Is it affordable for Telemundo to have Fernando Colunga on the bench? The actor returns in a new production

A little over a year ago, the very popular Mexican actor Fernando Colunga was announced with great fanfare as the main protagonist of Telemundo Internacional’s first high-profile post-pandemic project: ‘Malverde, el santo patron’.

It was announced on networks and in a video that became more or less viral, Colunga was shown with test makeup – including a wonderful mustache that is not known if it was natural or false – to represent the character from Sinaloa who has been famous since the 19th century. as protector of the area and of those who are dedicated to the cultivation of marijuana. Surely you remember this, although Telemundo would prefer it not to be so, for everything that happened later.

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 09: Fernando Colunga visits the set of 'Despierta America'  to promote his film 'Thieves'  at Univision Studios on October 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Fernando Colunga in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

A few days after this “launch”, it is not yet known why, but the Miami-based television station backed down very hard and faced one of the biggest PR problems it had had since the 90s, when it began to launch.

Fernando resigned from the project before starting recordings, despite the fact that, according to what was mentioned both in the entertainment and business pages, he signed a lucrative exclusivity contract that even exceeded, according to what was said at the time, the one that the actor had on Televisa .

The contract that Colunga had with the San Ángel television station was signed for the first time in 1993 and since then it has been adjusted according to the status of the actor, the guarantees that his work gave in results at the rating level and, of course, inflation. Since the contract was in dollars, the situation of Colunga, who for years was the company’s most valued leading man (at a time when Eduardo Yáñez was absent), was always comfortable and favorable and also allowed him to choose between various projects offered per annum.

Although Telemundo has not revealed at any time the amount stipulated in the contract, it is evident that it must have been high, in order to get the fifty-five-year-old actor out of the comfortable semi-retirement in which he found himself after making ‘Pasión y Poder ‘. Before this, when his contract with Televisa was still in force, Colunga had already rejected two projects: ‘My husband has a family’ with Zuria Vega under the production of Juan Osorio and ‘Sin your gaze’. The roles he was offered were played at the time by Daniel Arenas and Eduardo Santamarina, respectively.

Reaching the price for Colunga is not easy, and it is something he deserves: not for nothing did he start from the bottom as a stunt double and was climbing in the public’s taste, largely thanks to his discoverer, Carla Estrada, who gave him his first important opportunity in the soap opera ‘Beyond the bridge’ and continued in other soap operas such as ‘Alborada’, ‘Amor real’, ‘Tomorrow is forever’, ‘La usurpadora’ and several more, in which she has stood out for her good looks and charisma.

back to the screen

Now, the issue is: is it worth having him sitting on the bench, without generating a profit for the company that invested so much to have him in the cast that he manages?

The answer seems clear since after the ‘Malverde’ fiasco they want to try again. This series, for which Pedro Fernández was called at the last minute, in the end did not work in Mexico or the US (the ratings were abysmal compared to other products of the television station itself). In addition, there were terrible problems during production, not only Colunga’s abrupt withdrawal, but also a persistent outbreak of COVID-19 infections, which slowed down the production, which, half seriously, half jokingly, began to be described as “cursed” by Malverde himself and his faithful believers.

However, the investment, as I said, is large: and according to a statement from Telemundo Streaming, they are going to make it active: it was announced that the actor will participate in the adaptation of the Argentine series ‘Story of a clan’, a dramatic fiction based on the life of Arquímedes Puccio, which will have 10 episodes, in which he will share credits with Lisa Owen, Manuel Masalva, Alejandro de Hoyos, Samantha Siqueiros, Roberta Damián and the Spanish Antonio de la Vega.

“The day and the night… this is how I could define this new adventure. I hope that the public can enjoy this series as much as the whole team behind this project is doing,” said Colunga in the text shared by the television station, which thus ends almost seven years of drought for Colunga’s fans, who awaited his return. to television.

The new TV series, which will also tentatively be called ‘History of a Clan’, narrates the life of the Grecos, a family that, under the guise of being very traditional and conservative, actually hides a criminal clan; As the plot progresses, viewers will discover the criminal operations of which they are part and in which they are responsible for “kidnapping, torturing and killing wealthy victims” demanding millions in ransom.

In the story, Aquiles Greco (Colunga) is a “disciplined and authoritarian man, a retired officer who will do whatever it takes to maintain his family’s status.”

Could it be that with this project Telemundo will recover its investment and come out of the morass in which it finds itself at the product and ratings level? Televisa and Univisión have already joined forces and are eating the errand: if they don’t get their act together, the result could be another gray season like the one they threw away and given the investment in pulling Colunga (there is talk of 10 million dollars for 5 years of exclusivity) it is imperative that they make it work.

There is no date yet for the series but it is expected to premiere in the first half of 2022.

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