Electus to develop telenovela for MTV

Ben Silverman formed Electus after leaving NBC. (GETTY IMAGES)

American television executive Ben Silverman, who left struggling network NBC in July, has unveiled a slate of programmes for his new TV and digital media company, including a telenovela that will air on MTV.

The company, Electus, trumpeted programmes such as Munch Madness and Big Time Spender at the MIPTV conference in France, and followed those shows' announcement by saying on Monday it had agreed to develop an "interactive" telenovela called Pedro & Maria for youth-oriented MTV.

Pedro & Maria is billed as a bilingual, modern-day Romeo and Juliet in which audience members can suggest plot twists and story direction using websites like Facebook or Twitter.

Silverman, 39, aims to merge old-style TV shows with new media technology in a way that draws younger viewers to programmes and allows advertisers to reach potential customers via the web, computers and mobiles.

In the past decade, many executives and companies have tried similar combinations with varying degrees of success.


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