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‘Children’ to soap up Gallic net TF1

Long-running soap being dubbed in French, to start in January

In a sign that France is one of the hottest markets for U.S. shows, top network TF1 has picked up the sudser “All My Children” from N.Y.-based distrib Fremantle Corp.

The long-running soap is now being dubbed into French for a January start on the Gallic station. While per-episode prices for sudsers are not particularly high, a long-term commitment to such fare by a foreign station can eventually translate into a substantial sum for U.S. distribs.

Of the 10 current U.S. sudsers, “All My Children” is one of only four that have had substantial sales abroad. The others are “The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold & the Beautiful” and “Days of Our Lives.”

Created by Agnes Nixon in 1969, “All My Children” has been running on ABC five days a week, 52 weeks a year for 32 years.

Fremantle prexy Paul Talbot has placed the soap in 14 international markets over the years, including Canada, Greece, Poland, Australia, the Middle East, the Ukraine, Turkey and South Africa.

Fremantle also distributes two other daytime dramas created by Nixon that have run on ABC in the past: “Loving” and “The City,” sold in 26 and 17 foreign countries, respectively.

“Dubbed versions of Latin American telenovelas have done well in some European and Asian markets,” Talbot said, “but since each novela runs for only about 70 or 100 episodes, they don’t become an established part of the viewer’s life as do American series, which literally run for a viewer’s entire adult lifetime.”

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