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Mexico gussies up ‘Betty’

Ocampo-produced skein features thesp Vale

Global Spanish-language titan Televisa will bow its adaptation of Colombia net RCN’s worldwide hit “Betty la fea” (Ugly Betty) in Mexico on Monday.

Produced by hit kids-show creator Rosy Ocampo, “La fea mas bella” (The Prettiest Ugly One) features Angelica Vale, who has starred in dozens of Televisa hits since a child, as the ugly young woman (renamed Lety in this version) and Jaime Camil (“7 dias”) as her handsome boss. U.S. Hispanic net Univision will bow Televisa’s series Stateside in primetime during the first half of the year, Ocampo said.

When Telemundo aired the RCN version of “Betty,” it cut into Univision’s primetime dominance, although it never stole the show.

Stateside, ABC has ordered a non-telenovela pilot with Salma Hayek as an exec producer. But it has not greenlit the project.

Televisa will push “La fea mas bella” for international sales at NATPE in Las Vegas next week.

The original series script by Fernando Gaitan has been revamped by Palmira Olguin, moving the setting from a fashion design company to a TV clip production company.

Script also widens the original series’ theme of “an ugly women who can’t win in the workplace” to include other feminist issues, like those of working moms.

“Women in general are marginalized in the workplace in Mexico,” Ocampo said.

Televisa will air the “family telenovela” at 4 p.m., traditionally the slot for kids’ telenovelas. But after sliding ratings during 2005, Televisa decided to revamp the hour.

“Televisa has always produced telenovelas in the classic melodramatic tone; this is the first with a family comedy tone,” Ocampo said.

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