Underscoring the robustness of a fast evolving Latin American TV market, U.K. production-distribution giant Fremantle and the Larraín brothers’ Fabula have in development a third season of gender abuse thriller “La Jauría” and second season of “Señorita 89.”
The moves comes as Fremantle is firing up both its premium scripted series and entertainment format business in Latin America, which is fast emerging as a key growth market for platforms and heavyweight independent production-distribution companies such as Fremantle.
Total Fremantle revenues from Latin America increased by 25% from 2019 to 2021 with production revenues in the region rising by nearly a third in the same period, said Jens Richter, Fremantle CEO, international.
Both series come from Lucía Puenzo, fast consolidating as one of the foremost showrunners in high-end Latin America drama. “La Jauría” season two was co-produced by Amazon which took rights to Latin America and Spain. It was sold to HBO Max for the U.S.
An immersive thriller exposing the unseen and unseemly reality behind the glamor of a 1989 Miss Mexico beauty pageant, “Señorita 89” is produced by Fabula, L.A.-based Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya, global streamer Starzplay and Fremantle, in a fertile production partnership.
The four partners have re-teamed on Pablo Fendrik’s anticipated sci-fi miniseries “The Shelter” (“El Refugio”). Fremantle Mexico and Sasha Robles are also partnering Pantaya and Starzplay on upcoming crime thriller “Toda la sangre.”
Fremantle has several more Latin American scripted series currently in development with co-production partners. On most it would take global distribution rights, Richter told Variety.
In formats, Fremantle has recently produced “Family Feud” with Chile’s Canal 13 and Brazil’s Globo, where it is currently airing, having bowed the format recently on Paraguay’s Canal 13.
“Got Talent” is launching later this year in the Dominican Rebublic, produced by East Coast Productions for Color Vision, and on Peru’s Latina TV.
Brazil’s TV Rede has re-upped on “Password.” “X-Factor” is set to launch soon on RCN Colombia.
Multiple further Fremantle licensing deals in Latin America, both renewals and launches, will be announced soon on “Got Talent,” “My Name Is” and “The Price is Right.”
Powerful market forces are at work.
Fremantle originally struck a first-look deal with Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula, which kicked off with 2019’s “La Jauría,” with the goal of produce out of Latin America premium drama that can travel into the world, as was the case with “La Jauría.”
That goal remains, said Richter. Since 2019, however, two new trends have emerged. “A lot more platforms came into the market, into Latin America. So there are a lot more people for us, a lot more partners for us to play with and – and it’s something we see in other territories as well – there’s a lot more curiosity and openness in terms of stories to tell.”
Supercharged by escalating internet penetration, facilitated by the expansion of digital payment solutions, Latin American has become the second fastest-growing streaming market in the world, added Sheila Hall Aguirre, Fremantle EVP, content distribution & format sales, Latin America and Hispanic U.S.
“Latin America is looking for edgy themes: Crime, edgy female empowerment, and biopics,” she said.
Producing ever more for their own global platforms, Hollywood’s studios have pulled back from third party sales around the world. Free-to-air networks are positioning ever more as purveyors of “live” entertainment.
“The entertainment format business is mainly with more traditional local free to air channels. The pandemic proved really tough for broadcasters, hitting advertising hard. But now it’s rebound time,” said Richter.
Fremantle has some of the biggest tried-and-tested formats in the world.
During the pandemic, Fremantle was also able to advise clients on how productions were still getting made in other parts of the world. “Consultancy was key,” she said.