Televisa in ABC’s family

Alphabet inks telenovela pact

MEXICO CITY — ABC is tapping the expertise of the world’s biggest producer of Latino sudsers, Mexican web Televisa, to produce an English-language telenovela.

Televisa’s corporate VP of TV Jose Baston said webs signed a co-production deal Friday.

 “It is very important for us to enter the Anglo market in the U.S.,” Baston said.

Baston said story would be adapted from one of several scripts that have been selected from Televisa’s vast library.  No decision had been made on which producers would work on the project.

“It’s a project that will take some time to put together,” he said.

Baston said it hadn’t been decided if project would be run as a 5-day-a-week strip, as traditional telenovelas are produced. 

ABC is already producing the English adaptation of worldwide phenom “Betty the Ugly,” based on hit Columbian telenovela “Yo soy Betty la fea,” but as a traditional once-a-week drama.

The ABC/Televisa pact comes as the U.S.’ English-lingo webs continue to search for ways to adapt the telenovela format for domestic auds. New weblet My Network TV will launch this September with two English telenovelas stripped through the week, while CBS and NBC have also flirted with developing projects within the format.

More recently, producer Ben Silverman has acquired the rights to another telenovela, “Café con aroma de mujer,” from “Betty la fea” creator Fernando Gaitan (Daily Variety, May 30).

Televisa also seems to be taking some inspiration from ABC’s plate.

Televisa is producing new series “Mujeres de caza” (Women of the Hunt) about a group of 35-to-45 year old women, which Baston stressed was not like “Desperate Housewives.”

Rival Mexican web TV Azteca has an option to produce a Mexican version of “Desperate” and airs the ABC series dubbed.

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