Telenovela targets Brazil's growing middle-classes

Expanding its play for Brazil’s building middle-classes, TV giant TV Globo is readying “Gabriela,” a new telenovela adaptation of Jorge Amado’s 1958 novel “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon.”

The high-profile telenovela looks likely to go into production second half 2012, Raphael Correa, Globo TV Intl. head of international sales said at MipTV Monday.

A milestone in modern Brazilian literature, which inspired a 70s Globo telenovela, the 1920s-set book charts the love-story between a bar-owner and Gabriela, a captivating immigrant worker.

Coinciding with 2012 centennial celebrations of Amado’s birth, the “highly contemporary” reboot will air in a shorter telenovela format of far under 100 segs, playing TV Globo’s new “fourth timeslot,” introduced in 2011, which kicks off around 11 p.m., Correa said.

“Gabriela” follows the Natpe-presented “The Illusionist, another shorter-format novela remake aired late-night in 2011.

The shorter formats are “more sophisticated in dialogue speed, aesthetics and story,” Correa said.

Set in Ilheus, a provincial port in northern Bahia, “Gabriela” also celebrates Brazil’s diversity.

“Our mission as content producers is to mirror the rich historical, cultural and geographical diversity of Brazil,” Correa said in Cannes.

Playing off sustained economic growth, Brazil’s ever more confident middle-class audiences look increasingly willing to consume local movies and TV shows which, however indirectly, debate Brazil’s identity, modernization and changing mores.

Billed as an exploration of modern-day values, 160-seg novela “Looks and Essence,” which GTVI is also selling at MipTV, bowed out March 23 with a 70% market share for the final episode.

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