Sebastián Ortega, SVP and Creative Director of Telemundo Global Studios, and Juan Ponce, SVP and General Manager of Telemundo Streaming Studios
Telemundo: A neutral city and a man as an object of desire are features that helped with the success of Diario de un Gigolo
Maribel Ramos-Weiner|23 de septiembre de 2022
In its second week (12 to 18) of airing, Diario de un Gigoló, produced by Telemundo Streaming Studios, continues to be second in the top 10 of worldwide Netflix (in 57 countries) among non-English content, with more than 34, 4 million hours viewed and for the first time is one of the top 10 premium in the US, regardless of language.
“It is a project that began to be written in 2009. But it was not concluded until the perfect window came across. In this case, it opened after the integration into the Telemundo family, when we began to develop and analyze potential projects that could work internationally, with the main focus on Mexico, which was an important objective for us," said Sebastián Ortega, Senior VP and Creative Director of Telemundo Global Studios.
Ortega adds that they always knew that the story will quickly adapt to other markets and tastes. He shared the project with Juan Ponce, Senior VP and General Manager of Telemundo Streaming Studios, and his team. “We received excellent feedback to start working specifically on the books. When we were about to start pre-production, the pandemic hit. It was a big challenge for us because many decisions had to be made virtually. Generally, we like to be able to do the castings and meet the actors before recording. But except for the case of Adriana Barraza, this was not possible. We did a great cast-hunting, especially for our protagonist, since it was a role in which we could not afford to fail.”
With the borders closed, they made the decision to produce in Argentina breaking some traditional paradigms. “We proposed to think about this story from a more neutral place, not one that could be identified in Mexico, but in a city that could represent a common denominator of the people. I think this was also one of the reasons why the series has been so well received in territories such as Brazil, Turkey, and Spain, beyond the fact that it was first released in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile”, he pointed out.
Not only did they achieve their goal of being top of the list in Mexico, but in "many parts of the world," he said. “The series was in the top ten in 45 countries, territories that we never thought would accomplish this like India, Romania, Croatia, and Turkey, which is the capital of this genre. Being able to continue in the first place gives us a clear sign that such a savvy audience as the Turkish, knows how to value our work.”
For Ortega, there is another reason for the international success of this content. “In this fiction, the man is the object of desire, the one that is manipulated, used to provide pleasure and it is a woman who decides over him. It seems to me that this is a unique feature of Diario de un Gigoló.”
Ponce pointed out that the job was done thanks to the quality of the talent that Argentina has at all levels. When asked if they will do more productions in Argentina now that they have offices in Buenos Aires, he highlighted that Telemundo Streaming Studios has a modular model “where stories and good ideas rule. We are going to look for the best environment in order to give the greatest boom and support to the story. We had to work to be flexible”.
Ponce also announced several upcoming projects: one for Netflix soon, another for Amazon, Catedrales for HBO Max, and Disney will join the clients with another production. "In addition, a jewel of a project is being prepared for the Anglo market and we are putting all the resources into that market."