ViacomCBS International Studios Unveils Slate

At a virtual NATPE event, the studio announces such projects as a made-for-TV musical movie, based on a telenovela, from creatives behind ‘The Prom’ and ‘High School Musical.’

ViacomCBS’ ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) unveiled a new content slate at the virtual NATPE Miami 2021 event on Thursday, including series, documentaries, a made-for-TV, or streaming, movie based on an Argentine-Mexican musical telenovela and kids programming.

It said the projects, including a show set in Europe during the time of the 1968 student revolution, a true-crime series about one of Britain’s most notorious criminal investigations and a documentary about the Mexican doctor who inspired the Hannibal Lecter character, would start production this year.

“This slate represents the vast depth and breadth of global stories and voices that represent a compelling offering to our partners and audiences,” said JC Acosta, president of ViacomCBS International Studios and Networks Americas. “We continue to partner with the most diverse content creators across the globe and cannot wait to bring these stories to life.”


Here is a look at new content on the ViacomCBS studio’s slate:

A Very Kally’s Birthday (working title)
“Days before her birthday, Kally goes on an unexpected trip where she accidentally meets a celebrity musician,” reads a plot description. “While she is having the time of her life, she will have to decide what to do with her heart.” The film is based on the Latin American telenovela Kally’s Mashup, is written by Peter Barsocchini, whose credits include High School Musical, and The Prom producer Adam Anders, who will also serve as executive music producer.

Electric Years
A co-production between Dynamo, CBS Studios and VIS that is already in development. The “action, heist, and adventure show set in Europe during the spring of 1968 throughout the booming of the student revolution” centers on Campano, “a wanderer, a daredevil, an unlikely, anachronistic hero, with an irreverent tone” who will take audiences across the Mediterranean on a quest for adventure and discovery. Created by Fernando Navarro (Veronica) and Cristian Conti (Wild District), who will also serve as executive producers, the writing team includes Isabel Peña (Riot Police), Rafael Cobos (Plague), and Salvador Perpiñá.

The Gold
The true-crime series tells the story of “one of Britain’s most notorious criminal investigations” and is written and created by Neil Forsyth (GuiltUrban Myths).

Dr. Ballí
A documentary series about the life of Alfredo Ballí, a doctor from Monterrey, Mexico, who was convicted of murdering his lover and inspired the Hannibal Lecter character.

A Woman in Black Boots
The documentary directed by Everardo Gonzalez is about “a mysterious secret operation that took place in Mexico City after the last major earthquake in 2017,” explains a description. “A team of 45 rescue specialists were recruited by the Israel Military Forces and deployed to Mexico to complete a special mission of rescuing a maximum priority target.”

Adriano the Emperor
The doc focuses on the life of Adriano Ribeiro, one of the biggest stars in the history of Brazilian soccer.

38 Stars
Directed by Lorena Muñoz, this documentary is based on a bestselling book by Josefina Licitra that tells the story of “Operation Star” in 1971 in Uruguay, known as the biggest escape operation from a women’s prison in the history of the country.

Marcelo, Marmelo, Martelo
In association with Coyote Producciones Cinematográfica, VIS is developing a series based on the popular collection of kids books by Brazilian writer Ruth Rocha about the “adventures between the past and the present of the children of the Caramelo neighborhood.” The series will be directed by Duda Vaisman and Calvito Leal.

The slate also includes previously announced projects The Gypsy Bride, a thriller based on the bestselling novel La Novia Gitana by Carmen Mola about a woman who is assigned to a murder case in a gypsy community; Artemisia, written by Vanessa Alexander (Tin Star), about the life of Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi who is considered the most famous female painter of the pre-modern age; and Gloria Wants to Know It All, an animated children’s series produced with Marc Anthony’s Magnus Studios and others.

VIS also said Thursday that it introducing a new brand look to reflect “the strength of its global content identity” and its first global brand campaign, featuring talent talking about their passions.