Colombia-based terrestrial channel RCN is building international broadcasting and licensing momentum around its first-ever kids and youth-oriented telenovela, Chica Vampiro (Vampire Girl), following strong ratings on Nickelodeon LATAM, RCN Colombia and Boing! Italy.
Co-produced by RCN Television and Televideo and starring Colombian actress Greeicy Rendon and Argentinean actor Santiago Talledo, the 120 x 40-minute live-action series for tweens made its television debut in May 2013 on RCN and is now the most viewed program among children and teens between four and 17 in Colombia.
To date, Nick LATAM has aired 60 episodes after premiering the series in September 2013, and the second half of season one is set to air this year. Within its first few weeks on air, Chica Vampiro became the number-one rated program in a number of Latin American countries including Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
On Halloween night 2013, the series made its European prime time debut on Boing! and from November 13 to January 14 drew more than one million kid viewers, and was seen by 2.6 million people overall.
Based on its broadcasting success and brand potential, Turner Consumer Products has come on-board to handle the licensing and merchandising program for the IP in Italy with the first wave of products set to roll out by late 2014. Giochi Preziosi is the IP’s first licensee for Italy and has signed on for a back-to-school line. Additional negotiations are in the works for publishing, music and apparel products.
The dramedy, which is based on a story by Argentinian author Marcela Citterio (Ugly Duckling, Love in Custody), follows 17-year-old Daisy (Rendon), an ordinary girl who is forced to hide the fact that her parents are vampires. Comedic situations unfold when, after a tragic accident, she becomes a vampire herself and must find ways to keep her secret from love-interest Max.
As RCN looks to grow the IP further, the broadcaster’s director of international sales María Lucía Hernández says the timing is right to promote telenovelas for kids on a worldwide scale.
“The biggest limitation a few years ago was how to export the genre internationally, but now that a lot of territories, especially in southern and eastern Europe, have realized it is a strong genre beyond LATAM, we’re receiving more global interest,” Hernández says.
“It’s not unlike how Disney’s hit telenovela Violetta has expanded to the UK after breaking ratings records in Italy, France, Spain and Latin America.”
According to RCN, it is beginning to consider the possibility of producing a second season of Chica Vampiro and will continue the conversation at this week’s Kidscreen Summit.