RIO DE JANEIRO — Broadcaster TV Globo bowed Arab-themed novela “O Clone” Monday, but the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. have changed the soap’s profile and generated controversy.
TV Globo decided over a year ago to produce an ethnic novela for its key 8:30 primetime slot of following the success of “Terra Nostra” about Italian immigrants in Brazil.
“O Clone” is about a Brazilian vacationing in Morocco — Murilo Benicio (“Woman on Top”) — who meets and falls in love with a Brazilian-born Muslim woman — Giovanna Antonelli (“Bossa Nova”) — who has returned to live in her parents’ homeland.
The telenovela has an average cost per episode hour of roughly $37,000 to $40,000.
The 8:30 p.m. novela on Globo is the most-watched program on Brazilian broadcast television, and usually is exported to other Latin American countries and Portugal.