‘CQC’ hits Portugal, eyes U.S.

Eyeworks cashing in on satirical news program

BUENOS AIRES — Eyeworks Cuatro Cabezas has sold the format of “Caiga Quien Caiga” (CQC) to Portugal’s top broadcaster TVI, its latest sale of the satirical news program as it prepares to pitch a specially made pilot to U.S. networks.

TVI will start airing a version in October, with Cuatro Cabezas handling production.

“CQC” is the company’s widest selling format, with versions on air in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Italy and Spain.

The Buenos Aires-based outfit, which became part of Dutch indie production group Eyeworks last year, is now gearing up to sell the format to the U.S. English-language market.

This month it will begin pitching a pilot of the 90-minute program hosted by “Lost’s” Dominic Monaghan, Comedy Central host Greg Giraldo and Zach Selwyn (“Dream Job”), which the trio recorded in Buenos Aires last month.

Dressed in dark suits, the “CQC” hosts take a humorous and ironic look at news, with reporters asking politically incorrect questions to celebs and politicians. In the U.S. pilot, Monaghan, Giraldo and Selwyn interview presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

“The political stuff is intelligent and funny,” said Selwyn. “We are not only interviewing the actual candidates of the presidential election but also the supporters. You can get into the minds of American voters through this. It is about getting everybody’s opinions and from a part of America that you only see on local news these days.”

Added Monaghan, “The show has a lot of original elements.”

Cuatro Cabezas produced the pilot with Los Angeles-based Eyeworks 3Ball Prods. and will work with William Morris Agency on sales.

“American TV is opening its eyes to formats from abroad,” said Cuatro Cabezas CEO Diego Guebel.

Indeed, Eyeworks founder and CEO Reinout Oerlemans is moving to L.A. to lead a Stateside expansion.

Cuatro Cabezas, which already works on commission for feevees Discovery, History Channel and Travel Channel, aims to use “CQC” as an icebreaker for selling other content including investigative series “The Team” and docu-fiction series “Unwritten History,” Guebel said.

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