Furthering its commitment to expand its diverse programming slate, Starz has put in development three projects based on Spanish-language formats and stories from Hispanic creators, writers and producers. CEO Chris Albrecht announced the projects during Starz’s executive session today at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.
Partnering with Mauricio Katz (The Bridge) and Televisa USA, Starz is developing Maleficio, based on the popular Mexican series El Maleficio. The supernatural thriller centers on Don Enrique De Martino, a powerful Mexican businessman who has made a deadly pact with the Devil. El Maleficio originally aired in 1983-84 with 320 episodes to become one of Mexico’s most successful telenovelas. Katz will serve as showrunner. Pedro Peirano (No, Niño Santo) will serve as executive producer and will co-write the first episode with Katz.
Also in the works is Pour Vida, a series inspired by a short story by Richard Villegas, Jr. (I [Heart] Babylon, La Música Romántica). Big Beach TV will produce with Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning, Safety Not Guaranteed), Dan Pasternack (Portlandia, Starved, Beggars and Choosers) and Erin Keating (Portlandia, Bunk, The Spoils of Babylon) executive producing. Pour Vida follows twin sisters, Brook and Lyn Hernandez, who inherit an East LA building from their recently deceased aunt who raised them. They open Pour Vida, a new wine and tapas bar, in a building in Boyle Heights which houses a failing lesbian bar below and a village-like collection of Eastside denizens in three units above. Pour Vida is the sisters’ attempt to put the “gente” in the “gentefication” of the historic barrio.
The third project is Santeria, a supernatural series centering on two undercover agents investigating a bizarre murder. The series dives into the complex relationship between the Cuban people and Santeria, the ancient religion born on the island of Cuba. Cuban writer and director Alejandro Brugues (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Juan of the Dead) and Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) will executive produce and direct with Gregg Hale (Exists, Lovely Molly, The Blair Witch Project) serving as executive producer