Televisa, Lionsgate sign Wilmer Valderrama to develop TV and film content

Michelle Clancy | 09-10-2013

Wilmer Valderrama, best known for That 70's Show, has signed an overall first-look film and television deal with Pantelion Films and South Shore, the film and TV ventures, respectively, between Lionsgate and Mexican media corporation Televisa.

Valderrama, represented by UTA/Silver Lining Entertainment, will develop feature projects to star in and produce for Pantelion, as well as produce scripted and unscripted TV projects for South Shore.

The two companies also recently announced overall film and TV deals with comic superstar George Lopez (ABC's The George Lopez Show, FX's upcoming Saint George from Lionsgate and its distributor, Debmar-Mercury) and Zoe (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Avatar, Star Trek), Cisely and Marel Saldana's Cinestar Productions.

"Wilmer is a versatile acting and producing talent with strong crossover appeal to mainstream US and Latino audiences," said Paul Presburger, CEO of Pantelion Films and managing director of US TV studio division at Televisa USA. "This deal is part of our strategy of continuing to build a roster of Latino talent who will produce and star in mainstream commercial films and TV series that incorporate Latino characters and themes, and resonate with Latino audiences. The success of Pantelion's Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in the US, underscores how large that audience can be."

Presburger noted that in addition to working on films and TV series for the Pantelion and South Shore partnerships, Valderrama's signing is key to the ongoing ramp-up of TV programming for Televisa USA.

"We're delighted to expand our relationship with Wilmer, one of the stars of Pantelion's first film, From Prada to Nada," said Kevin Beggs, chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group. "Lionsgate has proven adept at creating TV programming and films for specific demographic audiences, and Wilmer joins a roster of Latino talent that already includes George Lopez and Zoe, Cisely and Marel Saldana, and positions us to deliver original, compelling and commercially exciting films and TV shows to the Latino audience in the US."

Televisa USA chief creative officer Michael Garcia is spearheading television projects for both the South Shore venture and Televisa's stateside TV operation.