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What the world’s producers, platforms and channels are developing.

Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic tempts young audience with sugar cougars

Unscripted production company Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic is launching its original format Finding My Sugar Cougar, a dating show in which young people seek to match with “sugar cougars,” women over 40 years old and financially independent.

Ivanna Rodríguez

“We have a single man who would like to find a partner or love with a woman older than him. They are women over 40, independent, successful, who have their life really figured out, but who also want to find love,” Ivanna Rodríguez, director of unscripted development at Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic, says.

“The challenge is how these young men can live up to their expectations,” adds the executive, who explains that the singles are trained by a “sugar cougar guru” who advises them on how they should dress and act to attract single women.

Developed in-house by Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic, Finding My Sugar Cougar is already in talks with different interested buyers and associated talents.

The idea, Rodríguez revealed, was initially developed for a comedian looking to do a dating show, but during development the concept evolved into a format “more suited to streaming.”

“It is interesting because it is an arched format that identifies a lot with what we do at Banijay, which is to put women in a position of power,” she says.

Finding My Sugar Cougar is part of Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic’s line of original developments, which to date has as its most successful example the Jalas o te rajas format, created in-house and sold to Amazon. But the line of original developments is a growing area within the company, which is also already moving another dating show into the market with the former Acapulco Shore influencer Karime Pindter.

“It’s a dating show in which Karime is looking for love, but in Mexican neighbourhoods,” Rodríguez says. “Karime’s love life is well known in Mexico, where she has dated businessmen and celebrities, but never anyone from the barrio. The idea is that if she finds love, there will be a wedding in the last episode,” she adds.

According to Rodriguez, in addition to the classic dating scene, the proposal allows us to get closer to a Mexico that is “not often seen” and having a celebrity already attached helps us to enter the market.

Mexican reality TV star Karime Pindter

Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic has developed other original formats around celebrities such as Ricardo O’Farrill or José Eduardo Derbez.

“Celebrity-driven projects have been a trend for several years now and buyers are very interested. The fact that you find the talent and can attach it to the format helps a lot so that you can visualise what the tone will be, because in the end if they are paper formats you have never seen it before.”

Outside of its originals line, Banijay Mexico & US Hispanic has produced local versions of LOL: Last One Laughing for Mexico, Argentina and Colombia at its hub in Mexico City, and is producing the first streaming adaptations of ‘Temptation Island’ for Prime Video.

At a hub on the Mexican coast, the Banijay Group’s production company is producing local versions of the format for Mexico, Brazil and a joint version for Chile and Argentina.

According to Rodríguez, these new adaptations will respect the classic mechanics of Temptation Island but will give it a “more premium” touch so that it works in streaming.

“As for the elements that are classic to the format, such as parties, dates or occasions, we decided to keep them, but everything produced at a more high-end level so that it really felt like a streaming product and differentiated itself from its linear versions, which are also available on Amazon.”