At NATPE today, Telemundo announced that it has commissioned a competition show based in Orlando from Reset TV, with whom it will jointly produce and distribute the series. Telemundo has been experimenting with the reality TV format, notably by spinning off The Voice into La Voz Kids, which had its first season on the Spanish-language broadcast net last year and will be returning this year for a season set at Universal Studios Orlando.
The new two-hour-long show, with the working title El Artista, has been given a series order of 13 episodes; Reset is also the producer of Spanish-language series Look Who's Dancing for Univision and Star Academy for Spain's TVE. The companies hope that the show will travel well, as do many of its offerings; El Artista was announced not just as a single series but as a show format, which bodes well for international distribution.
Marcos Santana, president of Telemundo International, said that he'd observed "a growing interest" in family-friendly competition shows, and that “[t]hat growing interest combined with the creativity and experience of the team at Reset TV will allow us to develop and produce a successful format for the U.S. and the international markets.”
Format distribution is a major component of the expansion abroad that is becoming a larger line item on the balance sheets of conglomerates like NBCUniversal. Telemundo gives the company a particular advantage in that they can develop shows the primary langauge of Central and South America and avoid (at least at first) problems of translation.
In a separate but related announcement, Telemundo told NATPE attendees that it would launch a second stream for its pay-TV channel in the Caribbean and South America, customizable to the needs of the local market, while the original feed in Mexico will continue to operate on its usual timetable.