‘Housewives’ goes Latin

Disney's Latin America TV unit is 'Desperate' for skein

“Esposas Desesperadas,” anyone? Disney’s Latin America TV unit is in advanced talks with various feevees to make local versions of hit comedy “Desperate Housewives” in at least six territories.

The original “Desperate Housewives” is aired by cable net Sony Entertainment Television in the region and by Mexico’s second-ranking TV Azteca, which has an output deal with Disney.

Output deals do not include remake rights, however, so it’s an open playing field.

“U.S. sitcoms have declined in Latin America, so I see this as a way of getting us back in on primetime television out there,” said Fernando Barbosa, senior veep of Disney’s Buena Vista Intl. TV Latin America.

In some territories, rival broadcasters are tussling over the chance to make local versions of the hit. Barbosa has targeted feevees in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Sixth country could be either Colombia or Ecuador. Brazil’s Globo, which has a volume deal with Disney, may enter the game.

“We will license the remake rights under the condition that they air the original first,” said Barbosa.

“The fact that the program has been a hit on TV Azteca has given the project some momentum,” said Barbosa. Skein airs Tuesday nights on Azteca, where it has garnered a 9.5 rating in a slot that tends to earn a 6 or 7 rating.

Local fly-ins

Plans include shooting all the versions in Buenos Aires with a local producer. Feevees will fly in their respective casts, and original scripts will be reworked in the local lingo to include the linguistic idiosyncrasies of each country.

This is the first time BVI TV has initiated remakes of its product, following the lead of Sony Pictures Television Intl., which has successfully reversioned “The Nanny,” “Who’s the Boss” and “Married … With Children” for feevees across the region.

BVI TV Latin America also is pushing for the reversioning of ABC’s ’80s hit “Moonlighting,” with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

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