Telenova will run for 120 high-def episodes

Sony Pictures Television Intl (SPTI) and NBC U’s Spanish-language web Telemundo have teamed up once more to co-produce a telenovela, “Dona Barbara.” Based on a Latin American classic, skein will run for 120 episodes in high-def.

“Dona Barbara” follows the companies’ first joint effort, “Zorro: La espada y la rosa” (Zorro: The Sword and the Rose), which has become one of Telemundo’s higher-rated telenovelas in the U.S. and top seller, globally.

SPTI will distribute the series in North and South America, while Telemundo Intl. will handle distribution throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia. Sales will begin at NATPE.

This would be the third telenovela based on the legendary heroine, first made in Venezuela in 1964 and in Peru in 1975. Universal Pictures co- produced a feature film adaptation based on Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos’ “Dona Barbara” epic novel in 1998. U.S.-based Venezuelan helmer Betty Kaplan directed.

“Dona Barbara” will start production at the RTI Studios in Colombia, with Telemundo Studios and SPTI overseeing the project. Telenovela is slated to air third quarter of 2008 on Telemundo.

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