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NATPE Briefs: ‘Judge Jerry’ Sets EP, Sony Pictures Pacts With ‘Ugly Betty’ Creator

NBCUniversal’s Judge Jerry has set its production team and reached 90% clearance across the U.S. for its fall launch. The court show hosted by longtime talk show host Jerry Springer will be exec produced by Kerry Shannon, previously a producer on “Jerry Springer Show.” Leah Ponce and Joe Scott, alums of “Judge Judy” and other court shows, are on board as co-exec producers. “The combination of Jerry’s proven experience in broadcast television and his legal mind will make ‘Judge Jerry’ like no other courtroom show on TV,” Shannon said. New stations lined up for the gaveler include Tribune’s WPIX-TV New York and WPHL-TV Philadelphia.

Leo Zimbron and Monica Vargas, founders of TRZ Comunicacion (TRZ), home of Traziende Films, have tapped Juan Manuel Borbolla as CEO. A former Managing Director for Warner Bros. Pictures Mexico and most recently, CEO of TPL Digital Content, Borbolla will be creating a new management structure to spur a more integrated studio approach to film, television and entertainment content development and production at Traziende Films. “Juan Manuel and I go way back to when we produced films together for Warner Bros. when I was appointed Director of Local Production,” said Zimbron. At TPL Digital Content, Borbolla created a satellite network to deliver theatrical releases for the majors, reaching 750 theatres in Latin America. Under his leadership, the company achieved an 82% market share. Zimbron is attending NATPE as head of scripted content at Endemol Shine Boomdog.

Studio Pacifico, a new boutique shingle founded by former Endemol Shine execs Mauricio Piccone and Sergio Lazarov, with such combined credits as “Big Brother,” “Masterchef,” “Que Viva: The Chosen One,” “El Vato” and “Nicky Jam: El Ganador,” have joined forces with Ecuador’s top broadcaster Ecuavisa to co-develop and market up to three Ecuavisa mini-series, starting with dystopian teen drama series, “La Muralla” (“The Wall”). The network’s production arm, Ecuavisa Studios has also pacted with Mediapro to co-develop a reality show and inked a distribution deal with Argentina’s Glowstar Media.

TNT has set a co-production with Comarex and Plataforma for musical bio-series “Bronco” tracing the origins of the renowned Mexican band. Bronco sold more than 30 million records, won a slew of prizes and even inspired a comic strip, a clothing and shoe line, among other things. Principal photography of the 13-episode series kicks off in March in Mexico and the U.S. Additional content for digital platforms is also planned. Bio series is inspired by “Cicatrices de un Corazón, Bronco,” (“Scars of a Heart, Bronco”) the book written by band leader José Guadalupe Esparza.

Fernando Gaitan, best known for his original creation Ugly Betty” (“Yo Soy Betty, La Fea”) which spawned up to 27 adaptations worldwide, has inked a content development deal with Sony Pictures Television. This is the first such agreement for Gaitan who has worked exclusively for Colombia’s RCN for most of his 30-year career. The U.S. version of “Ugly Betty” was a career high for actress America Ferrera and a ratings and award-winning hit for ABC from 2006-2010. [Gaitan’s] “original ideas generate such captivating television content and fantastic stories that resonate with a very broad audience,” said Ana Bond, VP of Int’l Productions, Latin America and U.S. Hispanic for Sony Pictures TV.

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