‘Rebeca’ seeking aud input

Three rivals to vie for one woman in novela

MIAMI — Univision Communications will bow “Rebeca,” an interactive sudser that allows viewers decide the outcome, Monday on its flagship network.

“Rebeca” is produced in the U.S. by Miami-based Fonovideo on behalf of Venevision Intl. (VVI), the sister company to Venezuelan broadcaster Venevision that has expanded beyond its role as a distributor to become a production company in its own right.

Until recently, the primetime novela lineup on Univision has been almost exclusively comprised of programming from Mexico’s Televisa — after the sudsers’ successful runs in Mexico.

‘Wild’ hit

However, VVI turned out a major hit with “Gata Salvaje” (Wild Cat), a U.S.-based production that launched in May 2002, first as an afternoon soap. It later was moved to 7 p.m. and ends a rare full-year run tonight, with the final episode to be repeated Friday.

Unlike primetime shows or afternoon soaps on English-lingo channels, novelas air as a daily strip for a fixed amount of time, on average between four and six months.

Prime timeslot

Univision will shift in-progress sudser “Las Vias de Amor” from 8 to 7 p.m. and launch “Rebeca” in the prime 8 p.m. timeslot.

“Rebeca” tells the story of a three rivals — a father, his son and a third man — vying for the love of one woman.

At a certain point in the story, viewers will be allowed to chose the man who will win her heart.

The voting process will incorporate Univision’s online platform, Univision.com.

Since primetime novelas typically premiere with only a certain number of episodes in the can, writers are able to tweak storylines, beef up characters or make other adjustments in response to ratings or other feedback.

Univision claims “Rebeca” represents the first time Spanish-lingo TV auds will be directly involved in the process.

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