MTV Tr3s launches suspense thriller ‘Ultimo Año’ [2012 UFRONT PREVIEW]

MTV Música y Más and MTV Latin America announce the network’s third co-production in the novela format with the new psychological suspense thriller “Ultimo Año”; and teams up with Population Media Center (PMC) to integrate social consciousness into the scripts & creative of the new multiplatform property. First-ever initiative will unite researchers and writers to deliver engaging content with measureable results under new PMC methodology. Through the use of entertainment-education programming, characters will be developed to evolve into role models for the audience, encouraging the adoption of healthier behaviors to benefit individuals and their societies. The 70-episode novela “Ultimo Año” will be produced by Argos Productions in Mexico.

“Ultimo Año” develops in the world of high school adolescence. Martin, an apparently ideal teenager, arrives at an elite school as part of a student exchange program. He lives with Benjamin, a popular kid who takes him under his wing and transforms him into his best friend. Both fall in love with the same girl. And mistrust develops, when a conniving Martin steals his friends, his popularity and his entire life. Faced with disbelief from family and friends, Benjamin begins to wage a solitary battle at unmasking the real Martin.

“Social responsibility is always at the forefront of our brand, and our content continues to serve as a credible and valuable space to engage, educate and help shift the mindset of today’s Hispanic Millennials,” commented Charlie Singer, SVP of Content and Creative for Tr3s. “We’re excited to introduce this innovative series at our Upfront this year, and look forward to magnetizing new and existing advertisers with the new series.”

“We are very excited to announce our latest production, ‘Ultimo Año’ and our partnership with PMC,” commented Fernando Gaston, SVP of Production & Programming for MTV Latin America. “This new production, our third in the novela genre, will further complement our slate of premium content and reinforces our commitment of bringing entertaining programming, compelling storylines and social consciousness to our viewers.”

“PMC brings forth an extensive amount of research on issues affecting today’s youth and having them work closely with our creative teams is an excellent way to weave these topics into our storylines. I am certain that their expertise coupled with our creative vision will deliver an entertaining, yet compelling story that will open up a dialogue on various topics affecting our viewers,” commented Mario Cader-Frech, VP of Public Affairs for Tr3s & MTV Latin America.

“The MTV brands have been leaders in developing cutting edge content for young adults throughout the world, a demographic that is becoming harder and harder to reach. By joining forces to develop this new novela, we have created a unique model that uses strong audience research to develop highly entertaining and engaging content with social and health messages that is also commercially viable. Even more, this programming provides an opportunity for advertisers to connect their marketing goals to their social responsibility vision. ‘Ultimo Año’ is filled with suspense, mystery, drama, and most importantly stories of love and relationships – a combination that will surely win over audiences and have a tremendous impact,” commented Katie Elmore, Vice President of Communications and Programs for PMC.

The Sabido methodology was developed in the 1970s by Mexican TV producer, Miguel Sabido, who created eight hit telenovelas that had an incredible social impact on the country. PMC has since adapted and replicated the methodology he developed in more than 27 countries around the world. The characters in “Ultimo Año” are developed based on the realities facing youth today. PMC has put together a Program Advisory Board that has helped to identify sexual health issues affecting youth, in an effort to integrate influential messaging into the dialogue and creative of the brand’s third co-production in the novela format. The issues that will be addressed include contraception, reproductive health options, peer-pressure, HIV/AIDS and STDs, gender equality, cyberbullying, and education, amongst others.

The multi-platform initiative will utilize blogs, social networks, and other transmedia extensions to stimulate discussions with the audience for quantitative and qualitative measurement. These informal discussions will be analyzed by Tr3s, MTV Latin America, and PMC to gain a deeper understanding of how the audience is relating and reacting to the storylines within the productions.

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