Farruko Talks Making HBO Max Music History During ‘Moving Our Music Pa’lante’ Panel

The global superstar discussed becoming the first Urbano artist to take part in the HBO Max series En Letra De Otro during his Billboard Latin Music Week panel.

Farruko Talks Making HBO Max Music History During ‘Moving Our Music Pa’lante’ Panel

From the start of the HBO Max panel during Billboard’s Latin Music Week conference in Miami (Sept. 20-25), one thing was made crystal clear: “HBO has been in this game for a long time,” as Leslie Cohen, senior vp content acquisitions for WarnerMedia, HBO Max/HBO, said.

For the panel titled “Moving Our Music Pa’lante: How HBO Max is brining sounds to the screen,” Cohen was joined by Edgar Martinez, svp entertainment, Loud and Live; Jessica Vargas, director of multicultural marketing, HBO Max/HBO; and global superstar Farruko, who recently recorded an episode of the HBO Max series En Letra De Otro (“the lyrics of another”), performing covers of favorite songs from Frankie Ruiz’ “Vuelvo a Nacer” to Ricardo Arjona’s “Asignatura Pendiente” and filmed in his home island of Puerto Rico.

“I was the one who asked Sony, ‘Look I’d love to do this special with HBO. I believe I have the capacity to do it and I’d be the first Urbano artist to take part in the special,’” said Farruko, who garnered a huge applause every time he spoke. “Basically what I did was a trip through my childhood and picked the songs that motivated me since I was a kid. Not just in reggaeton, but in all genres. For me, it was a retrospective challenge to return to my roots; I broke the rules and showed that you don’t have to follow parameters, just do what you like.”

En Letra De Otro is just one example of the vast programming aimed at the Latin community offered by HBO Max, which in March launched Pa’lante, which Vargas described as the platform’s “new baby.” She continued to explain how Pa’lante (which translates to “forward”) is a social-first, audience-driven initiative to “elevate Latinos in front of and behind the screen.”

A sizzle reel highlighting some of the 50+ artists who are featured on the platform proved how, as Vargas said, Pa’lante is all about “programming that penetrates.” Previous wins included Pedro Capo’s 2017 En Letra De Otro special, Shakira In Concert: El Dorado World Tour, which aired around the 2020 Super Bowl (at which Shakira performed alongside Jennifer Lopez for the halftime show) and recently the documentary Romeo Santos: King of Bachata, which the platform celebrated by creating a hologram of the star for an immersive experience. “Fans want that relationship,” said Vargas, adding that access to talent is hugely helpful when it comes to a successful marketing campaign — “and that’s what [our] partners bring to us.”

Martinez said his company’s music relationship with HBO dates back to 2016 (and added with a laugh that the platform has yet to turn one of Loud and Live’s artists down). And while Cohen admitted HBO Max/HBO can’t take on every pitch, she did add that they need to keep a “steady flow” of acquisitions coming — and seem to be on track to do just that.

As Vargas said: “That’s [our] goal: to make parties.”

“Latinos are predominantly looking for music,” added Martinez of the surplus of music programming available on HBO Max/HBO. “Latin music is trending — and we’re here to stay.”

Source : Billboard More   

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‘Pitch Perfect’ TV Series Coming to Peacock

Adam Devine will reprise his role as Bumper in a straight-to-series comedy sequel to the Pitch Perfect film trilogy. Elizabeth Banks will exec produce.

‘Pitch Perfect’ TV Series Coming to Peacock

Is this aca-awesome?

Adam Devine will reprise his role as Bumper in a straight-to-series comedy sequel to the Pitch Perfect film trilogy. Elizabeth Banks, who starred as half the announcing team in the features and directed the second one, will exec produce via her Brownstone Productions banner.

Unlike the movies, which followed an all-female a cappella group, the TV series will pick up several years after Devine’s last appearance in Pitch Perfect and see Bumper moving to Germany to revive his music career when one of his songs becomes big in Berlin. Banks will exec produce alongside Brownstone’s Max Handelman, Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks, Scott Neimeyer, Devine and Megan Amram (The Good Place). Amram will serve as writer and showrunner. An episode count has not yet been determined.

“Our upcoming Pitch Perfect series is another example of the unmatched synergy NBCUniversal is able to expand upon with our wide-ranging library of IP,” said Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “When we saw the opportunity to create a series for Pitch Perfect with Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman and Paul Brooks plus more earworm classics for super fans to enjoy, we jumped at it. And to top it off, we are so fortunate that Adam Devine is headlining the series and bringing fans the quirky, laugh-out-loud sensibility they loved in the film franchise.”

To Rovner’s point, Pitch Perfect becomes the latest Universal Pictures title to get the TV treatment, joining Field of Dreams and Ted, which hail from Mike Schur (The Good Place) and Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), respectively. Other updates based on Universal film and TV titles are also in the works at Peacock, including Battlestar Galactica and Saved by the Bell, the latter of which was renewed for a second season. The strategy mirrors that of other upstart streamers, with HBO Max, Disney+ and Paramount+ all mining their deep vaults of IP in a bid to draw subscribers.

“We’re so happy to have the opportunity to bring the beloved Universal Pictures franchise Pitch Perfect to the small screen and to explore the hilarious and distinct characters in this (musical-filled) world,” said Erin Underhill, president of Universal Television, which produces the new Pitch Perfect series. “We’re lucky to partner with the talented Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman and Paul Brooks, who produced the iconic films; the exceptionally funny and memorable Adam Devine; and Megan Amram, whose clever adaptation of Pitch Perfect is sure to have audiences laughing out loud and tapping their feet.”

Inspired by the Mickey Rapkin book of the same name, the three Pitch Perfect features have grossed nearly $600 million worldwide. While Devine’s Bumper was the central girl-group’s rival in the first film, he became a love interest for Rebel Wilson’s “Fat Amy” in the second feature. Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and Wilson starred in all three features, with Hailee Steinfeld joining for the second and third. Ben Platt and Skylar Astin starred alongside Devine in the first two.

For Banks, meanwhile, the Pitch Perfect TV series falls outside of her first-look TV deal with Warner Bros., where she has Flinstones offshoot Bedrock in the works at Fox and other series in multiple stages of development. Banks and her Brownstone banner also have a feature deal with Universal, for whom they’re doing Invisible Woman, The Magic School Bus and others.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Source : Billboard More   

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