HBO Revives 'Epitafios’

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HBO Latino will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by returning one of its most-popular original series to the channel after a four-year layoff.

The second season of the thriller series Epitafios will get a dual run on both HBO Latino and HBO2 in an effort to provide more viewer exposure to the Spanish-language series, according to HBO vice president of acquisition and multicultural marketing Lucinda Martinez-Desir.

The 13-episode second season, starring Julio Chavez and Cecilia Roth as detectives trying to track down a killer, debuted on HBO Latino Sept. 18 and will air on consecutive Fridays. HBO2 will present the series with English subtitles beginning Tuesday (Sept. 22).

Epitafios will also be available on HBO On Demand in Spanish with English subtitles. Filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the second season finds the detectives on the trail of a killer who replicates previous slayings as if they were works of art, capturing the crimes for posterity in photo sequences.

The show made its HBO Latino debut in 2005 and was a big hit on HBO Latino, according to Martinez-Desir.

More importantly, the series also performed well through HBO On Demand, which prompted the network to offer it on both channels.

“We know that Spanish-speaking viewers will see it on HBO Latino, but we want our bilingual, bicultural and our general-market audience to also see it on HBO2,” she said. “Good programming is good programming, whether it’s in Spanish with English subtitles.”

The success of Epitafios also prompted HBO Latino to purchase other Spanish-language series as specials from such countries as Brazil and Mexico to serve its diverse Hispanic audience. Overall, she said HBO Latino offers as much as 40% original content, not including the network’s original series, such as True Blood, which are subtitled and dubbed in Spanish.

Epitafios serves as the cornerstone of the network’s offerings for Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Sept. 15 and continues through Oct. 15.

Later this month, the network will return its original series Habla, which depicts Latinos speaking about their experiences in the U.S.

This year’s Celebrity Habla series, which debuts Sept 28, features interviews with such personalities as Rita Moreno, Cesar Millan (star of A&E’s The Dog Whisperer), Rosie Perez and Soledad O’Brien.

In addition, HBO Latino will debut a behind-the-scenes look at HBO’s stand-up comedy special George Lopez: Tall, Dark & Chicano, according to Martinez-Desir.

SUMMER STATS: BLACK, HISPANIC VIEWING

TBS, The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon placed the lion’s share of English language, basic cable network programming viewed by African-American and Hispanic audiences this past summer. Below are the top 10 most watched shows among both groups.

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