By Jack Rico
Upfront season is revving up and it was NBCUniversal-owned cable network USA’s turn to present their upcoming programming slate to the press. The unveiling introduced a variety of intriguing properties including an untitled project from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a plethora of WWE content and a Mark Wahlberg produced action series called “Shooter”. But there’s more…
One series that wasn’t presented on stage, but which made their press release was “Queen of the South,” a show based on the Arturo Perez-Reverte’s best-selling book “La Reina Del Sur,” which was also a record-breaking hit telenovela for Telemundo starring Kate del Castillo back in 2011.
According to the press release, “Queen of the South” remains in contention. In order to further understand the future of the show, we spoke with Alex Sepiol, USA’s SVP of Original Scripted Series Programming about the status of the series, this time starring Brazilian actress Alice Braga. “The pilot is in post production and we’re taking a look at it now… it’s always a process with any pilot. We’re not like a broadcast network where we have a certain inventory to fill. We evaluate each pilot as they come in and see if we want to move forward with it.”
Sepiol also commented that they are exploring diversity in a lot of their shows and that “Queen of the South” is a great entry point into a world that a lot of American audiences haven’t seen yet necessarily, offering a fresh and original voice. “I think it’s always great when the stories we tell reflects America as its happening. Clearly America has gone through some major demographic shifts and I think our new slate of shows reflect that.”
Only time will tell if “Queen of the South” will see the light of day, but if and when the pilot eventually airs, Hispanic viewers will sure be tuned in to see if it matches the hysteria it once did on Telemundo.
Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin wrote the English language adaptation and it is executive produced by Pancho Mansfield and David Friendly.