Univision & Televisa to Produce Vicente Fernández Biopic Series Based on Olga Womat’s Book “El Último Rey”

The late Vicente Fernández’s life story is headed to the small screen…

Univision and Televisa are joining forces to produce a biopic series inspired by the legendary Mexican singer, actor and film producer.

Vicente Fernández

The new series will be based on the book El Último Rey, penned by journalist Olga Womat, for which Televisa reached an agreement with Editorial Planeta to acquire the rights, according to a statement from Univision and Televisa.

Without revealing many details about the series, like the release date or cast, the announcement comes a month after the death of the ranchera icon, who died December 12 in a hospital in his native Guadalajara. The cause of death was complications following surgery for a cervical spine injury after a fall last August. Fernández had remained hospitalized since then in stable but serious condition.

Univision and Televisa’s series on Fernández isn’t the only one that will see the light of day.

The Idol of the People, starring Mexican singer and actor Jaime Camil, is a Caracol TV production that will air on that Colombian television network and for which Netflix has acquired world rights outside of Colombia.

A cultural icon to generations, the Jalisco-born artist was known for his swooning rancheras, like “Hermoso Cariño” and “Acá Entre Nos,” and timeless folk anthems that he serenaded fans with for decades. The Mexican cultural icon also holds the record for the most top 10s on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart to date, with a total of 49.

Over on the all-metric Hot Latin Songs tally — a blend of airplay, streams and digital sales — Fernández holds the record for the most entries for a regional Mexican solo act, with a total of 61.

Following his death, the catalog of songs by the man known as the “Charro de Huentitán’s” increased 721% globally in the days, according to reports to MRC Data. Collectively, his songs generated 97.3 million on-demand streams on December 12 and 13, compared to the 11.9 million streams accrued on December 10 and 11.

Born February 17, 1940, Fernández began his career singing on the streets of his hometown Guadalajara and went on to record more than 50 albums, starred in more than 2 dozen telenovelas and Mexican films, and became a touring titan always going onstage with his iconic traje de charro that included ornate sombreros and embroidered jackets.

Jaime Camil to Star as Vicente Fernandez in “The Idol of the People” Series, to Air Globally on Netflix

Jaime Camil will be portraying a late Mexican idol…

The 48-year-old Mexican actor, singer and television personality will star as the late Vicente Fernandez in a series based on his life.

Jaime Camil

The news arrives on the heels of Fernandez’s death last week at age 81.

The project, titled The Idol of the Peopleis a Caracol TV production and will air on the Colombian television network.

Vicente Fernández

Netflix has taken world rights to the series outside of Colombia.

Camil has spoken at length on social media about how honored he is to play Chente, a shortened version of the name Vicente that served as one of his many monikers.

“Portraying Vicente Fernandez, without a doubt, is one of the biggest and most important challenges of my career,” he wrote in Spanish via Instagram in September. “In my opinion, Chente is Mexico’s biggest idol and the most monumental exponent of Mexican music all over the world.”

Fernandez earned three Grammy Awards throughout his five-decade career for Best Regional Mexican Album in 2009, 2016, and 2016 from a total 13 nominations. He recorded more than 50 albums, sold more than 50 million records and appeared in more than 30 films.

Fernandez had been suffering medical complications after a fall at his home this summer that injured his cervical spine and required an operation.

After Fernandez’s death, Camil paid tribute to the Ranchera legend while reflecting on how much he’s learned about him through his portrayal in the series via Twitter.

“Thanks to the project I’m working on, I’ve been able to learn the history, infancy, journey, legacy, and all the adversities he faced. My Chente, to get to be the person you were has taught me to respect you, to love you, and to honor you even more. No one can deny Vicente is a monument and a treasure for Mexico and Ranchera music on a global scale,” he said in part.

Camil is a veteran actor of Spanish-language telenovelas who made a splash stateside in the role of Rogelio de la Vega in the CW’s Jane the Virgin. After the series wrapped, he starred in the short-lived CBS series Broke, and has lent his voice to animated series including Elena of Avalor, BoJack Horseman, and currently stars as Doc Lopez in the Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon!

He also released two full-length albums in 1999 and 2002. Camil is expected to sing in The Idol of the People.

Globosat & Caracol TV Aiming to Launch a Stateside Spanish-Language Pay TV Channel

There will soon be another viewing option for Latinos in the United States…

Brazilian pay television outfit Globosat and Colombian network Caracol TV are aiming to become the latest players to enter the lucrative U.S. Hispanic market under a joint venture.

Globosat & Caracol TV

In a company statement, Colombia’s top broadcaster said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Globosat to launch a stateside Spanish-language pay TV channel in 2015.

The letter was signed by Caracol TV president Gonzalo Cordoba and Globosat director general Alberto Pecegueiro.

The new channel will vie for a piece of the fast-growing Latino market led by Univision and NBC Universal’s Telemundo.

Best known for its telenovelas and drug-themed dramas like Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso, Caracol produces 5,200 hours of content a year, including co-productions with Sony Pictures Television and Telemundo. Globosat, a division of media giant Globo, operates 34 pay TV channels in Brazil.

“It is natural for us at this point to take a closer look at the fastest growing U.S. sector, the Hispanic paid television market,” Pecegueiro said.

Programming details will be announced later.

“Q’VIVA!” Lopez’s Globetrotting Talent Show…

It’s “the biggest thing” she’s been involved with yet… And, Jennifer Lopez’s Latin talent competition show with Marc Anthony is only getting bigger…

Described as an effort “to create the ultimate live show celebrating Latin music, artistry and dance,” “¡Q’VIVA! THE CHOSEN” is scheduled to air in 21 countries in North America, Central America and South America.

The show, which will be filmed in English, Spanish and Portuguese, is being produced in partnership with “American Idol creator and XIX Entertainment CEO and founder Simon Fuller.

“Very soon the world’s heart will beat to the tune of Latin rhythms and we’re looking forward to experiencing history in the making,” said Anthony and Lopez in a joint statement. “It is with great pride that we embark on this amazing and very personal mission to discover and celebrate the most captivating talent the world has ever seen.”

In the United States, Univision will broadcast one-hour weekly episodes of “¡Q’VIVA!” in Spanish. The show’s English language partner is expected to be announced soon.

Meanwhile, Televisa and Caracol TV will air the Spanish version of the Latin talent series Mexico and Colombia, respectively.

“We are bringing together all the most powerful brands and networks throughout the Americas to broadcast ‘¡Q’VIVA! THE CHOSEN’ in a unique collaboration where each country will programme the show simultaneously,” says Fuller. It will be a powerful statement confirming the growing importance of Latin culture.”

“Q’VIVA!” could his the airwaves as early as the first quarter of 2012.