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Life of Latin star Cruz heads to TV

Kenny Ortega

The life story of the late Latin music superstar Celia Cruz is set to be adapted into a TV series by Endemol Shine North America (ESNA) and Major TV.

The two companies have optioned the rights to Cruz’s autobiography Celia: My Life and will adapt it into an English-language series. The book is based on 500 hours of interviews undertaken by the Smithsonian, recorded just months before her death in 2003.

Emmy-winning TV and film producer, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) has been signed as an exec producer and will direct the series. Flavio Morales, exec VP of Endemol Shine Latino, US Initiatives, will also exec produce.

“There is no bigger name in Latin music than Celia Cruz,” said ESNA CEO Cris Abrego. “We are thrilled to be adapting her amazing life story, one filled with triumph and tragedy, for a dramatic television series with a producer of Kenny Ortega’s pedigree attached.”

Cris Abrego

ESNA and Major TV have previously announced they had jointly optioned the rights to To Selena With Love, the best-selling book from Chris Perez that tells the story of the late Latin superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez through the eyes of her husband.

ESNA and its Spanish-language production joint venture Endemol Shine Boomdog are also behind drama Nicky Jam: El Ganador, which is slated to debut later this year on Telemundo and Netflix. Major TV is led by Raymond Garcia, former book publisher and founder of Celebra at Penguin Random House.

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