MIAMI — Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent TV groups, and Mexican TV giant Televisa, have inked a multi-year production alliance to co-develop and co-produce a minimum of three drama series aimed at fueling Televisa’s premium programming and output for Mexico and the U.S. but also targeted at worldwide markets.
Linking two of the most powerful production players in the Spanish-speaking world, the alliance between Mediapro US and Televisa kicks off with “Unwanted,” created by Ran Tellem, an executive producer on “Homeland,” and Spain’s Mariano Baselga (“The Boarding School”); and “Stroke,” from Argentina’s Oficina Burman, headed by writer-director Daniel Burman, a leading light of the New Argentine Cinema.
Announced on the first day of Miami’s NATPE by Patricio Wills, president and studio head of Televisa Studios, and Laura Fernández Espeso, Mediapro director of international content, the alliance runs for three years.
Televisa will carry out physical production in Mexico, while Mediapro has creative oversight on series. The series will be “created specifically for Televisa’s market or third-party companies,” Mediapro and Televisa said in a press statement Tuesday.
Productions will be released first in Mexico and the U.S. and then internationally. That arrangement will allow the partners to leverage Televisa’s audience leadership as a platform for their series, the statement added.
First up, “Unwanted” is from a screenplay created by Tellem, now Mediapro head of international content development, and Baselga, a co-writer on “Los hombres de Paco,” co-created by “La Casa de Papel’s” Alex Pina.
The series is being jointly developed by Televisa contents head Camila Misas and Baselga, now at Mediapro España. Susana Casares (“Luis Miguel”) is writing the series, which turns on two families of very different social origins whose lives change drastically when a surrogate pregnancy takes a totally unexpected turn.
Announced at the Berlin Festival in 2017 when Mediapro confirmed it was taking a stake in Oficina Burman, “Stroke,” a 62-episode series, will air from 2020 on Televisa’s main Las Estrellas channel in Mexico and on Univision in the U.S.
Also scripted fiction, “Stroke” turns on a man who has his life perfectly ordered, coping with two divorces, a gaggle of children and a hectic daily existence – until he suffers an extraordinary event, after which he will have totally new challenges. Burman now serves as Mediapro head of content in the U.S.
“Closing a longterm co-development agreement with Televisa is a strategic step-forward for us. We hope to contribute our creativity and experience, added to its talent and maturity, to develop these incredible series for a worldwide audience,” said Mediapro’s Fernández Espeso.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to count on Mediapro’s support and experience to continue diversifying our content portfolio. We’re sure that this alliance to help to strengthen and consolidate our local reach,” added Televisa Estudios’ Wills.
Irantxu Díez Gamboa, CEO of Mediapro US added that the alliance will “provide the quality premium content that viewers are currently demanding.”
The alliance adds to the growing international production axes of Televisa. At Televisa’s upfront, last November, Wills announced that Televisa would be co-producing with Netflix, Amazon, EndemolShine, TNT and Sony. Two series for Amazon Prime Video have already been released, “Diablo Guardian” in May and October’s “Un Extraño Enemigo,” about the build-up to Mexico’s 1968 student massacre, which gleaned strong reviews.
For Mediapro, the alliance adds to a wide range of international production partnerships with, just among U.S. companies, Netflix (“Edha,” “Bomb Scared”), Amazon Prime Video (“Six Dreams,” “All or Nothing: Manchester City”), DirecTV Latin America (“Todo por el juego”), Fox Networks Group (“Vis-a vis”), TNT Spain (“Vota Juan”), Viacom Intl. Media Networks Americas (“Noobees”), HBO (“The New Pope) and Turner Latin America (a strategic alliance) and Disney Media Distribution Latin America (“Cazadores de Milagros”).