TV unit to remake German soap for U.S. auds

Underscoring the growing popularity of German soaps, Santa Monica-based Aid and Abet has acquired rights to a gay storyline in pubcaster ARD’s hit sudser “Verbotene liebe” (Forbidden Love).

Thanks to YouTube and an immense interest from the blogosphere, the storyline following Christian and Olli (also known as Chrolli) has attracted a cult following.

Aid and Abet will create a series, placing the characters’ love story in Portland, Ore.

“Verbotene liebe” producer Grundy UFA has seen a similar phenomena with its other hit soap, “Gute zeiten, schlechte zeiten” (Good Times, Bad Times). Its tempestuous gay storyline about Carsten and Lenny (known collectively as “Cenny”) has become an online hit on DailyMotion and YouTube, where fans edit down the daily episodes to present just the Cenny plotline to a huge and loyal international following.

“Good Times” star Felix Isenbuegel is heading to New York in March for a German-American soap confab and charity event focusing on gay storylines in international series.

Aid and Abet, a new shingle headed by former HBO VP Sam Martin, is participating in the Berlinale’s Co-Production Market.

Per Martin’s production deal, HBO Films and HBO Entertainment will have first look at the properties before they’re shopped to other networks.

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