'Ugly Betty' showrunner eyes Fox for next project

Ugly Betty” executive producer Silvio Horta has signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television.

Horta is already at work developing new projects for the studio, including an hourlong dramedy about a Cuban family living in Miami. The project, prompted by an idea from Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly, is intended for Fox but there’s no deal in place yet.

Horta enjoyed breakout success in 2006 with “Betty,” which he adapted from the Colombian telenovela “Yo Soy Betty La Fea” in a way that connected with U.S. viewers. The dramedy, which lasted four seasons on ABC, was produced by ABC Studios and Reveille.

When the series concluded its run, Horta took some time off to work on some projects outside the TV industry. But when he set his sights on returning in time for the coming development season, he realized “it was really important to work with a place that was independent like Sony,” said Horta. “It seemed to be the right fit.”

The untitled Reilly-inspired project is not unlike “Betty” in that it will interweave comedic and dramatic elements and center on a Latino family. More specifically, it involves a group of sisters and their interconnected love lives.

Horta will layer the premise with an “undercurrent of mysticism,” he said, noting that he drew on his experiences with his own Cuban family in dreaming up the project, which Sony and Fox are still negotiating.

If the project goes forward, “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez could be attached as an executive producer through her Nuyorican Prods. shingle.

Horta’s last overall deal came in 2008 at ABC Studios. Previous projects have included series for UPN (“Jake 2.0″) Syfy (“The Chronicle”) and “Westside,” a Warner Bros. TV-produced script for ABC. On the feature side, Horta penned the 1998 thriller “Urban Legend.”

Horta is repped by WME.

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