Original Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Press Release via Business Wire:
Nickelodeon Greenlights First New Global Series to be Produced in the Viacom International Studios in Miami
January 20, 2016 09:34 AM Eastern Standard Time
NEW YORK & MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nickelodeon today announced the first series that will be produced in the new state of the art Viacom International Studios in Miami. The studio which boasts two 15,000 sq. foot stages and was completed in late 2015 will serve as a multiplatform production hub for all of Viacom's brands.
I Am Frankie, originally produced as "Yo Soy Franky" by Nickelodeon Latin America in Colombia was created by renowned Argentine writer Marcela Citterio. The English language version, I Am Frankie, is now being adapted for global audiences by Catharina Ledeboer, who has written multiple Nickelodeon hits, including most recently Every Witch Way (which completed four seasons) and Talia in the Kitchen.
I Am Frankie, is the story of "Frankie" an experimental android who navigates the perils and wonders of being a teenager. Frankie looks like any other girl, but functions like the newest computer: complete with Internet access, extensive memory and a hard disk. Frankie goes to school and no one but the members of her family know her secret. She adapts to the real world quite well, despite having no feelings or emotions, but all that changes when she begins to experience family life, make friends and have a boyfriend. Her biggest challenge will be to fall in-love without her operating system malfunctioning!
Already in development, production on I Am Frankie will begin in the second half of 2016. Nickelodeon has ordered 20 x 30 minute episodes which will be distributed to Nickelodeon's global audiences spanning 160 countries and territories via the brand's more than 80 channels and branded blocks.
Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom's Kids and Family Group said, "Miami has been a content hub for Nickelodeon for some time, creating global hits such as Every Witch Way, among others. Our talented team in Miami is truly expert at the daily serialized format - and continues to innovate their approach to both content and platforms. I Am Frankie is a fresh and different format and has incredibly talented team behind it.”
Pierluigi Gazzolo, President of Viacom International Media Networks, Americas, added, "Viacom's commitment to top quality productions is greater than ever before - as audiences continue to demand more and more content. I am delighted that this innovative new show is among the first to be produced in this new turnkey facility."
Nickelodeon is one of the most globally recognized and widely distributed multimedia entertainment brands for kids and family. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company's portfolio includes television programming and production around the world, plus special events, consumer products, digital offerings, recreation, books, feature films and pro-social initiatives. Nickelodeon's brands reach 1.1 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 160 countries and territories, via more than 80+ locally programmed channels and branded blocks. Outside of the United States, Nickelodeon is part of Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
Additionally, in a interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pierluigi Gazzolo, president of Viacom International Media Networks, Americas announced that Nickelodeon Latin American has commissioned Yo Soy Frankie season two!:
"Given the success of the first season of Yo Soy Franky and the extraordinary performance in markets such as Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, we decided to greenlight a second season ofYo Soy Frankie for the Spanish-speaking Latin American audiences and the first season of I Am Frankie for an English-speaking, global audience. I Am Frankie offers universal themes that resonate with girls and tweens, such as discovering new friendships and having a love interest."
Explaining the importance of the Miami studio for the company, he added: "Viacom already spends $4 billion annually on content. Internationally, our investment in content has grown 20 percent per year on average over the last three years. And in Miami, our Americas business has increased its production output in Miami threefold over the past five years. The studio brings even more opportunities to create content for a variety of formats – specifically for three pillars: for Latin America, as we have a talented multilingual team in Miami; for English-speaking markets, such as the U.S. – this will be our third telenovela format that we’re marking for a global audiences from Miami; and international audiences – as there are great opportunities for us to easily replicate studio-based shows for all of our brands and markets in multiple languages."
Tied to NATPE, Gazzolo, Zarghami and Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks, will host the Viacom International Studios grand opening party Wednesday night at the new studio.
"Yo soy Franky" stars Venezuelan actress María Gabriela de Faría ("Isa TKM", "Grachi") as Franky Andrade, Martín Barba ("Último año") as Christian Montero, Eduardo Pérez as Roby Mejía, Daniela Arciniegas as Tamara Franco, Jorge López as Wilson Andrade, Paula Barreto as Sofía Andrade, María José Pescador as Clara Andrade, Alejandra Chamorro as Delfina Montero, Jimena Duran as Margarita Montero, Brandon Figueredo as Benjamín Franco, George Slebi as Paul Mejia, Luis Duarte as Iván Villamil, Emmanuel Restrepo as Mariano Puentes and Isabella Cristina Restrepo as Loli Rivas.