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‘Golden Girls’ reborn in Spain

Sitcom to star Carmen Maura, Concha Velasco

Classic sitcom “The Golden Girls” is getting a Spanish makeover with some of Spain’s most acclaimed veteran thesps poised to play the female leads.

Disney Media Networks has teamed up with leading Spanish producer Jose Luis Moreno and Luis Balaguer’s Miami-based production, talent management and marketing company Latin World Entertainment to co-produce the skein, titled “Las Chicas de Oro,” for Spanish pubcaster TVE.

Former Pedro Almodovar muse Carmen Maura (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”) leads Concha Velasco, Lola Herrera and Alicia Hermida in the roles made famous by Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty.

Spain joins the ranks of Greece, Turkey, Russia, the U.K. and Latin America that have each made their own versions.

Deal underscores Disney’s commitment to developing local productions of both scripted and non-scripted formats. In Latin America, Disney has made Spanish-language editions of “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in various territories. A Portuguese-language version of “Desperate Housewives” was also made for Brazil.

“Los Anos Dorados,” the Latino version of “The Golden Girls,” was shot in Caracas, Venezuela for the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets last year. “Grey’s Anatomy” has been a hit in Colombia where it was stripped daily. A Mexican version of “Grey’s…” will be shot in the fall for TV Azteca at the custom-built set in Bogota, Colombia.

Disney aims to attract other European networks to make their versions of “The Golden Girls” in their purpose-built set in Madrid, just as they have centralized various Latino versions of “Desperate Housewives” in Buenos Aires, Argentina and “Grey’s…” in Bogota.

“We hope to emulate in Europe what we did in Latin America,” said Fernando Barbosa, Disney Media Networks senior VP for Latin America, U.S. Hispanic and Iberia. Barbosa expanded his purview to include Spain and Portugal just last March.

The first season of 13 one-hour weekly episodes of “Las Chicas de Oro” will debut in September.

In this laffer, Blanca (Blanche), played by Herrera, rents out rooms of her house in order to meet her mortgage payments. Rosa (Rose), played by Maura, and Velasco’s Doroti (Dorothy) answer her ad. Doroti’s mother Sofia (Sophia), played by Hermida, join them when her house burns down.

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