You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Telemundo launches ‘Juramento’

Telenovela first of 100% made-in-Mexico shows

MEXICO CITY With the June 30 bow of telenovela “Juramento,” Telemundo Studios Mexico launches its first 100% made-in-Mexico production, the first of many, studio prexy Patricio Wills says.

The Mexico City-based studio adds a third hub to Telemundo’s international scheme in addition to operations in Colombia and its HQ in Miami.

“We believe that with Mexico, we are closing the circle of what we want to make as our basic foundation of production,” Wills tells Variety.

NBC Universal’s Telemundo is ever a distant bridesmaid to Univision in the U.S. Spanish-language TV market. Univision is bolstered by hit telenovelas produced by Mexican conglom Televisa, while Telemundo is forced to produce much of its own product.

Wills explains that filming in Mexico was a natural move for the U.S. web, as the vast majority of U.S. Hispanic auds hail from there.

“Juramento” (which in Spanish means both “oath” and “curse”) follows a man’s quest for revenge against the woman who drove his brother to suicide. The show is set for 140 hourlong episodes.

He adds that while Telemundo has been slowly easing into Mexican production over the last six years or so, the idea of “Juramento” began only about 18 months ago and went into production at the same time the studios were under construction.

At full production levels, the exec estimates the studios can film two series at a time with a third in production.

The telenovela, which will be broadcast Stateside, comes on the heels of the web’s premier of “Sin senos no hay paraiso” (Without Breasts There Is No Paradise), a reinterpretation of a acclaimed Colombian telenovela based on the Gustavo Bolivar novel, which follows the story of an poor young woman who sees breast augmentation as her only means of escape from the slums. She consequently becomes a narco-“girlfriend” to raise funds, but things unravel when she falls in love with a drug dealer.

The show’s premier on June 16, ranked as Telemundo’s third highest telenovela premiere behind “Tierra de pasiones” and “Victoria,” according to NTI data.

It got a quite respectable 23% rating/17 share, according to ratings tracking service Ibope.

The Telemundo version expands the tale from the original 20 hours of the Colombian version to 60 or 70 hours, says Wills.

Although a lot of the show was filmed in Colombia, it also adds a “Thelma and Louise”-type storyline that takes place in Durango, Mexico.

It drew Telemundo’s top brass to the northern state to attend a gala production kickoff hosted by the governor earlier this month.

Wills said the rugged scenery becomes a character in the telenovela. “We wanted to show a rural Mexico, not urban,” Wills says. “We could film indoor sets in Miami no problem, but here in the countryside, we can use the unique landscape as a star.”

He points out that “Sin Senos” and “Juramento” are filming in the relatively rural Mexican states of Durango, Queretaro and Hidalgo where state governments are often more willing to offer incentives and logistical support than in industry-laden Mexico City.

“We are looking to present a version of Mexico that respects its culture, not a caricature of mariachis, but a Mexico filled with its people and stories, its beauties and talents and resources,” the prexy says.

Noting that these telenovelas will likely be sold to some 30 countries, Telemundo’s corporate communications veep Alfredo Richard adds, “All of these telenovelas are vehicles for showing Mexico to the rest of the world.”

More Scene

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

  • Christian Bale'Vice' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Christian Bale Recalls Meeting Donald Trump: 'He Thought I Was Bruce Wayne'

    With Christian Bale‘s latest film, “Vice,” a political dramedy, it’s inevitable ties will be drawn between the film and the current political administration and its chief, President Donald Trump. On the red carpet for the premiere of “Vice,” Bale, who stars as former Vice President Dick Cheney, shared that he met the current president while [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de

    Alfonso Cuaron Says 'Roma' Is Better in Theaters

    Director Alfonso Cuaron opted to work with Netflix for his latest film “Roma,” but the decorated filmmaker isn’t discounting the importance of a big-screen viewing. “The complete experience of ‘Roma’ is unquestionably in a movie theater,” Cuaron said Monday night at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles for the premiere of “Roma.”  The streaming giant did [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content