You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Univision lathers cyber-soap opera

Endemol partners in online 'Vidas' venture

Univision has gone into cyberspace in a bid to explore other ways to connect with its U.S. Hispanic audience.

Univision Online, the interactive unit of the leading U.S.-Hispanic media conglom, has partnered with Endemol USA and veteran telenovela producer Carlos Sotomayor’s Amistad Prods. to create a 15-episode interactive webnovela, “Vidas cruzadas” (Crossed Lives).

Targeted to debut mid-2009 on Univision.com, webnovela reunites Kate del Castillo and Guy Ecker who starred in 1999 hit novela “La Mentira” (The Lie), produced by Sotomayor. Del Castillo recently toplined Fox Searchlight release “Under the Same Moon.”

” ‘Vidas cruzadas’ brings together proven partners and a proven genre, the telenovela, in a new medium,” says Cesar Conde, Univision’s executive VP and chief strategy officer.

With each weekly episode running just three to four minutes, “Vidas cruzadas” will be developed with extensive product placement and organic integration options for advertisers.

Romantic drama will be supported with a microsite featuring behind-the-scenes videos,  photos and interactive features such as blogs, live chats and forums.

Other interactive features include a sweepstakes where users will be able to act out a scene and upload their video for a chance to win a cameo appearance in the webnovela. The microsite will include trivia, polls, local tie-ins and exclusive cast interviews. Cellphone users can also tune into the webnovela.

In 2007, Univision.com produced its first webnovela, “Mi adorada Malena” (My Adored Malena), in partnership with Unilever. Featuring six weekly episodes, “Malena” generated high user participation and heavy traffic during its run. It was so successful that Univision adapted it into a one-hour TV special last December.

“This is the first truly interactive webnovela created by Endemol USA, and we are definitely excited about this partnership,” says Joerg Bachmaier, senior VP of digital media and business development.

“From the start of this partnership, our mutual goal was to establish this project as a template for many future projects,” he adds. “We are confident that this is only the beginning of a long and prosperous partnership between Endemol, Amistad and Univision.”

None of the partners would disclose the webnovela’s budget. “The industry has seen original digital projects varying in costs ranging from low six figures to several million dollars,” Bachmaier points out.

Del Castillo, Ecker, “Vidas cruzadas” creator Estela Sainz and Sotomayor formed Amistad Prods. two years ago in to produce original content for digital platforms, TV and film.

Univision’s portal has been the No. 1 most visited Spanish-language website among U.S. Hispanics for seven consecutive years, attracting an average of 15 million unique browsers and generating nearly 11 million video streams a month.

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