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Propagate taking international formats to the US

Silverman+OwensPropagate is taking a telenovela from Argentina and a Turkish dating format into the US, company bosses Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens have told TBI.

The A+E-backed US prodco will work up a US version of the Telefe telenovela Educating Nina, in partnership with the US division of the Argentinian broadcaster.

The series, about twin sisters who endure very different fortunes after they are separated at birth, is a hit in Argentina, with Telefe doubling its order after launching it earlier this year. Silverman will hope to repeat the success he had with another US telenovela remake, Ugly Betty, which he brought out of Colombia to US screens.

Propagate has also picked up a Turkish format, Love is Calling. Producer Irfan Sahin brought the show to Silverman and Owens and Propagate will partner with him and Arti Film to take the show into the US.

In Turkey, the show is now on Star TV, having transferred networks. In the format, singletons tell the audience what they are looking for in a prospective partner, and interested viewers call in and attempt to set up a date with that person. The eligible singleton then heads out on a date without having ever set eyes upon the person they will meet.

“This is an exciting time for the global media industry,” Silverman and Owens said.  “While we are committed to internal development of original series, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to work with our international partners to format proven hits like Educating Nina and Love Is Calling for the US audience.”

Propagate has also brought in new staff as it prepares to roll out a fully fledged international division, with an overall international chief to be announced in the coming weeks.

Jay Weisleder and Jimmy McNider have joined Propagate, the LA based production company. Weisleder, will head up international format development & production, and McNider (below), will be manager, international production and development.

jimmy mcniderThe new recruits will be part of the international division as it takes shape at Propagate. Distribution is a “huge part of the plan”, the Owens and Silverman told TBI.

“It’s a key cornerstone of how I have built my businesses,” Silverman said.

“Everyone is finding distribution harder and harder, but it is still something as a creatively led producer, we uniquely we do better than others an part of a long term approach. But we are not just a buyer, and not just a seller, we are a partner.”

Weisleder joins Propagate from Fuego Films, the movie company he ran with Silverman, and which is behind Hands of Stone, the Roberto Duran biopic starring Robert De Niro.

McNider, meanwhile, worked with Silverman at Electus and NBC. The hires add to those already announced by Propagate, including Kevin Healey from Entertainment One, and former Relativity exec Brett-Patrick Jenkins.

Ivan Garel-Jones and Isabel San Vargas have also joined, from ITV America and Pilgrim Studios respectively.