Actor and producer Eva Longoria is becoming a member of forces with long-time manufacturing accomplice Cris Abrego to launch Hyphenate Media Group, a brand new media holding firm and premium content material studio.
Manufacturing big Banijay, the French-owned conglomerate behind such world reveals as Large Brother, MasterChef, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders, has made a strategic funding within the new enterprise, marking its first transfer into the U.S. scripted market. Abrego has been Chairman of the Americas at Banijay since 2020. Hyphenate plans to spend money on “creator-led enterprises” within the media sector in addition to develop and produce its personal slate of unique programming.
To jumpstart its manufacturing efforts, Hyphenate Media Group has acquired the complete slate of UnbeliEVAble Leisure, the impartial manufacturing outfit Longoria launched in 2005, whose reveals embody ABC’s Grand Lodge, NBC’s Telenovela, Netflix’s Emmy Award-nominated documentary Reversing Row, and CNN’s culinary docuseries Eva Longoria: Trying to find Mexico.
UnbeliEVAble Leisure initiatives will probably be folded into Hyphenate, which is able to develop and produce future reveals from the manufacturing shingle. The primary undertaking beneath the brand new firm will probably be Apple TV+’s Land of Girls, a dramedy primarily based on Sandra Barneda’s best-selling novel. It stars Longoria as a New York empty nester whose life is turned the other way up when her husband implicates the household in monetary improprieties, and she or he is compelled to flee town alongside her growing old mom and college-age daughter. The collection is about to bow subsequent 12 months.
Abrego will function the CEO of Hyphenate Media Group, with Longoria as Chief Artistic Officer. Each Abrego and Longoria will produce solely for the brand new firm, and all tv initiatives directed by Longoria will probably be produced beneath the brand new banner.
Abrego and Longoria made the announcement on the world TV commerce honest MIPCOM Cannes on Monday, in a keynote dedicated to the “way forward for content material.” They mentioned they’re at the moment in negotiations with a number of key executives and anticipate saying their management group later this 12 months.
The pair, who’ve been manufacturing companions for 20 years, mentioned they plan to spend money on “plenty of creator-led enterprises with confirmed management and the potential to scale” as Hyphenate builds up its portfolio.
Pitching Hyphenate’s mannequin, they mentioned the corporate would provide “creator-entrepreneurs” a chance, through “capital funding, model improvement and the collaborative benefit and infrastructure supplied by Hyphenate’s core management group” to construct up their manufacturing firms by creating a slate of initiatives they’ll promote independently worldwide. The mannequin seems to reflect that of mega-indies like Banijay and Fremantle, which, up to now few years, have invested in dozens of manufacturing outfits as shifts available in the market, together with a pull-back by world streaming firms, and have made it tougher for impartial producers to safe financing and distribution for his or her reveals.
“With Hyphenate Media Group, Cris and I are leveraging the ability of the artistic trade’s biggest useful resource, the multihyphenate, to assist meet audiences and the trade the place they’re,” mentioned Longoria. “We’re answering the trade’s name for premium inclusive content material with broad enchantment and an simple viewpoint. Our intention is to offer better monetary participation for makers, creators, expertise and entrepreneurs: the Hyphenates. Given the a number of transformations that our enterprise is present process, I can not consider a greater time to lean into makers, who’re the important drivers of the artistic enterprise.”
Abrego mentioned their imaginative and prescient for Hyphenate was that the corporate grow to be “an engine for culture-defining content material by investing in visionary multihyphenate artists and offering these extraordinary artistic leaders with the sources and infrastructure they should scale their companies.”
Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay mentioned Hyphenate Media Group was the “proper match” for the worldwide firm to “reduce by” into the U.S. scripted market. He referred to as the brand new firm “a studio with a really distinctive perspective. Combining Cris’ standout artistic management with Eva’s repute as a celebrated producer, director and activist, this can be a highly effective residence the place multihyphenate voices can really inform inclusive mainstream tales.”
Earlier than taking on as Chairman of the Americas for Banijay, Abrego served as CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings, the place he was behind a number of acquisitions, together with Endemol Shine Boomdog, Endemol Shine Brasil and Really Authentic. As a producer, Abrego made his mark as co-founder and CEO of 51 Minds Leisure — which he arrange in 2003 — the place he helped pioneer the celeb-reality style with unscripted codecs together with The Surreal Life. Abrego merged his firm with Mark Cronin’s Senseless Leisure in 2004, and Endemol took a controlling stake within the group in 2008.
Finest identified for her breakthrough position in ABC’s long-running hit Determined Housewives, Longoria’s multihyphenate credentials have included not solely work as a producer but in addition as a director. Her characteristic directorial debut Flamin’ Sizzling follows the story of the Mexican-American janitor who claims to have invented Flamin’ Sizzling Cheetos. Searchlight Photos acquired the movie, and it premiered on Disney+ and Hulu earlier this 12 months. She additionally helmed the Sundance documentary La Guerra Civil, in regards to the epic rivalry between iconic boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez within the Nineties, which will probably be launched by sports activities streamer DAZN in 2024.