Colombia’s Caracol TV is hoping to replicate the success of its worldwide hit, “Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord” with an equally ambitious and costly series, “Emeralds, the Color of Ambition.” Featuring a cast of over 1,300 and shot in 300 locations, “Emeralds…” unleashes a 60-episode saga of romance, intrigue and generational wars over Colombia’s most precious – and green – mineral export.
“Emeralds…” leads Caracol’s product lineup at Mip TV which includes sitcom “Men Cry Too,” musical telenovela “Beats of Love, Niche,” game show format “TV Maniacs” and a raft of new documentaries.
“Interest in telenovelas is still high but it’s opened up sales of our other formats,” said Caracol int’l sales chief Lisette Osorio, who pointed out that some U.S. companies are interested in snagging the format rights of “TV Maniacs” and “Men Cry Too.”
“Pablo Escobar” sold to more than 50 countries including untapped territories in Africa and Asia. Afghanistan’s Tolo TV snapped the drug lord bio-series in January, making it the fourth title it has acquired from Caracol after “The Cartel,” “The Cartel 2” and “Roman x 2.”
In Brazil, where it aired on pay TV Globosat, “Pablo Escobar” was such a phenomenon that even President Dilma Rousseff made reference to it in one of her speeches.
Globosat and Caracol have since formed a pact to jointly enter the U.S. pay TV market where talks are underway with potential multichannel distributors.
Caracol, which pioneered the edgier telenovela with “Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso” in 2006, has also moved into docu making with a co-production deal with Discovery Channel. Since last year, they have produced topical titles such as “Turismo Sexual,” “El Czar de Esmeraldas,” “Trafico de Imigrantes,” and “La Frontera Mas Caliente,” about the Venezuelan-Colombia border.