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Paramount ties with Telefe for multi-lingual drama

Scripted-logo-460_2Viacom’s recent acquisition of Argentinian broadcaster Telefe is already reaping rewards.

Viacom-owned Paramount Television is teaming with Telefe to develop a one-hour drama series created by journalist-turned-TV writer Jason George (Narcos), Cazadores.

This comes after Viacom beat competition to acquire Telefe for around US$345 million.

Paramount TV is part of Paramount Pictures, the film arm of Viacom, which is in the midst of a major reshaping under new president and CEO Bob Bakish.

Cazadores (Hunters) is based on recently declassified documents, and follows the men and women who attempted to track down the Nazi high command who fled to South America after World War II. It will begin at the onset of the Cold War, and is set in “a new, shifting world, where old allies are now enemies”.

Writer George, whose credits include Netflix’s Narcos, has written for the Chicago Tribute and The New York Times.

“We are excited to have Telefe as part of the Viacom family,” said Amy Powell, president, Paramount TV. “Their unmatched leadership in Argentina’s high-growth market and their on-the-ground knowledge of this fascinating moment in history, will allow for factual, unique and culturally-immersive elements within the series.

“With their help and Jason’s journalistic lens informing his multifaceted storytelling, audiences can expect a compelling and eventful re-telling of this very real story.”

Long-serving Viacom exec Pierluigi Gazzolo was recently placed in control of Telefe’s new management company, Viacom International Media Networks – America, with top level execs such as Tomas Yankelevich exiting in the restructuring.

Gazzolo said: “This development deal is testament to Telefe’s ability to create compelling content that travels the world and solidifies Viacom’s commitment to growing Telefe’s global presence via intercompany co-development projects such as this, as well as with distribution of their vast portfolio of hit formats.”

Paramount TV is behind series such as Epix’s Berlin Station, live musical event Grease, Nickelodeon’s School of Rock and USA Network’s Shooters. These have been delivering consistent revenues to struggling parent Paramount, which is reported to be on the verge of hiring ex-Fox movie chief Jim Gianopulos as CEO and chairman.