Globo sudser shifts focus

Sept. 11 attacks cause changes in Arab-themed novela

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.

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