Twentieth TV soaping up

Net in talks with Telefe for 'Resistire'

HOLLYWOOD — Twentieth Television is in talks with Argentina’s Telefe to acquire remake rights to its hit telenovela “Resistire” (Forever Julia). The Fox TV unit, which declined to comment, has been searching for a third Latino sudser for its newly launched “Desire” banner.

In December, company unveiled the franchise of multiple English-language telenovelas formatted from Latin America. Plan is to format a minimum of three sudsers for U.S. distribution per year.

Twentieth already nabbed “Table for Three” from Colombia’s Caracol and “Fashion House” from Miami’s Xystus. It has placed “Table for Three” on the fast track for a June launch.

Exclusive to broadcast, “Desire” has been cleared in 70% of the U.S., including Fox owned-and-operated television stations as well as numerous stations owned by Tribune, Cox, Sinclair, Roberts and Weigel.

Structured in a story arc covering 65 one-hour episodes, each “Desire” miniseries will be stripped Monday-Friday over 13 weeks, after which a new drama will launch.

When Telefe aired “Resistire” in 2003, it quickly trounced all its rivals. The love story of a struggling tailor and the fiancee of a crooked businessman broke away from the standard romantic telenovela formula to deal with the harsher realities of life in Argentina such as corruption; it also offered a quicker tempo and more risque scenes.

The finale was the year’s biggest draw, achieving a 42 rating with a peak of 46, way ahead of its nearest rival, “Soy Gitano” (I’m a Gypsy), on Grupo Clarin’s Artear-Canal 13, which scored 18 points.

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