Spinoff employs more foreign actors for int'l appeal
MIAMI — “Ecomoda,” the eagerly awaited sequel to international hit telenovela “Betty la Fea,” will world preem on U.S. Spanish-lingo net Univision Sunday at 8 p.m.Ana Maria Orozco reprises her star turn as Betty, but the former ugly duckling is attractive, hitched and president of Ecomoda, a Bogota, Colombia-based fashion company. The sequel, which bows Stateside before in its native Colombia, where it is produced by RCN, features many of the original “Betty” cast, including leading man Jorge Enrique Abello, as well as foreign thesps. “Foreign actors make the plot and the series more international,” said scribe Fernando Gaitan, who also penned “Betty.” Though the production is based in Colombia, helmer Mario Ribero will film in the U.S., Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela, as other foreign characters are incorporated into the sudser. Univision acquired “Ecomoda” under a multiyear programming accord with RCN, and also purchased rebroadcast rights to “Betty.” “Betty” first aired in the U.S. on Telemundo 2000-01. NBC is developing a half-hour sitcom based on the sudser (Daily Variety, Sept 19). Former “Friends” scribe Alexa Junge is the leading candidate to pen the adaptation.