downtrodden, such as the horrible working and living conditions of live-in maids.
But it could also veer into Jerry Springer-like territory, as when cheating spouses were revealed via hidden cameras.
Between taped episodes and reruns, “Laura” will continue to air in the 4 p.m. weekday slot through the end of the summer, when it will be replaced with an original, Telemundo-produced novela.
Telemundo will unveil details of the afternoon sudser at its May 16 upfront presentation in Gotham.
Telemundo’s relationship with Bozzo began in January 2000, when the network acquired the show produced then by Peruvian broadcaster America TV. Show had been exported around South America.
The owners of America TV became embroiled in the political corruption scandal surrounding the downfall of the Alberto Fujimori government in 2000.
Bozzo was implicated in the scandal. Accused of receiving $3 million from the disgraced former national security adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, she was placed under house arrest in mid-2002 — about the same time that Telemundo took over the production of “Laura.”
However, she declared the TV studios her home and continued to do her show from her virtual prison.
Bozzo was not formally charged until 2004 but remained under house arrest until late last year. She is now free to move within Peru but cannot leave the country.