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Sofia Vergara documentary miniseries comes to Snapchat

Actress Sofia Vergara's rise to fame is documented by her son, Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, is a new short-video series on Snapchat Discover channel Fusion.

Actress Sofia Vergara’s rise to fame is documented by her son, Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, is a new short-video series on Snapchat Discover channel Fusion.

(Fusion)

Sofia Vergara is the star of a new Snapchat show -- and she doesn’t even have to act.

The Colombian actress, known for her role as Gloria on ABC’s “Modern Family,” is the subject of a short documentary series on Snapchat narrated by her son.

The first three episodes of six-episode “VergaraLand” debuted Monday on TV network Fusion’s channel on Snapchat Discover, the popular app’s feature in which a select few media companies are automatically promoted to millions of users without having to solicit followers.

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Vergara offers only a couple of quick lines on camera in Monday’s slate. But she was an apt subject choice for Fusion, which caters to multicultural millennials. “VergaraLand” chronicles her rise from a model in Colombia to a Spanish-language TV show host and then to a global superstar.

The first three episodes out of six of "VergaraLand" are viewable on Monday.

The first three episodes out of six of “VergaraLand” are viewable on Monday.

Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, 23, filmed the content about six months ago, mixed in old family photos and whittled down the production into 1- to 3-minute videos that he narrates with humor and appreciation.

He talks about his mother’s desire to preserve her culture, like maintaining her name, while accepting some sacrifices, such as changing hair color. And he offers a scowl in noting her lack of Emmy wins. Fusion Chief Digital Officer Daniel Eilemberg said Gonzalez Vergara knew what to include because he’s the epitome of a Fusion viewer.

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Eilemberg declined to say how much the Vergara series cost. But the company is committed to bringing even more serious productions to Snapchat, given that people under age 34 sometimes spend hours a day on the app.

Whether Snapchat makes financial sense for media companies remains unclear. Gauging the worth of an individual piece of content on Snapchat is tough to calculate, Eilemberg said. But at some point when there’s enough content to judge by, Fusion could evaluate overall content investment versus ad and licensing revenue.

For now, Fusion, Comedy Central, Food Network and other Discover partners are still experimenting with Snapchat series types. Even Snapchat itself recently scrapped original-video plans and executives to start from scratch again.

Fusion would say it’s already had one breakout since its Snapchat show push began this spring. A miniseries called “Outpost,” about Latin American subcultures such as kite-surfers and illegal loggers, eventually moved to YouTube and is now being considered for TV.

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“It did extremely well” on Snapchat, Eilemberg said. “If you put it together, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of viewers on Snapchat.”

Chat with me on Twitter @peard33


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