Wilmer Valderrama Becomes Shareholder of IHeartMedia’s My Cultura Podcast Network

Wilmer Valderrama is taking on more responsibility…

The 42-year-old Venezuelan and Colombian American actor has expanded his role with My Cultura Podcast Network from iHeartMedia by becoming a shareholder.

Wilmer ValderramaIn addition, Valderrama will help to curate the network’s slate of Latinx-focused podcasts and has committed to five new shows that will be executive produced by and/or star him.

According to the company, monthly podcast downloads across My Cultura have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, with 9 in 10 of the network’s total downloads coming from listeners aged 18-49.

“Representation shapes not just how others see us, but also how we see ourselves. It is imperative that every facet of our media includes narratives that uplift Latino and Hispanic voices,” Valderrama tells Deadline in an exclusive statement. “At WV Entertainment it is our mission to not just choose purposeful projects that accurately represent the stories of the Latinx community but to also make sure these stories are accessible to everyone. We are so grateful to our partners at iHeartMedia for seeing the value in this and prioritizing the need to highlight the joy, the power, and the heart of our community in ways that are still all too rare.”

Valderrama’s relationship with My Cultura began in the Summer of 2021 with the launch of his podcast, Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama.

The weekly interview series, executive produced by Valderrama and Leo Klemm via his production banner WV Entertainment and Clamor, features conversations with people in the front line of food service, transportation, child-care, and other systems where workers’ voices are often overlooked.

“We are excited to have Wilmer on board in an even larger, expanded capacity as a shareholder in iHeart’s My Cultura Podcast Network,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia’s Digital Audio Group. “His energy, experience, and creativity will set this network up for even further success in year two and beyond.”

“We’re incredibly proud of the rapid growth our network has seen in its first year,” said Gisselle Bances, SVP, Head of Production and Development for iHeartMedia’s My Cultura. “We are the first majority Latinx-owned podcast network, and we are grateful to our partners and our diverse roster of hosts, including Wilmer, who continue to further My Cultura’s mission to tell our own stories. It’s stories by us for everyone to enjoy.”

Other popular podcasts from My Cultura include Connections with Eva LongoriaPrincess of South Beach starring Rachel Zegler and Sheryl RubioWrestling with Freddie from Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sisters of the Underground executive produced by Eva Longoria and Dania RamirezChiquis and Chill, and Lone Lobos with Xolo Maridueña and Jacob Bertrand. Listeners can hear all My Cultura shows on iHeartRadio and anywhere podcasts are found.

Broken English Options “A Christmas to Remember” Screenplay from Erick Galindo & Patty Rodriguez

It’ll be a Christmas to remember for Erick Galindo and Patty Rodriguez.

Broken English has optioned an original screenplay by the award-winning Latino writer, producer and journalist and the best-selling Latina author for the holiday ensemble film A Christmas to Remember.

Erick Galindo & Patty Rodriguez

The film tells the story of Rose Klug, who has turned White Elephant into a war of attrition, one where bringing the best or most creative gift is more important than Christmas itself. The battles have become legendary among locals on the powdery slopes of Big Bear where the former hedge fund manager has called home for decades (she called it quits to manage a growing ulcer problem).

Rose feels like she’s from a different era: she drinks whiskey straight, she doesn’t say much yet commands attention, and she never takes two steps when one will do. Her family gift exchange is the one time of year she allows herself to go wild. But this Christmas, something threatens to upstage Rose’s epic game of White Elephant: her estranged and rebellious daughter Ana Klug is bringing home a rich and famous fiancé.

Broken English is currently in talks to attach a director to the project. Filming is expected to begin in Los Angeles in the fall.

Tamara Nagahiro of Grandave International will be introducing the title to buyers at next month’s Cannes Film Market.

“Erick and Patty have been on my radar for some time. I am excited to go on this journey with such visionaries,” said Jolene Rodriguez, president of Broken English Productions.

Galindo most recently announced the development of the family comedy series Mexican Beverly Hills for CBS in collaboration with Wilmer Valderrama’s WV Entertainment. He is also is a five-time Telly Awards winner known for the shorts The Bubble Machine and El De Buena Park.

Rodriguez is coming off a 15-year career at iHeartMedia’s 102.7 KIIS FM Los Angeles where she most recently served as senior producer and on-air talent of the internationally syndicated show On Air With Ryan Seacrest.

She is also created and co-founded Lil’ Libros, a bilingual children’s media publisher.

Under their banner Sin Miedo Productions, Galindo and Rodriguez created the podcast Out of the Shadows: Children of ‘86, which is currently in production with iHeartMedia.

A Christmas to Remember will be produced by Broken English’s Rodriguez with Stanley Preschutti of Grandave Capital as executive producer.

Wilmer Valderrama Signs First-Look Deal with CBS Television Studios

Wilmer Valderrama has a new deal…

The 38-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor’s production company, WV Entertainment, has signed a two-year first-look deal with CBS Television Studios.

Wilmer Valderrama  

WV Entertainment’s first-look agreement is for scripted and unscripted projects, with a strong emphasis on diversity.

“As someone who immigrated to the United States at 14 years old, I am immensely passionate about this opportunity to create engaging and culturally relevant projects with CBS Television Studios,” says Valderrama.

Valderrama’s production company has produced several projects, including The Hollywood Puppet Show, Handy Manny for Playhouse Disney, and Douglas Family Gold for Oxygen.

On the feature side he produced and is voicing the upcoming animated film Charming alongside John H. Williams, producer of the Shrek franchise.

Valderrama’s philanthropic endeavors include Harness, a group he launched recently with America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams, which is dedicated to connecting communities through conversation to inspire action and power change. Valderrama also serves on the board of Voto Latino and is co-chair of their artist coalition. He is also the spokesperson for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and is the founder of their Ready 2 Lead program, which educates and empowers Latino youth.

In 2013, Valderrama was honored with an ALMA Award for Outstanding Social Activism.

Wilmer Valderrama Acquires Rights to Dave Gutierrez’s WWII Book “Patriots from the Barrio”

It’s a Patriots mission for Wilmer Valderrama

The 37-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor/producer and former That ’70s Show star and his WV Entertainment have acquired film and television rights to Patriots from the Barrio, Dave Gutierrez’s 2014 book that delves into the history of a segregated U.S. Army combat unit comprised entirely of Mexican Americans from South Texas that was part of the first division to set foot in Europe in World War II.

Wilmer Valderrama

Gutierrez’s book came about while he was researching a relative, Ramon G. Gutierrez, who during the war was captured and escaped twice, both times able to make it back across Allied lines. He later received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, and the Soviet Union gave him the Order of the Patriotic War. His Company E in the 36th Division fought in Italy at San Pietro in the Liri Valley, and in 1944 was nearly wiped out in the Battle of Ripaldo River, one of the U.S. Army’s biggest losses of WWII.

“During Hispanic Heritage Month, this story is especially timely, and I’m honored as a proud Latin American to amplify the courage and contributions of these incredible men,” Valderrama said.

Valderrama, who joined as a regular on CBSNCIS last year, also has the animated film Charming coming next year on which his WV Entertainment serves as a producer.