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Sinclair Broadcast Group to Air Cisneros Media Distribution’s First English-Language Series

by Anna Marie de la Fuente / VARIETY / / In The News

In a bid to further expand from its core production of telenovelas, Venezuelan media conglom Cisneros Media Distribution (CMD) is delving into English-language production for the first time.

First out the gate is the four-part news special “The Rise of Terrorism,” produced by CMD’s content unit Mobius.Lab in conjunction with Getty Images.

The special will air nationwide on the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s 104 affiliated TV stations. Miami-based CMD will present the special at MipTV and give buyers the option to dub the shows into their source language and use their own narrator. Company is already in talks with broadcasters in France and Germany.

“This special is a game-changer in our evolution as a global multi-language media company and in establishing our footprint in the U.S. general market,” said Marcello Coltro, Cisneros Media executive VP, content distribution.

Each episode will launch a trimester apart, with the first installment, titled “What You Need to Know,” airing throughout the month of April. Presented and narrated by multiple Emmy-winning Sinclair national correspondent Jeff Barnd, the show is a discussion of how terrorism has become a multi-front war being waged on several continents and focuses on the U.S. perspective of how this impending threat disrupts people’s daily lives. “We worked closely with Sinclair’s vice president of news, Scott Livingston, and William J. Anderson, director of news content and operations, to present objective and factual reports,” said Coltro. “We want to provide context and perspective on the rise of terrorism here in the United States and around the world,” said Livingston.

The piece also pays homage to the journalists who have lost their lives in the war on terror, and includes a special dedication to freelance war correspondent James Foley, the first American citizen to be executed by the Islamic State (ISIS). “It also features the work of French Getty photographer Edouard Elias, who was a hostage for 10 months, and in the same cell as Foley,” said Coltro.

Mobius.Lab has been developing a slew of innovative and alternative content for CMD, including “Lil’ Genius,” a kid’s educational program that is close to being sold to a U.S. Hispanic network.

Other new nonfiction programs from Mobius.Lab include in-depth news program “Hot Wire: End of Days,” Olympic special “Flame of Passion,” sports venue docu-series “Fields of Glory” and athlete profile series “Super Humans.”