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Show of the week: Criminal Mastermind

This 60-episode offer from Cisneros Media Distribution, the rebranded sales arm of Venezuelan broadcaster Venevision, is being billed as a departure for the company.

CMD’s VP of sales Cesar Diaz says buyers may be used to Venevision’s regular telenovela fare, but “given an adequate time slot and appropriate promotion, this type of programming will certainly do well and bring in the audiences and market share, and consequently the interest of acquisition executives”.

Criminal Mastermind (aka Criminale Demente)’s dark plot follows a mother’s quest to expose her dead daughter’s doctor, a distinguished psychiatrist, as a cold-blooded murderer. It draws on a best-selling non-fiction book, Sangre en el Diván (Blood on the Carpet), which investigated a recent real life case that mirrors the series.

“It is based on a true story, which provides an interesting angle, especially when you can share anecdotes of the real story and characters,” says Diaz. “This enables the audience to make a connection, and identify with the series.”

Buyers looking to schedule programming for late primetime weekday slots for young adult audiences will be most interested, Diaz says. “Criminal Mastermind was produced with this demographic in mind, and I definitely think this is when it will be more effective.”

He also points to the hybrid ‘teleseries’ format as a selling point. This mixes the telenovela “hook that delivers ratings” with “the fascination of the TV series: intense and thrilling action-packed stories that the Americans have developed so well”.

He adds that the series will work well in the CEE region and elsewhere, where it will play as a premium show ‘but at a very reasonable fee compared to the products of [US] production houses’.

The show: Criminal Mastermind
The producer: Venevision Productions
The distributor: Cisneros Media Distribution
The broadcaster: Univision Communications
(Hispanic US, Puerto Rico), Venevision (Venezuela)
The concept: Young adult skewing drama series
about a doctor hiding dark, murderous secrets