Based in Madrid, Laura Abril has been appointed to lead a planned VIS expansion across western and southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MENA)

Viacom scales up international TV studios with new Madrid and Manchester production centers
04 de abril de 2019

Viacom International Studios (VIS) has announced it is to open new production centers in Madrid and Manchester, as part of an ongoing expansion of its international production capacity in both the English and Spanish languages.

VIS is expanding its international production footprint following its successful launch in Latin America last year. VIS Americas, headed by Federico Cuervo, has rapidly established itself as a leading creator and distributor of Latin content with more than 900 hours of scripted, comedy, reality and kids’ live-action being originated out of six different production centers across the continent and available for pre-sale or syndication in 2019.

With a view to replicating this success in other territories, Jill Offman will now assume management oversight of Viacom’s London-based production house, Elephant House Studios, which is being rebranded as Viacom International Studios UK with immediate effect.

At the same time, VIS UK will open a new production office in Manchester to support its push to secure English-language commissions from third-party broadcasters and distributors based in the UK, in addition to the large volume of content it already produces locally for Channel 5 and Viacom’s pay-TV channels.

VIS UK’s general manager, Joe McLusky, and creative director, Ed Taylor, will now report to Offman, who as international brand head for both Comedy Central and Paramount Network already has oversight of comedy and drama productions for Viacom out of the UK.

Coinciding with Offman taking on her new UK responsibilities, Laura Abril has been appointed to lead a planned VIS expansion across western and southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MENA).

Based in Madrid, Abril will head an expanded team that, like VIS UK, has been tasked with securing commissions from pay TV operators, broadcasters and SVOD and social media platforms across these regions, in addition to having oversight of all production of multi-platform content for Viacom’s own branded networks in these territories.

The team in Madrid will also work closely with their colleagues at VIS Americas to jointly develop, produce and syndicate content across western and southern Europe and MENA – for example, the VIS teams in Argentina and Spain have collaborated on the development of a Spanish-language remake for TV of the Hitchcock classic, To Catch a Thief, which will be produced in Barcelona and Buenos Aires.