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Reveille pours ‘Cafe’ for U.S.

Silverman, Gaitan bringing sudser to the States

The creator of Latin American phenom “Betty la fea” is reteaming with producer Ben Silverman to bring another telenovela hit to the States.

Silverman’s Reveille has acquired the rights to “Cafe con aroma de mujer” (Coffee With the Scent of a Woman), a Colombian sudser created by “Betty” scribe Fernando Gaitan. Duo are now adapting the project with an eye on setting it up at a network.

Collaboration comes in the wake of ABC’s greenlight for “Betty the Ugly,” which Silverman and Gaitan are exec producing with Salma Hayek. Skein, set to air Fridays at 8 p.m. this fall, generated solid buzz coming out of the Alphabet’s recent upfront presentation.

Silverman is also an exec producer on “The Office,” the NBC comedy success based on the Blighty show first optioned by Reveille.

“Cafe con aroma de mujer” bowed on Colombia’s RCN back in 1994. About 160 episodes were produced.

Silverman and Gaitan, along with Reveille’s Teri Weinberg, are planning to set the U.S. version of “Cafe” at a winery. And while “Betty” was ultimately transformed into a weekly comedic drama for ABC, Silverman said he hopes “Cafe” will stay true to its telenovela roots.

“We’ll work with the network for whatever they think is the best programming strategy, but we believe the show lends itself best to a telenovela treatment,” he said.

Story of “Cafe” focuses on the grandson of a powerful coffee magnate who falls in love with a worker on one of his plantations.

“There’s this beautiful ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story underneath this power struggle between two families,” said Weinberg, who will supervise and serve as co-exec producer of the project. “It’s very much like ‘Dallas’ or ‘Falcon Crest.’ ”

Raul Mateu, the WMA Miami office chief who repped RCN in the deal, said the net’s previous work with Reveille was key in getting “Cafe” set up with Silverman.

“They really appreciated Reveille’s fight for four years to bring ‘Betty’ ” to the U.S., he said.

“Cafe” has had many lives since its original RCN run.

Skein was exported to Mexico, where it helped launch the then-new TV Azteca. Two years ago, FremantleMedia Latin America began developing a version of the sudser with Gaitan (Daily Variety, March 1, 2004).

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