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Official Press Release for Portuguese Problems TV Series

 

THE NEW ENGLAND BORN SKETCH COMEDY TROUPE “THE PORTUGUESE KIDS” STRIKE FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND TV DEAL WITH PORTUGAL’S INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING SERVICE RTPI



  

(Fall River, MA) – “The Portuguese Kids”, the New England based, but world renowned mixed improv comedy group (founded by Fall River natives Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo) known for their humorous portrayals of growing up first generation Portuguese-American, today announced that the troupe has struck a first-of-its-kind TV deal with RTP Internacional (RTPi), the international television service of Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, the Portuguese public broadcaster. RTP has green lit six episodes of Portuguese Problems, a ground-breaking new series co-directed by Brian Martins and Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer Dean Camara, highlighting the funnier aspects of growing up with immigrant parents. Portuguese Problems is slated to premiere on Monday March 18, with new episodes dropping weekly - and will be the first American produced, English spoken program the network has ever broadcast (using Portuguese subtitles). The series will air across Portugal on RTP’s Portugal 1 - and globally through RTPi, the network’s international broadcasting service which spans out to 20 million homes across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. Additionally, the series will be available through the RTP Play app, downloadable on Apple, Android, Amazon, Samsung, and LG devices. 


 “PORTUGUESE PROBLEMS” WILL PREMIERE MARCH 18 AND WILL BE THE FIRST AMERICAN PRODUCED ENGLISH SPOKEN PROGRAM THE NETWORK HAS EVER AIRED 




“The Portuguese Kids have been on an extraordinary journey with Portuguese communities all over the globe for twenty years now, producing high level comedy with rigor, and where good disposition is always a guarantee. It’s time to bring their humor and irreverence to television,” says José Fragoso, Director of RTP1 & RTP International. “It’s a fantastic original program fully developed by the artists and focused on the Luso-American experience. This debut series has a very relevant, symbolic, and emotional value for RTP International, because it is the first time we’ve produced an original format of fiction, entirely created and produced outside of Portugal. We believe Portuguese Problems will be a big success - both in the international broadcasts of RTP and on RTP1.”  




Portuguese Problems is an uproarious six-episode sketch comedy series that spotlights the hilarious and heart-warming experiences of growing up in an ethnic household. Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo, who have toured the Portuguese diaspora for almost two decades as The Portuguese Kids, bring you a colorful cast of characters that explore family dynamics, culture clashes, and everyday life through laugh out loud moments.  The cast of Portuguese Problems features Brian Martins, Derrick DeMelo, Mike Rita, Vanessa Medeiros, Taylor AmaranteChantell Arraial, and Graça Pinhancos.  


THE NEW SERIES IS CO-DIRECTED BY TWO-TIME EMMY AWARD-WINNING CINEMATOGRAPHER DEAN CAMARA AND CRYSTALIZES THE FIRST-GENERATION PORTUGUESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN SKETCH COMEDY FORMAT



Co-Director & Producer Dean Camara elaborated, “Having thought about one day taking on the role of director or producer throughout my career, the one thing I was certain about was that when it happened, it would have to be a project that I believed in to my core. When I met the Portuguese Kids, I felt I had met kindred spirits and we both recognized that if we combined our complimentary talents, we could create something that was truly a first of its kind. We can’t wait to share this project with the world, because it’s relatable to many children of Immigrants, whether you grew up in a Portuguese American household or not."Camara started his own production company, Cineasta Digital Productions in 2014. He is a 2x Emmy-Award winning cinematographer who has worked with NFL Films, Dana White/UFC, Shaquille O’Neil, Snoop Dogg and countless other personalities and his film credits include: Maria's Portuguese Table (2019,’22), Hard Knocks (2007,’16,’17,’18,’19), UFC’s Fight Island: Declassified (2020) and Shaq Life (2019). Since 2008, he has been a contributing cinematographer on 10 Super Bowl crews for NFL Films.





ABOUT THE PORTUGUESE KIDS: Lighthearted, relatable, and culturally-driven: The Portuguese Kids are all about celebrating their unique heritage while connecting with their audience through humor and nostalgia. Brian Martins and Derrick DeMelo are the creative forces behind the The Portuguese Kids, being born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts - a Portuguese Mecca - they use their upbringing as inspiration for their live comedy shows, hilarious musical parodies, and viral videos.  Their unique brand of ethnic humor has won them legions of fans around the globe, and their videos have been viewed millions of times online.  





ABOUT RTP1 & RTPI – RTP is Portugal’s Radio and Television public broadcaster. With a unique history built over several decades, it has a very rich heritage of irreplaceable audio-visual content. RTPi is broadcast live from Portugal and provides an extensive mix of television from channels such as RTP1, RTP2, RTP Madeira, RTP Azores and RTP Africa. Watch the best in novellas, sports, news and documentaries 24-hours-a-day.  


MEET THE CAST: 



Brian Martins is one of the co-founding members of The Portuguese Kids comedy troupe. Having been trained at Boston’s famed Improv Asylum, and New York's very own UCB Theater, Brian has over 20 years of experience with sketch writing and improv. He’s beyond thrilled to be spearheading Portuguese Problems along with fellow founding member Derrick DeMelo, and Cinematographer Dean Camara. 






Derrick DeMelo is a Fall River, MA native and carries a deep appreciation for his Portuguese heritage, a result of being raised by his parents who immigrated from Santa Maria, Azores, Portugal in the 1970s. Derrick is a founding member of The Portuguese Kids comedy group and has spent two decades touring the Portuguese diaspora with their live performances, effortlessly connecting with audiences worldwide. He honed his comedic skills at Improv Asylum in Boston and attended classes at the esteemed Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City to further his craft. With a career spanning two decades, Derrick's performances infuse laughter, nostalgia, and a heartfelt connection to his Portuguese heritage, making him an invaluable contributor to ethnic comedy and a cherished representative of the Portuguese-American experience.                                              




Mike Rita has firmly established himself as a standout in the comedy world, captivating audiences all over North America with his one-of-a-kind brand of 420 Ethnic comedy. He is a true road warrior, constantly on tour, bringing his hilarious and captivating performances to stages big and small across the continent. Mike's talent has landed him on some of the greatest stages in comedy, such as the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, TV’s Roast Battles Canada, sharing the screen with comedy heavyweight Russell Peters and opening up for renowned comedians like Joe Rogan, Tommy Chong, Gilbert Gottfried and more.                                             






Vanessa Medeiros has been involved in over 100 productions in the last 23 years. She owes her acting credit to her high school theater director, the late Mr. Thomas Marcello, who told Vanessa: “You have great comedic timing, don’t lose sight of that.” Vanessa has been involved with The Portuguese Kids comedy troup for 10 years, with her initial debut in a parody music video, followed by a role in “My Big Fat Portuguese Wedding” dinner show.  She has a passion for helping others, advocating for people who cannot advocate for themselves, and, of course, making people laugh. Vanessa has always loved her Portuguese culture and loves that she is able to bring a light-hearted sense of humor to it all. When she is not helping youth in the schools or cracking a joke or two, she is enjoying her time by traveling and writing poetry.                                                




Taylor Amarante is a Portuguese-American Stand-Up Comedian from Santa Clara, CA who has been touring across the U.S. & Canada alongside the Portuguese Kids, since 2014. The son of Portuguese immigrants from the island of São Jorge, Taylor's comedy & story-telling shines the light on what it's like to be brought up in a crazy Portuguese family! Taylor's been featured on well-known Bay Area stages such as The Improv, Rooster T Feathers and Tommy T's. Outside of stand-up comedy, Taylor is an on-air personality, tv host and In-Stadium Show Host for a professional soccer club in Major League Soccer. Most recently he hosted a tv program on NBC Sports Bay Area.                                                




Chantell Arraial is a current resident in Rhode Island and first generation American. Over her lifetime, Chantell has performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, has sung back up for Josh Groban, and is currently the voice of Waddle for Pollywog Pond on RIPBS.  She has also toured nationally and internationally in the “My Big Fat Portuguese Wedding” dinner show. She has been singing since the age of 3 and is pursuing musical theater.  Chantell is the Box Office Manager at Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, RI where she also performs in their in-house productions.                                                  





Graça Pinhancos, born in Sao Miguel, Azores, discovered her love for theater at the age of 13, while acting with Liga dos Amigos da Covoada in Portugal. At 19, she immigrated to the United States, seeking new opportunities. Despite working in various fields and later establishing a flourishing florist and design business, her passion for theater endured. Upon retiring, Graca redirected her creative energy back to theater. Outside of her acting pursuits, she finds joy in horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking, embracing a well-rounded life that mirrors her diverse interests with her family.   

 





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