'Ugly Betty's' America Ferrera producing a telenovela for MTV
Ferrera will be an executive producer of a new MTV series called "Pedro & Maria," which will combine a traditional, Romeo and Juliet-style love story with present-day interactive elements -- including letting fans have a say on where the story goes. Tony nominee Quiara Alegria Hudes ("In the Heights") will write the script, and former NBC chief Ben Silverman -- who executive produced "Ugly Betty" -- is also among the exec producers.
Silverman is also credited as the show's creator. His new company, multimedia studio Electus, is backing the project along with Procter & Gamble, which has a long history of producing soap operas ("Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" are two of its properties) and will have a marketing stake in "Pedro & Maria." Electus and Silverman's m.o. is to get advertisers involved early in development so their products and messages can be embedded in the on-air product.
"Pedro & Maria" will have a number of fresh elements: It will be bilingual, viewers will be able to follow it on air or online, and fans will be able to vote on certain story decisions via Twitter, Facebook and other social media. But in case that message doesn't sink in, the Electus press release about the project makes sure to hammer the point home, using words like "first-ever" (twice), "groundbreaking" (twice), "innovative" and "next generation."
So, it's a new thing.
MTV hasn't formally picked up the show yet -- the cable channel says it will "actively develop" the show alongside Electus and P&G. Given the gushing in the announcement, though, a series order is pretty likely.
There's no word yet on who will star in "Pedro & Maria" of if Ferrera will step in front of the camera.
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Photo credit: ABC