Third telenovela adaptation now shooting

Televisa, the world’s largest creator of Spanish-language content, has made further inroads into the lucrative Chinese market: Shooting has begun in China on a third telenovela adapted from a title in the Mexican conglom’s library, Televisa said Wednesday.

“Shui jie nv ren xim” is based on Televisa’s 2007 hit “Palabra de mujer” (Woman’s Word).

Co-productions are prohibited by Chinese law; however, Televisa is once more working with Hong Kong’s King Vision via an evolving system of collaboration. “Shui” centers on four women who start their own production company.

Televisa’s first foray into China was the local version of “Ugly Betty.” In that case, the web sold rights to the script to one of the country’s largest broadcasters, Hunan TV. Televisa also brought in advertisers for a split and served as consultant and script supervisor on the project.

With the second show, “Las tontas no van al cielo” (Dumb Girls Don’t Go to Heaven), Televisa teamed with King Vision and sold the adaptation directly to China’s largest entertainment concern, the Shanghai Media Group.

This go-round, the adaptation will be sold to regional webs Tianjing, Shenzhen, Sichuan and Yunan, which sport a combined potential aud of 900 million. All adaptations are in Mandarin.

“I think that this time (the show) is going to do the best business because it isn’t being made for a single broadcaster,” said Televisa’s Asian rep Francisco Ortiz.

“We are right now looking at 20 million viewers for each of the four broadcasters,” he added, noting that this was the key figure execs are bringing to potential advertisers with a focus on product placement and tie-ins.

Televisa is already prepping the next collaboration, an adaptation of “Hasta que el dinero nos separa” (For Love or Money) with Daye Media. That skein centers on a car dealership, and the company is courting automakers and associated businesses.

Given the success of the previous skeins — the “Ugly Betty” adaptation pulled in 350 million-400 million viewers for a 20 share — Televisa will likely again offer Hong Kong’s Regentact the rights to regional distribution in key Mandarin-speaking territories such as Taiwan.

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