Tag Archives: Raphael Corrêa Netto

Natpe’s Latin flavour

Loaded is coming to
Televisa is adapting Keshet’s Loaded

In 2011, US programme market Natpe moved from Las Vegas to Miami to be closer to the Latin American TV community. So it’s fitting that Natpe 2016 (held between January 19 and 21 last week) provided a platform for so many Latin American scripted TV announcements.

Pick of the bunch was the news that Brazilian media giant Globo is moving into Spanish-language production with a thriller called Supermax. Although Globo has previously coproduced Spanish-language shows with the likes of Azteca in Mexico and Telemundo in the US, Supermax marks the first time it has fully funded a drama in Spanish.

The 10-part series, being produced in-house with Argentinian filmmaker Daniel Burman as showrunner, follows eight characters who travel to a remote prison to participate in a reality show. Although production doesn’t start until April, it has already been picked up by Azteca for broadcast in Mexico.

Commenting, Globo executive director of international business Raphael Corrêa Netto said: “We’ve taken a strategic look at the market and worked out how to leverage our creative capabilities. We wanted to develop and produce (this show) based on our thinking for the global market – from script development to production and design.”

In other Latino news, Mexican media conglomerate Televisa has revealed that it is to adapt four Keshet International Israeli dramas from the original Hebrew into Spanish. One of them is a title we discussed last week, Loaded, which is also being remade by Channel 4 in the UK. The other three are yet to be selected but will be produced over the course of the next three years.

Blue Demon
Blue Demon promises an ‘intimate look’ at a Mexican wrestling legend

Televisa is also involved in a coproduction with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) that will focus on the life of Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, a Mexican wrestler better known as the Blue Demon. The 65×60’drama, simply called Blue Demon, will air across Latin America on Televisa platforms and before being distributed worldwide jointly by SPT and Televisa.

The show is the latest title to come out of a coproduction alliance formed by the two partners in 2014. Angelica Guerra, senior VP and MD of production, Latin America and US Hispanic for SPT, said: “There is a growing demand in the region for stories about real people and events, a trend that started in Colombia and has made its way to Mexico. Blue Demon will offer audiences an intimate look at one of (freestyle wrestling’s) greatest legends, exploring a complex and turbulent world that few knew about.”

Also coming out of Miami was news that producer Ben Silverman is teaming up with Eric Newman, the showrunner behind Netflix hit Narcos, on a series about Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez, the Colombian singing sensation better known as Juanes. The show, whose English title is Chasing the Sun, will follow Juanes’s early life in Colombia through to his arrival as an aspiring musician in Miami.

Jaunes, aka Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez
Jaunes, aka Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez

The goal is to produce an edgy series, with the press announcement saying it will “stylistically be in the vein of an Entourage-meets-Narcos bilingual drama.” No network is attached as yet, but Silverman has a good track record for bringing Latin American ideas to the world with series such as Jane the Virgin and Ugly Betty. Note that it is being set us as a bilingual series.

In other greenlight news this week, USA Network has given a straight-to-series, 10-episode order to Eyewitness, a drama based on Norwegian crime thriller Øyevitne. The US version will be created by Adi Hasak, whose credits include Shades of Blue. He will work alongside Norwegian series creator Jarl Emsell Larsen.

Øyevitne, which aired on NRK, was one of the most talked-about Scandinavian shows of 2015. It focuses on two gay teenage boys who secretly meet up in a forest. During one such liaison, they witness a shooting and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the perpetrator, they remain silent.

Eyewitness (Øyevitne) originally aired on NRK

Commenting on the decision to pick up the show, Alex Sepiol, senior VP of original scripted programming at USA, said: “Eyewitness takes a horrific crime and, in compelling fashion, uses it to examine a whole network of unique character relationships. We were immediately drawn to the source material, and Adi has found a very smart way to adapt it into a universal and engaging story.”

The dark tone of the show fits a broader agenda at USA, which is reinventing itself as a more exciting destination for young viewers. Alongside the Eyewitness project, it has Golden Globe-winning hacker drama Mr Robot and Carlton Cuse-produced series Colony. Earlier this week, it also announced another new drama called Falling Water. This series centres on three strangers who realise they are dreaming separate parts of the same dream that has major implications for problems in each of their lives.

“Today’s world demands shows that challenge and reward the audience in spectacular ways,” said Jeff Wachtel, president and chief content officer at USA Network’s parent company NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Falling Water is the type of show that can move the needle of popular culture with its thrilling exploration of the dark side of the mind.”

Netflix has commissioned a series based on the novel Altered Carbon

Meanwhile, Netflix, now up to 75 million subscribers worldwide, continues to commission new shows. Its latest addition is a 10-part sci-fi series based on Richard K Morgan’s book Altered Carbon. Set in the 25th century, Morgan’s novel imagines a world where the human mind has been digitised and the soul is transferrable from one body to the next. The series is being produced by Skydance Television and written by Laeta Kalogridis. Kalogridis’s previous credits include the screenplays for the movies Shutter Island and Terminator Genisys.

Elsewhere, there have been rumours circulating in the last few days that Fox in the US would love to commission a follow-up to its six-part X-Files reboot, which debuted last night in the US. However, the big obstacle to that appears to be scheduling the talent.

In an interview with Variety, male lead David Duchovny said: “Gillian (Anderson, co-star) and I have talked about (doing more episodes), and then we just stop because we get to 2023 and we still haven’t found a date we can do it. It’s like, ‘Let’s just wait and see what happens after this,’ and then we can start to talk seriously about whether we can make it work again.” Possibly, if the ratings are good enough to justify it, there might be room to squeeze in another short run of six or eight episodes.

Will we get more X-Files?
Will we get more X-Files?

Finally, the big story on the drama acquisition front is that pay TV platform Sky has done a deal with CBS that means its Sky Atlantic channel will become the exclusive home to Showtime’s original drama series across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. The agreement covers all new and future series including Billions, which premiered strongly in the US this week, and the forthcoming revival of cult drama Twin Peaks.

Commenting on the deal, Sky content MD Gary Davey said: “This is one of the most important content deals Sky has ever agreed, cementing Sky’s position as the market leader in Europe for world-class drama. The agreement means our customers can enjoy an incredible slate of upcoming new dramas and can also explore hundreds of hours of amazing series such as Dexter, Californication, The Affair and House of Lies on demand from the back catalogue.”

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Globo’s global goals

Globo TV’s Raphael Corrêa Netto explains the growing appeal of the network’s telenovelas outside its native Brazil.

The trend for watching telenovelas in Brazil is as strong as ever and it’s a habit that is spreading to the rest of the world.

That’s according to Raphael Corrêa Netto, Brazilian network Globo TV’s executive director of international business, who says investment in and support for new writers, on-screen talent and a willingness to take risks with stories keeps audiences tuning in week after week.

La Fiesta (The Party) has sold well to broadcasters across the world

“Watching Globo telenovelas is a tradition in the Brazilian culture that remains strong to this day,” he says. “Our plots are audience leaders and are allocated throughout the programming schedule. We have three slots for original productions, another slot for a teen telenovela and a slot for popular reruns. And, a few years ago, we reopened the 23.00 slot for plots with more adult themes.

“We have just aired Verdades Secretas (Secret Truths), by Walcyr Carrasco (Trail of Lies), which explored the underworld hiding beneath the glamour of the fashion industry. It attracted a record 49% share during its broadcast. We are constantly investing in new talents such as authors, directors, actors and production staff to keep things fresh and to maintain our stories’ power of enchantment. The result is that, as well as being successful in Brazil, our telenovelas do very well in other countries.”

The success of Globo’s output at home continues to be repeated on the international stage through the network’s distribution arm, Globo TV International. Joia Rara (Precious Pearl), the story of two brothers fighting for control of their family’s empire, which won an International Emmy for Best Telenovela last year, recently aired in the US on Telemundo. It was also the second most watched show in Uruguay during its first week on air on Teledoce, and has sold to EPG in South Korea, Armenia Public TV and Mongolia’s TV5.

New series coming to the international market include serial-killer drama Dupla Identidade (Merciless), mystery La Fiesta (The Party) and romantic miniseries Amores Roubados (Doomed, pictured top). The Party has already been picked up by EPG, Ecuavisa in Ecuador, Peru’s ATV, Teledoce and Portugal’s SIC, while Doomed is heading to Telefe in Argentina and SIC.

Globo is also taking pre-orders for its latest telenovela A Regra do Jogo (Rules of the Game), which debuted in August. Written by João Emanuel Carneiro (Avenida Brasil, or Brazil Avenue), it centres on a former politician who precariously walks the line between good and evil. Brazil Avenue, which follows a woman’s bid for revenge against her cruel stepmother, currently holds Globo’s record for a licensed series, with broadcasting rights sold to more than 130 countries.

“Stories involving classic plots of love, betrayal, jealousy, revenge and big secrets remain strong,” says Netto. “What changes is the way in which they are told and the resources used in the scene. All our contemporary stories follow and record the evolution of society and use – as do our period stories and entertainment programmes – technological resources that tell the story in an innovative way. Filming and broadcasting in 4K, for instance, makes watching television even more exciting.

A Regra do Jogo (Rules of the Game)

“In Rules of the Game, we will debut a new method of shooting a telenovela, which has been studied for the last two years through the collaboration of different departments across Globo. It is the ‘Scenic Box’ (Caixa Cênica) – closed sets that are adapted to allow greater camera integration and to give actors more freedom to play, thus making dramaturgy closer to reality shows in the way images are captured and shown to the viewer.

“We have always had room in our programming grid for a telenovela made for younger audiences, with a very specific language, dealing with the life of teenagers. Humour, regardless of the central plot, is always represented by a core group of characters. Our experience shows that a good story, regardless of its main theme, needs to deal with other genres as well.”

Naturally, Brazilian drama fares best in Latin America, where output deals are in place with Telefe, Mexico’s Azteca, Teledoce, Ecuavisa and ATV, among others. Series also travel across the Atlantic to Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa such as Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde. But with global audiences now more welcoming to foreign-language series than ever, Globo is taking the initiative by targeting new territories further afield.

Part of this strategy involves setting up new channels. Netto explains: “In July in Angola and Mozambique, for example, we launched our second pay-per-view channel Globe ON, broadcasting telenovelas, series and comedies that have a place in the hearts of Africans. And we have already been told that the audience ratings registered are great.

“We have been gaining more space in the US, where we have had three blockbusters in primetime on MundoMax (formerly MundoFox) and we have telenovelas on air on Telemundo.

“We have also increased our presence in Asia, licensing the telenovela Lado a Lado (Side by Side) to China, a tough market for foreign products. And in 2014 we conquered new markets and licensed titles for Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines for the first time. Australia has also bet on our series, with Globo channels there and in New Zealand.”

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