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5 Takes on the New Look Globo – Latin America’s Biggest Media Company

Ricardo Waddington and Paulo Marinho
Credit: Estevam Avellar/Sergio Zalis/Globo

NATPE Miami would hardly be the same without a splashy, big, packed and convivial Globo showcase, a fixture for buyers. But, held totally online, this year’s NATPE Virtual Miami, whoch kicks off on Jan. 19, is hardly the same. So it’s heartening to see Globo going for broke with its Jan. 15 Upfront, which catches the Brazilian TV giant, as so many large players in Latin America, with new structures, management and content. Following, five quick takes on what to expect from the event.

All Together, Right Now

Already hosting Brazil’s biggest linear TV network, its leading satellite-cable operator and its biggest Brazilian OTT service, Globo has now brought all three under the same roof. “There’s Only One Globo,” its Upfront slogan reads. That has multiple upside as Globo. “With Globo being unified, our [lineup for international licensing gains more structure, more diversity of content to serve partners and audiences from different regions of the world,” says Paulo Marinho, Globo exec director of networks. Globo ’s domestic viewership now spreads over mobile, OTT, basic linear and traditional pay TV.  With the “use of data, we have evolved a lot in the individualized knowledge of each one of the 100 million people who accompany us in these different windows daily, and this is reflected in deliveries on our channels, platforms, in Brazil, and abroad.”

Top Management Change of Guard

The TV revolution caught affable CEO Carlos Henrique Schroder and head of drama Silvio Abreu towards the end of long careers at Globo. Schroder spearheaded the TV’s push into more standard international length series and launch of SVOD player Globoplay. Both are now stepping down,. Marinho has served as Globo exec director of networks since 2020. Famed telenovela director Ricardo Waddington, a unit director on “Avenida de Brazil,” Globo’s biggest telenovela hit ever, was appointed entertainment director in December. José Luis Villlamarim, artistic director on Globo’s cinematographic NATPE Miami banner novela “A Mother’s Love,” will replace veteran Silvio de Abreu, head of drama since 2014. The baton has been passed to a younger generation.

A National Champion

“In addition to quality and state of the art, we always carry ‘Brazilianess’ in our works. We never fail to create [our shows] in the light of identification with [what’s] Brazilian,” said Waddington, citing “The Angel of Hamburg,” Globo’s first title in a two English-language series production partnership with Sony Pictures Television, which turns on a Brazilian Oscar Schindler figure during WWII. Globo has scored some of it biggest international successes with series produced in partnership with Brazil’s independent production community, Marinho noted, citing “Under Pressure” (produced in partnership with Conspiração) “Aruanas” (Maria Farinha Filmes), “Jailers” (Gullane)  and “Second Call” (O2). Globo has partnerships with 100 independent producers in Brazil alone, Marinho said. As Brazilian government subsidies have frozen to a glacial pace, Globo is emerging as a key bastion of national production.

Inclusion

“We’ve been doing continuous work with our talent pool so that it is increasingly diverse. We seek a balance in its composition in order to increasingly represent the diversity of the Brazilian population,” says Waddington, citing young women screenwriters such as Luisa Lima (“Where My Heart Is”), Rosane Svartman (“A Life Worth Living”), Manuela Dias (“Above Justice” “A Mother’s Love”) and Amora Mautner (“Harassment”). In partnership with Brazilian organization Festa Literária das Periferias (FLUP), Globo has also invested in an initiative, Black Narratives Laboratory for Audiovisual. More than 20 Black writers have gone on to work for Globo – which is a start at least in a country where more than half is inhabitants are POC.

Sorority Dramas

Of Globo’s top NATPE Miami titles, 110-episode “A Mother’s Love,” a paean to everyday heroism, features three women of different social class – maid Lurdes, restaurant owner Thelma and lawyer Vitória – brought together by their overwhelming sense of motherhood. In 70-part romantic comedy “Run for Your Lives,” the lives of three completely different women are again inextricably intertwined – here they witness the murder of a judge during a Cancun hurricane and are forced to take on new identities in a witness protection program. Globo telenovelas have always been mostly femme-centric and crossed the social divide. Rarely, however, have they shown such as a sense of sorority.