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Nickelodeon Draws On Latin American Sibling for Shows

Viacom Intl. Media Networks pushes adaptations of key franchises for U.S., Latam markets

Viacom’s Latin American TV production operation is amping up its original content development for Nickelodeon in the U.S. and Nick offshoots across Latin America.

Viacom Intl. Media Networks has set a production deal with Colombia’s Ministry of Technology & Communication to develop local versions of Viacom franchises including the Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards and MTV reality series “Catfish.” Both of those programs are already produced in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

Now on its fifth year in creating long-form scripted content, Nickelodeon Latin America adapted its hit teen telenovela “Grachi” to make its first English-language series for the mothership Nickelodeon channel in the U.S.

“Every Witch Way” (pictured) bowed Jan. 1 as a Monday-Friday strip, and has so far maintained an average of 2.1 million viewers. It will run through Jan. 31. The show, another example of Nickelodeon experimenting with telenovela-style scheduling with scripted soaps, follows the travails of 14-year-old Emma Alonso who joins her father in Miami where she discovers she is a witch.

“We produced the third season of ‘Grachi’ in Miami, and followed this with ‘Every Witch Way’ to optimize the use of our sets,” said JC Acosta, senior VP, chief financial officer and exec in charge of production for VIMN the Americas.

Now syndicated to 50 countries, “Grachi” has launched the musical career of lead thesp Isabella Castillo, a second-generation Cuban American who sings several songs from the soundtrack of “Grachi.”

In the U.S., “Every Witch Way” stars Florida native Paola Andino and two actors from the original “Grachi.”

New original content from VIMN the Americas in Brazil includes “Dani Who,” a live-action skein in Portuguese, and the network’s first daily scripted format set to air across Nickelodeon in Latin America.

VIMN has other scripted shows in development for Nickelodeon Latin America, including “La Cocina de Thalia.”

“Thalia,” about a young chef genius who opens a restaurant with friends, will start production in the fall, per Acosta who is looking into making an English-language version as well.

Talks are under way with a Colombian thesp to star.

“We like to tap talent from around the region; our shows are a melting pot of languages, backgrounds and cultures,” Acosta said.

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