Backbeat: Telemundo Aims For Number One @ NATPE; Camila's Samo Performs
Backbeat: Telemundo Aims For Number One @ NATPE; Camila's Samo Performs

MIAMI -- It was a morning of drama, steamy bedroom scenes and business news during Telemundo's media lunch at the annual NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) Market and Conference in Miami. Telemundo executives-including Joshua Mintz, head of Telemundo Studios, and Telemundo president Emilio Romano -- announced the Jan. 24 premiere of new primetime soap opera "Relaciones Peligrosas" (Dangerous Relationships); a new partnership with Argos Television to produce a series of telenovelas in Mexico; and a 600-hours global distribution agreement with Cadena 3 in Mexico and Televen in Venezuela.

"The industry already labels us as the second biggest distributor of Spanish language content in the world," said Marcos Santana, president of Telemundo International. "But we're aiming to be No. 1 and we're very quickly moving toward that goal."

Joshua Mintz, head of Telemundo Studios, left, with Aurelio Valcarcel, EVP of Production for Telemundo Studios against the backdrop of the poster for "Relaciones Peligrosa." The reason behind the cufflinks around actress Sandra Echevarria's wrists will be explained after the second episode, says Valcarcel.

The announcements at the Eden Roc resort in Miami were punctuated by appearances by Telemundo actors and actresses, including a performance of the song "Amor Sin Fin" by the lead actors of the soap opera "Una Maid In Manhattan." Producers also announced that the music theme to new soap "Relaciones Peligrosas" is called "Sólo por Amor" (Only For Love) and was written and performed by Samo, a member of popular Mexican trio Camila.

"Relaciones Peligrosas," based on the Spanish TV series "Fisico o Quimica," was adapted by Roberto Stopello, the same screenwriter who adapted Telemundo's hit soap opera "La Reina del Sur" from the bestselling novel by Arturo Perez Reverte.

Following a short reel with scenes from "Relaciones," the soap opera's entire cast went onstage, and then cast members stopped by different tables-in character-to talk about the soap, which tells stories of "forbidden love," including one between a high school teacher and one of her students.

Telemundo's Senior VP of production, Rudy Weissenberg, flanked by actresses Maritza Bustamante (left) and Ana Layevska (right) of new soap opera "Relaciones Peligrosas."

Behind the scenes, Rudy Weissenberg, senior VP of Production for Telemundo, also said the network is studying different opportunities to capitalize further on music.

"It's so important to our content," said Weissenberg, pointing out that just last week, an episode of "Una Maid En Manhattan" integrated a performance by Latin Grammy new artist winner Sie7e into one of its episodes. Sie7e was invited to perform in a bar scene that called for a live show.

"I wanted something organic, uncomplicated and intimate," said Weissenberg, who approached Gabriela Martinez, Warner Music's GM for Warner Music Latina and VP Marketing for Latin America. Martínez suggested Sie7e, who signed to the label last year, and Weissenberg agreed after hearing the music.

"The response on the set was phenomenal," said Weissenberg, adding that writers are looking for additional ways to incorporate music into Telemundo's stories in a way that makes sense with the content at hand.

The stars of "Una Maid In Manhattan"--Litzy, Jorge Eduardo and Eugenio Siller-showed off their signing chops with a rendition of "Solo por Amor," the soap opera's theme song.