In response to the growing demand for premium content across the Americas, Banijay Americas has launched a new unscripted production studio in Mexico with Emmy-nominated producer Marie Leguizamo serving as its managing director.
To be known as Banijay Mexico & U.S. Hispanic, the new studio will be based in Mexico City where Leguizamo will be based part of the time as she shuttles between the offices in Los Angeles and Mexico City.
The new studio will mainly focus on unscripted original content in both English and Spanish for broadcast, cable and streamers in the Mexican and U.S. Hispanic markets. “With the Latinx market taking off and the proliferation of streamers and broadcasting networks launching their own streaming platforms, there is an increased demand for premium content,” Leguizamo told Variety. “It’s an incredibly exciting time in this space right now,” she said.
Leguizamo, who is the sister of actor-comedian John Leguizamo, has produced unscripted television for nearly two decades, many of which have been top ratings hits. In 2019, Leguizamo signed an overall development and executive producer deal with Mexico City-based studio Endemol Shine Boomdog, led by CEO Alejandro Rincon.
Endemol Shine Boomdog continues to be the leading independent producer in the region, behind such unscripted and scripted hits as “¿Quién Es La Mascara” (Televisa/Univision), “La Casa de los Famosos” (Telemundo), “Mira Quien Baila” (Univision), “Subete a Mi Moto” (Amazon Prime), and “Nicky Jam: El Ganador” (Netflix), among several others.
Leguizamo recently wrapped executive producing the third and fourth seasons of Boomdog and Amazon Prime’s “Last One Laughing” (“LOL”) with Eugenio Derbez and has served as the showrunner/EP on such Spanish-language hit series as “La Voz Kids” for Telemundo, “Pequeños Gigantes USA” and “Mira Quien Baila” (“Look Who’s Dancing”).
She has been nominated twice by the International Emmy association with nominations for her work on “La Voz Kids” and she also snagged a Daytime Emmy nomination for “LOL.”
“Alejandro [Rincon] has been such a great mentor; I learned a lot from him,” mused Leguizamo, adding: “I am ready to head a new label.”
The launch of a second label serving the Mexican and U.S. Hispanic markets is a clear sign of Banijay’s confidence in a fast-growing marketplace.
Banijay Americas includes six subsidiary production companies in the U.S., including Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Authentic Entertainment and Stephen David Entertainment. In the U.K. alone, Banijay has more than a dozen labels producing unscripted content.
“Marie is perfectly suited for this role—she’s one of the most respected producers in this space, she has deep roots in both nations and is entrepreneurial at heart,” said Cris Abrego, chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and president and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings.
Banijay Americas has oversight of all original Spanish and Portuguese-language original programming operations for the company in the U.S. and across Latin America, including Endemol Shine Brazil (based in Sao Paulo), Endemol Shine Boomdog in Mexico City and Banijay Mexico and U.S. Hispanic.
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