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LA Screenings: Disney Media Networks Preps Julio Iglesias Bio-Series (EXCLUSIVE)

A biographical series about Grammy-winning Spanish global hit singer Julio Iglesias is in the works. Miami-based Disney Media Distribution Latin America (DMDLA) has announced at the LA Screenings that it has optioned the worldwide rights to “Confessable Secrets,” the memoir of Iglesias’ former manager, Alfredo Fraile.

Fraile is credited for having steered the singing career of Iglesias, who was a reserve goalkeeper for Spain’s Real Madrid until serious injuries from a car accident ruined his aspirations for a career in soccer. Fraile was with Iglesias for 15 years, during which Iglesias sold hundreds of millions of albums in 14 languages worldwide.

The 13-episode series will be co-produced with Miami-based shingle Cinemat, said Fernando Barbosa, senior VP and general manager, Walt Disney Media Distribution, Latin America & U.S. Hispanic Market.

“We started the bio-series genre in 2015 with our show about the singer Juan Gabriel, which scored high ratings on Telemundo,” said Barbosa.

“We think the biopic genre is an evergreen property; something that will be watched time and time again,” he said.

DMDLA is also producing “El Rey,” a 13-episode bio-series about Mexico’s iconic singer-songwriter of rancheras, Jose Alfredo Jimenez. Jimenez is said to have written more than 1,000 rancheras, traditional Mexican music most closely associated with Mariachi bands. Kenio Films, No Vale Nada and Cinemat co-produce.

In addition, DMDLA has picked up worldwide linear distribution rights to a bio-series about Argentine soccer star, Diego Maradona. Amazon Prime Video recently greenlit the show, to be produced by BTF Media in association with Dhana Media and Raze, the digital media startup launched by Sofia Vergara, Luis Balaguer and Emiliano Calemzuk last year. “It will stream on Amazon Prime for 12 months after which we will distribute the linear rights to the show,” said Barbosa.

The Maradona bio-series traces the former soccer player’s early life and career in his native Argentina to when he played for Barcelona in Spain and for Italy’s Naples until the time he led his national team to win the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

DMDLA is also producing Latin American versions of ABC’s hit series, “What Would You Do?,” a situational hidden camera show originally hosted by John Quinones. The non-scripted series observes and comments on how ordinary people behave when faced with situations that will prompt them to either take action or mind their own business.

This new crop of shows unveiled at the Screenings underscores Disney’s commitment to developing local productions of both scripted and non-scripted formats.

In Latin America, DMDLA has made Spanish-language editions of “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in various territories since 2005. A Portuguese-language version of “Desperate Housewives” was also made for Brazil.

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