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Produced By: New York - Headlines 2016

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 31, 2016

For the third straight year, Produced By: New York has demonstrated itself as an in-demand and significant event for the producing community in New York (and really, for the industry at large).  The flagship Produced By Conference in Los Angeles will be heading into its 9th year in 2017, but the New York edition has blossomed in its own right, hosting numerous prominent speakers and celebrities and representing a neighborly but distinct producing culture from traditional Hollywood.

This year included guest speakers such as Tina Fey, Chris Rock, and via satellite link -- Matt Damon.  As always, the media was on hand to cover the event.  Below are a few of the headlines coming out of Produced By: New York from 2016.  Check back in later for more updates.

 

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER / Ashley Lee
October 29, 2016
Tina Fey Defends Jimmy Fallon's Donal Trump Interview

COMPLEX / Morgan Baskin
October 29, 2016
Tina Fey Feels Sorry For Jimmy Fallon

DEADLINE / Greg Evans
October 29, 2016
There's Box Office Gold In Diversity, Says Producer Panel

DEADLINE / Paul Brownfield
October 29, 2016
Late Late Show Producer On Integrating TV and Digital

DEADLINE / Greg Evans
October 29, 2016
Chris Rock & Producers On Rigors Of Getting Laughs...

HUFFINGTON POST / Maxwell Strachan
October 31, 2016
Tina Fey Defends Jimmy Fallon After Controversial Trump Interview

VULTURE / Halle Kiefer
October 30, 2016
Chris Rock Discusses Comedy Made For Different Audiences: "People Should Be Funny to the People Who Look Like Them First"

THE WRAP / Matt Donnelly
October 29, 2016
Chris Rock Says Comic Should Cater To "People That Look Like Them First"

DEADLINE / Paul Brownfield
October 29, 2016
Matt Damon On "Manchester By The Sea" & Why He Had Final Cut Approval

DEADLINE / Paul Brownfield
October 29, 2016
TV Showrunners On Being Captain Of The Enterprise & Why Money Isn't Everything

DEADLINE / Greg Evans
October 29, 2016
Tina Fey On Keeping Political Humor Fair And The Time She Stiffed Al Franken

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PGA BOOKSHELF: "Fade Up: '26' The Movers and Shakers of Variety Television" by Steve Binder & Mary Beth Leidman

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review by Bob Boden

The task of assembling most of the living titans of variety television to share their experience, anecdotes, memories, and predictions is monumental at best, but thanks to the tireless research and in-depth interviews of the authors, FADE UP: “26” THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF VARIETY TELEVISION, by Steve Binder and Mary Beth Leidman, is a brisk and entertaining read that triggers many memories and insights for producers in all genres.

As a television genre, variety dates back to the earliest transitions from radio, and has endured through the decades, though inconsistently. This book takes you from the pioneer days of Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen through the eras of weekly series starring Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Andy Williams, Perry Como and Carol Burnett, as well as paying homage to the specials headlined by the likes of Bob Hope, Mitzi Gaynor, Bette Midler, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand.

The modern era of variety, dominated by Saturday Night Live, America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Kennedy Center Honors, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, numerous late night talk shows and the legacy awards shows, also comes alive in vivid detail, as told by those who made it and witnessed it first-hand.

Stories of the groundbreaking and controversial turning points of the genre, including The Smothers Brothers, The T.A.M.I. Show, The Elvis Presley Comeback Special, Laugh-In and The Petula Clark/Harry Belafonte Special are peppered through the candid (and sometimes rambling) recollections of the producers and directors who were there, including Ellen Brown, Ken Ehrlich, Spike Jones, Jr., Nigel Lythgoe, Lorne Michaels, Don Mischer, George Schlatter, and most notably, co-author Steve Binder, whose contributions to variety TV are truly impressive.

This esteemed roster has collectively won almost 100 Emmy® Awards; they laid the foundation for one of the cornerstones of classic and contemporary television. Sadly missing from this vibrant exposé is the late Dwight Hemion, former directorial partner of Gary Smith, whose spectacular talent and style were honored by numerous contributors to this book.

Courtesy of this veritable “Who’s Who?” of variety television, one fascinating story follows another in this comprehensive tribute to an art form sometimes labeled irrelevant in today’s television landscape. Significant attention is paid to reality-competition shows that feature musical performances, which have in many ways inherited the elements and popularity from their ancestors, the traditional variety shows of days gone by.

Most recently (and perhaps ironically), there has been a recent resurgence of interest in resurrecting the classic variety form, with mixed results. But variety, in whatever form it takes, is here to stay, and will continue to evolve in the multi-platform universe. Thanks to these visionary men and women who helped lay the groundwork, there is much to review and emulate.

FADE UP is a thoroughly enjoyable trip down memory lane for all fans of the genre, and a tremendously valuable master class for those who want to learn about how the business evolved. If I were forced to find a negative about this fascinating book, it would be the lament of an audience member at an awards show who is enthralled by an emotional acceptance speech, only to hear that person played off the stage. I wish there was more to share.

- You can purchase Fade Up at Amazon or Kendall Hunt Publishing

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TOMORROW COMES TODAY - Cross-Platform Innovator Charles Segars Matches The Message To The Medium

Posted By Steve Pesce, Monday, September 19, 2016
PGA member Charles Segars has a lot going on. A pioneer in digital media, the CEO of Ovation TV, senior digital advisory roles with companies like DreamWorks Animation, a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University—and in his spare time, he leads advance teams for the President of the United States. Through all of his many activities, Segars has insisted on staying on the cutting edge of media and technology. "What’s happening in entertainment right now is very much what those guys must’ve felt like when they were working in radio and saw this TV thing starting up,” he says. While this constantly changing landscape is daunting for most, Segars has thrived thanks to his ability to spot the leading trends of the day and combine them with a reliance on tried-and-true principles: trusting the audience, staying flexible and always keeping story first.

A native of Pittsburgh, Segars was hooked on movie magic from an early age, taking the Universal Studios Tour at age 14 and sneaking back onto the lot a few years later to see the filming of the pilot for the ABC series Tales of the Gold Monkey, with its giant sets, big logistics and great special effects; "I was hooked!” he recalls. During college Segars worked as a PA and segment producer on the "Making of...” documentaries for some of the biggest films of the time; "I got to see up close how they made movies, including Poltergeist and Back to the Future... I was in heaven.”

TREASURE TROVE
          Almost as a footnote to his pioneering online work, Segars is responsible for launching a smash movie franchise, the National Treasure series. "While I was at the National Archives doing research, I learned that the glass case holding the Declaration of Independence had started leaking,” Segars recalls. "The case cracked over time, allowing fresh air and moisture to decay that most important document. Document specialists were urgently discussing what to do, saying ‘If you open it up the document will disintegrate. If you don’t open it up, it’ll still disintegrate.’ The National Archivist showed me a photo of when the Declaration of Independence was transported there from the Library of Congress. The guys guarding it looked like The Untouchables. They were driving those great old Fords and carrying big tommy guns. Here’s this giant motorcade to transport the Declaration of Independence to the National Archives. And I started thinking, what if someone stole the Declaration of Independence?”
          Segars took the idea to producer Oren Aviv. "Oren and I worked together on the story, and when we felt we were on to something we took it to Jon Turteltaub, who immediately jumped out of his chair, saying, ‘I want to direct this movie!’” Thank goodness he did. He made key contributions to to our story that made it the franchise it is today.
          The pitch was picked up quickly. "The next thing we’re in front of [Disney head] Joe Roth. That’s how quickly National Treasure came together. Disney bought it in ’99, long before The Da Vinci Code was even a thought. Now the script is in for the third movie. It’s very gratifying to see National Treasure’s continued success.”
          Turteltaub, who would go on to produce and direct the movie that would become National Treasure and its sequel, knew it was a great idea as a result of his previous experiences with Segars: "When I first met Charles, he was some stranger who was full of ideas/” Turteltaub remembers. "And every subsequent time I met Charles, he had a different job and even more ideas. Always supportive, always enthusiastic, always a cheerleader, and always a mystery.” 

Committed to a career in entertainment, Segars started working in television with producing jobs on magazine shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as well as production exec roles on Viacom syndication hits like The Montel Williams Show. "About this time,” he recalls, "I got the greatest call ever. Jeff Sagansky and Rod Perth called and said, ‘We need to reinvent late night on CBS.’” After years of attempting to fill late-night with talk shows and game shows, network president Sagansky was ready to try something different. Segars and Perth were tasked with launching a group of scripted shows that came to be known as Crimetime After Primetime, a string of unique adult-themed series such as Silk Stalkings and Forever Knight. After serving as a crucial part of the team that recruited David Letterman to CBS, Segars was made head of Special Programming for the network,where he oversaw awards events like the Grammys and the Tonys, as well as experimented with shows consisting of wedding videos and animal attacks, years ahead of the reality TV boom. 

After years of experience in television, Segars began to see opportunities in the early dotcom boom, and in 1998 co-founded CountingDown.com, based on the idea that movie fans would flock to a site designed around their unique community. "I quickly learned online video worked better in short form— two minutes max—than the longer form I was used to doing,” Segars recalls. He also learned that painstakingly-crafted content, while usually well-received, could be quickly upstaged by fan-made content. The world of TV, with its overnight ratings, critics and focus groups, was being replaced with the digital realm’s ability to provide instant, constant feedback. "It was exciting and terrifying at the same time,” Segars says.

A major opportunity came Segars’ way when Jeffrey Katzenberg asked him to consult on an idea for a show tailored specifically to the YouTube audience, called YouTube Nation, which curated content from the ocean of videos uploaded every day. "The idea was that since there was so much content being uploaded to YouTube every day, literally years of video each day, many great pieces of content deserve but can’t get the spotlight.” YouTube Nation used curators to scour the internet looking for content, then would contact the creators and ask them to allow the video to be used as part of the seven-minute daily show. The show reached two million subscribers before ending in 2014.

The differences between traditional TV content and video made specifically for online platforms are vast, and Segars was quick to identify the unique requirements of new media. "You have to put great story first. In that sense, there’s no difference between traditional and online video. Where the pathways diverge is you have to understand the best practices for where you’re airing that content. A reality segment for television is very different from one for YouTube or Snapchat. While cable television wants a 22-minute or 44- minute show, each online platform has a different sweet spot. The second common mistake is failing to understand that each platform has its own best practices. Third, and most importantly,online producers need to upload content almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day,feeding their fanbase with exactly what they ask for. TV can’t come close to that. Online platforms like Vine, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are populated by content creators who have a one-to-one relationship with their audience.” As a result of his success with CountingDown.com, Segars has become an expert in emerging online markets, doing consulting work for major players in the digital realm.

Segars has concrete ideas about how online media differs from traditional broadcast models: "One thing that’s new for traditional media producers is figuring out the discovery mechanism. How do you get your audience to find you among a billion other uploads a week? Just like when you’re trying to sell a show to ABC, it’s an easier sale with a movie star in it because there’s already a fanbase. Where digital diverges is you need be to across five or six platforms. And you have to bring an advertiser, which requires a whole new muscle for producers to develop.”

Additionally, online programming has to be produced differently from broadcast content. "Most online video is reality or sketch-based. This is mostly because scripted takes too long to bake and by the time it’s ready, fans are moving on to something else. Most content that resonates is two to four minutes, authentically delivered right to camera by the creators themselves, with a call to action to their fanbase to share it and give feedback that can be incorporated into the next piece of content.”

However, exciting things are emerging for long-form producers as well, with platforms such as YouTube Red."I have no doubt it will be a platform on which all types of content, at all lengths and at all production price points, will be exhibited,” Segars says. "Facebook is not far behind and will also be a monstrous video platform and buyer of content.”

Segars also consults for successful digital companies like Machinima and Whistle Sports—production and distribution companies engaged in building brands, finding talent and making content for unique platforms, with particular interest in young audiences. "The phone goes with kids everywhere,” Segars reminds us. "They carry it to school in their backpack. It’s their connection to the world. So to have someone tell a story over it is very powerful. If they have a few minutes during lunch or on the train, that five to six minutes is valuable real estate.”

In 2008, Segars took a leap into an older media form, the traditional cable network, with an eye to modernizing its business model. "Back in 2008, we raised some money and bought a tiny arts network called Ovation TV, which is now in over 45 million paid-subscription homes. Ovation couldn’t be more traditional in some of the content we make. We just did a $40 million miniseries called Versailles, airing this October. But at the same time we’re doing short-form, arts-centric content for specific arts verticals online. And we’re starting to aggregate some very interesting indie films and offering them to people on their handsets. We have a great team here and we move content across every conceivable platform,” Segars declares. "If there’s a tin can and a string people are using to talk to each other, one of our arts documentaries will be vibrating into there soon.”

 

These ventures plus massive growth in streaming services make it a very lucrative time for companies that know how to use these new platforms, which is why Segars launched Innov8 Design Studio two years ago, an agency dedicated to helping content creators connect with audiences."Content is king, but it takes the right balance of process—ideation and storytelling that is customizable for many differing platforms. Everyday we are learning and trying,” Segars says.

On top of all of these business endeavors, Segars is committed to public service, serving as a sworn deputy in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and has led advance teams for White House, setting up itineraries when President Obama travels. "Recently I was on Marine 2, and the White House photographer took a picture of me working on my phone trying to figure out where the motorcade was going next and what handshake was at the bottom of the stairs … He got this great shot and posted it on Instagram. In two minutes my phone was blowing up. It was jumping out of my hand.” And yet, even in this moment of fame, Segars returns to his passion for digital media. "People from all over the world were going, ‘Wow, what a great picture!’ That is the instant moment of digital. You get immediate feedback. And producers should listen to it. If your fan base is saying ‘I wish this would happen,’ take the layup. Make it happen for them.” Segars is insistent that anyone with an interest in entertainment and communications take an interest in the burgeoning world of social and online media. "The great stories you create can go everywhere to find an audience. I look at these new platforms as exactly the same as when someone built a movie theatre or put up a radio or TV antenna. It’s just that now the delivery system is a phone and a social media platform.”

 

Written by Steve Pesce

Additional text by Jeffrey McMahon

Photographed by Kremer Johnson Photography

- This article originally appeared in the August/September issue of Produced By magazine.

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PGA Dodger Day 2016

Posted By Michael Quinn Martin, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

As Vin Scully says before every game, “Hi everyone, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be.”  On Saturday, September 3, 100 PGA members attended our annual Dodger Day as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the San Diego Padres on a beautiful Labor Day weekend with a 71 degree temperature at game time.  The Dodgers sent Pitcher Rich Hill to the mound to face Luis Perdona of the Padres.

In the 4th inning, Adrian Gonzales singled to send Corey Seager home and put the Dodgers up 1-0.  Shortstop Seager is in the running for National League Rookie of the Year this year.  Later in the inning, with Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzales on base, Yasmani Grandal hit a three run home run over the center field fence to put the Dodgers up 4-0.  The home run was estimated at 440 feet.

In the 6th inning, Josh Reddick tacked on a solo home run to put the score at 5-0.   This was his first home run since the former Oakland A‘s outfielder joined the Dodgers on July 3.  Rich Hill was pitching a no-hitter for the Dodgers into the 6th inning until Alexi Ramirez singled for the Padres.  Hill ended up with 8 strike outs for the evening.

Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the Dodgers. Casey Fein gave up one run in the 8th and Kenley Jansen kept the Padres off the board in the 9th, leaving the Dodgers with 5-1 victory.

Fans were also treated to a positive video report on recovering Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw as he pitched a three inning rehab start for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, after missing two months with lower disc herniation.  Since Kershaw was placed on the Disabled List on June 26, the Dodgers have clawed their way from 8 games back behind the San Francisco Giants, to 5 games ahead, and now lead the National League West.

Rookie Dodger Manager Dave Roberts (and possible NL Manager of the Year candidate) has accomplished this while the Dodgers have placed 26 players on the Disabled List this year, a National League record.

And, least we forget, this is 88 year old Vin Scully’s farewell season as the Dodger’s TV and Radio Broadcaster, a position he has held when he started with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 at the age of 21.   Thank you Vin for 67 wonderful years.  You are the Dodgers!

- Article and Photos by Michael Quinn Martin

 

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CONTENT ES REY - A Pair of PGA Members Launch Pongalo To Capture One Of The World's Biggest Underserved Markets

Posted By Matt R. Lohr, Thursday, September 8, 2016

 

The most recent United States census, conducted in 2010, revealed Hispanics as the country’s fastest-growing population sector. Approximately one in five individuals counted in that survey professed Hispanic heritage, and population-growth experts expect this number to more than double in the next 25 years. For rich hull and Jorge Granier, these numbers added up to opportunity, in the form of a massive, growing, and seriously underserved potential audience.

Hull and Granier are the executive chairman and CEO, respectively, of Latin Everywhere, a diversified digital media organization dedicated to providing Hispanic audiences worldwide with Latino-focused film and television content unavailable anywhere else in the digital space. Since 2014, Latin Everywhere’s YouTube and social media networks, branded under the name Pongalo (Spanish for "play it”), have collected over two billion viewers for the exclusive Hispanic film and tv content available through the services. Pongalo is also available as an ad-supported over-the-top (OTT) viewing platform and in a few months will be launching a subscription vod service priced at $5.99 per month.

While many industry leaders saw reports of the emerging Hispanic market as a revelation, it was a fact of life for Hull from the beginning. "I grew up in Texas,” he says. "Hispanic media’s always been in my world.” In the years following the census, Hull recalls that "For the first time in my life, you pick up the Wall Street Journal, and you’d see big giant U.S. advertisers Verizon and Target advertising to Latinos, as if they just got here. I was like, what is everyone talking about? This has always been a thing.”

 

For Granier, Hispanic media was almost literally in his blood, as a scion of Venezuela’s most celebrated broadcast media dynasty. His great-great-grandfather launched one of the country’s first radio stations in the 1930s, and it evolved into RCTV, once the most powerful and influential Venezuelan television network. Granier’s father Marcel served as the station’s general director as well as the host of Primer Plano, a controversial politically-oriented talk show. Granier was focused on a televised media career from the start. "When I had my first job at 15, I quickly turned that into an opportunity to produce a piece for television,” Granier writes via email from his home base in Miami. "And from that moment, I haven’t stopped. I always thought of my career as an international one. In today’s world, there is no other way.” Dividing his time between New York, Caracas and Los Angeles, Granier produced acclaimed televised news programs and documentary features, including 2007’s Pablo Escobar doc Pablo of Medellin.

2007 also saw a spectacular development that would prove unexpectedly instrumental to the development of Latin Everywhere and Pongalo. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez long regarded RCTV as a threat to his administration, partly due to their airing of advertising from anti-Chávez protest groups. So when the president won re-election in 2006, he announced that the network’s operating license would not be renewed. RCTV’s broadcasting equipment was seized, and its feed was usurped by a state-run network. Granier, based in Los Angeles at the time, relocated to Miami to assist RCTV’s international headquarters during this paradigm-shifting period for the company.

Meanwhile Hull, a Hollywood producer whose credits include the hit teen comedy She’s All That (1999), was looking to shift his focus to digital media. He decided after a key conversation, that whatever form his digital endeavor would take, it would have a Hispanic focus. "One day,” Hull remembers, "I went to go have a beer with a friend of mine who was Latino, and he said, ‘I just got this Android phone, 99 bucks, and I can do everything on it but watch (Hispanic) films and TV shows because there’s nowhere to get them.’ And I said, well, of course there is. You just don’t know where to look. But sure enough, my friend was right. It didn’t exist. So I said, maybe I just need to start this.”

Around this time, Hull and Granier first met and forged an immediate friendship, though the idea of partnering to pursue potential opportunities in the Hispanic digital media space developed more gradually. "We knew we were both in the same wheelhouse,” says Granier, "with the opportunity we saw in the Hispanic space. But it took us a while to finally say let’s do this together.”

Hull and Granier’s first innovative step was to reverse the usual trajectory followed by start-up digital distribution platforms. "We said, ‘What are the mistakes everybody makes when they launch a streaming platform?’” says Hull. "It seems like they always had this same point of failure. They would get all this technology and then go out and try to get content. And as it turns out, getting content is hard. But Jorge and I are content guys, so we thought, let’s just build it in reverse. We’ll deal with the content first, and then we’ll get the technology later.”

The key content acquisition—the bedrock on which Latin Everywhere was able to build the foundation for Pongalo— came from a homegrown source. Since losing its broadcast license, RCTV no longer had a major outlet for its thousands of hours of archived programming. So, in order to keep these programs available to the broadest audience possible, and thus still lucrative, Granier was able to convince his father to grant him exclusive worldwide digital rights to RCTV’s television library in perpetuity. These rights also gave Granier the opportunity to pitch RCTV series to U.S.-based producers and networks for possible English-language remakes. One such show, the Granier executive-produced Jane the Virgin (based on RCTV’s Juana la Virgen), has been an acclaimed success for the CW network and won its star, Gina Rodriguez, a Golden Globe.

Granier was able to combine the RCTV library with a considerable catalog of Latin American films Hull had acquired, and together they leveraged these holdings into additional acquisitions. "We started adding a whole bunch of other content,” says Hull. "Movies from Mexico, TV shows from Colombia and Argentina. We still continue to do that, and we have more than 50,000 hours of content. You put that on par with a U.S. studio in terms of volume, and we believe content gives you options, it gives you a certain amount of power.”

With this extensive content library in place, Hull and Granier then began weighing their options for the technology on which to build their streaming platform. They decide acquiring pre-developed tech, with its own practiced engineering team in place, would be a more effective use of resources than attempting to develop their own platform from scratch. After examining virtually every streaming platform then available, the partners purchased the start-up platform InMoo, also bringing the design and operations team onboard under their employ. "A lot of people had money and were pouring it into technology,” says Granier, "but with InMoo we saw a group of sophisticated engineers that could build a platform that would scale at a competitive price.”

Hull stresses the quick-action customization options that come with owning and operating your own platform. "If you just rent someone’s out-of-the-box technology platform, what you get is a platform that, while it may work, it also looks like every other platform. You have the same white background, the same layout of your movies and TV shows. It’s just your logo instead of somebody else’s. It just makes it really hard to make changes, and we wanted the ability to make changes really fast and experiment.”

Latin Everywhere launched the initial Pongalo YouTube channel in the spring of 2015, and the Pongalo label now covers a broad range of Hispanic-oriented channels presenting films and TV series, including telenovelas and children’s programs, none of which are otherwise available in the digital space. Collectively, the Pongalo YouTube channels now boast over 10 million subscribers from around the planet. From the start, Hull and Granier have emphasized the importance of making Pongalo an "authentically Latino” service, while recognizing the heterogeneous nature of the world’s Hispanic cultures. "Latinos speak the same language,” says Granier, "but they all have their different subtleties that make each group unique. We’ve found a language and programming strategy that works throughout our YouTube networks.” He is proud of Pongalo’s ability to offer its viewers and future subscribers "a truly Latino platform, with the content that they love, more variety than any other, more depth of catalog and a truly Latino feel to the user experience.”

Hull feels that Pongalo’s specifically Hispanic focus gives it the luxury of not having to "out-Netflix Netflix. We’re a great complement to Netflix, because at Netflix, you can get your Hollywood content and your House of Cards. We’re your option for everything else Latino ... Right now, I would love to go to Netflix and even see what kind of Latino-oriented content they have. I can’t, because Netflix has decided I’m not Latino. There’s not even a tab I can go to that says, ‘Latino Content Here.’ So if you think about it, we’re that tab.”

In addition to expanding their reach through Pongalo’s upcoming SVOD option, which will offer exclusive content not available through YouTube, social media, and OTT platforms, Latin Everywhere is also diversifying the range of content it will soon be able to bring to its viewers. Not only is Granier continuing to option RCTV series for English-language remakes (producers Daniel and Ben Barnz are currently preparing an English-language take on the telenovela Valentina for ABC Freeform, with Granier as an executive producer), but the company also has two original telenovelas currently in production in Latin America, both of which will be available exclusively through Pongalo streaming services.

Also, in May, Latin Everywhere announced that a stake in their company had been purchased by the Hollywood-based production/distribution outfit Revolution Studios. This deal will grant Pongalo exclusive digital rights to a 120-title library of Spanish-dubbed films from the Revolution catalog, including Granier favorites Black Hawk Down and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

"It was great to see a major Hollywood producer see the value of the Latino audience and make a real move in order to serve it,” says Granier. "I’m sure we are going to see a lot more of that in the space, and it makes me happy because I’ve fought for years to get that recognition.” Hull acknowledges that the Revolution deal is still in the early stages but says Latin Everywhere is actively pursuing similar potential partnerships with other production and distribution shingles. "Whatever it is that gets us content, that’s what drives us,” he says. "It’s that offering of content that we’re presenting. That’s what either makes us or breaks us.”

And of course Granier and Hull recognize that, even with their own proprietary platform technology, exclusive content, and current and future production company partnerships, it is Latin Everywhere’s unique ability to target and serve its demographic that has allowed it to become the digital leader in Hispanic film and TV content presentation—a not-inconsiderable proposition when weighed against a currently estimated $1.4 trillion in Hispanic buying power in the United States alone.

"It’s the fastest growing demographic in America,” Hull says of Pongalo’s viewership. "And for Latinos, there’s nowhere else you can get the kind of content we offer, stuff you can’t get at Netflix, stuff you can’t get at Amazon. So we’re an alternative.”

"I think Latinos in the U.S. are finally realizing their own importance, both to the society and the economy,” says Granier. "In terms of entertainment, viewing, advertising and tech habits, we see that Latinos are early adopters of tech, want to be talked to directly by advertisers and want programming that’s relevant to them ... I think we have the best user interface and the most varied pure Latino content of anyone. If you want to watch telenovelas, series, super-series, movies and documentaries with Latinos, you come to Pongalo. It’s just like home.”

 

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