STARZ IN DEVELOPMENT TO CO-PRODUCE ORIGINAL SERIES "MALEFICIO" WITH TELEVISA USA
Mexican Television Writer and Producer Mauricio Katz to Serve as Showrunner
Pasadena, Calif. - January 8, 2016 - Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht announced at today's Starz Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. that Starz has partnered with Televisa USA, a division of the Mexican media company Grupo Televisa, to develop the original series "Maleficio." The Starz and Televisa USA co-production is based on the popular Mexican production "El Maleficio," which originally aired in 1983-84 with 320 episodes to become one of the most successful telenovelas of all time.
The new supernatural thriller will center on Don Enrique De Martino, a powerful Mexican businessman who has made a deadly pact with the Devil. Writer and Producer Mauricio Katz ("Niño Santo," "The Bridge") will serve as showrunner. Pedro Peirano (No, "Niño Santo") will serve as executive producer and will co-write the first episode with Katz. Peirano, an award-winning Chilean director, screenwriter, journalist, cartoonist and television producer, wrote the film No, which was nominated for an Academy Award(R) for Best Foreign Film in 2013.
"We are pleased to partner with Televisa USA for an adaptation of such an incredibly successful series and bring it to the U.S. audience," said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director for Starz. "With Mauricio Katz's prolific writing guiding the project and Pedro Peirano executive producing, 'Maleficio' was a project we knew was worth developing."
"Starz' stamp of quality together with Mauricio and Pedro's tremendous vision and intimate knowledge of the format will ensure an impactful return of this iconic series," said Chris Philip, head of production and distribution for Televisa USA. "'Maleficios' past success means we have a built-in audience of hundreds of millions of fans worldwide."
Katz is a prolific television writer and producer in Mexico where he co-created and executive produced the hit TV series "Niño Santo" that aired for two seasons. Most recently, Katz served as consulting producer on "The Bridge" for FX. In addition, he wrote the critically acclaimed Mexican film MISS BALA, screened in the official section of the Cannes Film Festival and the prestigious New York Film Festival. Katz is repped by UTA.
Starz will retain all domestic and Canadian rights and Televisa USA will retain International rights.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R) pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.8 million subscribers, including 23.3 million at STARZ, and 32.5 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ(R) and ENCORE(R), along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX(R), air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.
About Grupo Televisa
Televisa is the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world based on its market capitalization and a major participant in the international entertainment business. It operates four broadcast channels in Mexico City, produces and distributes 25 pay-TV brands for distribution in Mexico and the rest of the world, and exports its programs and formats to the U.S. through Univision Communications Inc. ("Univision") and to other television networks in over 50 countries. Televisa is also an active participant in Mexico's telecommunications industry. It has a majority interest in Sky, a leading direct-to-home satellite television system operating in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Central America. Televisa also participates in Mexico's telecommunications industry in many regions of the country where it offers video, voice and broadband services. Televisa also has interests in magazine publishing and distribution, radio production and broadcasting, professional sports and live entertainment, feature-film production and distribution, the operation of a horizontal Internet portal and gaming. In the United States, Televisa has equity and warrants which upon its exercise and subject to any necessary approval from the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") in the United States, would represent approximately 36% on a fully diluted, as-converted basis of the equity capital in Univision Holdings Inc. (f/k/a Broadcasting Media Partners, Inc.), the controlling company of Univision, the leading media company serving the United States Hispanic market.
About Televisa USA
Televisa USA is a division of Televisa, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of the Mexican media and telecommunications corporation Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. the largest and most dynamic producer and distributor of Spanish-language content in the world. Televisa USA develops, finances, coproduces and distributes to the U.S. and international audiences high quality, mainstream English-language programming based on existing formats and original concepts. The division is actively teaming with leading talent, producers, and studios and networks to create scripted and unscripted content across all genres that significantly over index the coveted American-born or English-speaking Latino audiences. Televisa USA also has access to Grupo Televisa's enormous library, which includes many of the world's most popular telenovelas, for adaptation in the English language as high quality productions. Current productions in which Televisa USA participates include the drama Devious Maids, a collaboration with ABC Studios and Executive Producer Marc Cherry, on Lifetime; and reality series Douglas Family Gold, produced by WV Enterprises in association with Televisa USA and Lionsgate TV that has Wilmer Valderrama, Jessica Acevedo, Natalie Hawkins and Gabrielle Douglas serving as executive producers.