‘Ugly’ now beautiful in high-def format

Territory reports: Mexico

MEXICO CITY — As usual, Televisa and TV Azteca will be more interested in pushing product than purchasing at Mipcom.

Televisa will be showing off first-ever animated series “El Chavo,” based on the longest-running Latin America regionwide live-action comedy hit “El Chavo del 8,” about a little boy who lives in a barrel. Growing Mexican animation house Anima Studios produced Televisa’s break into toons.

Mexico has also cooked up its first batch of telenovelas filmed in HD. Televisa is offering the remake of Colombian international hit “Ugly Betty,” renamed “The Prettiest Ugly Girl” as well as this year’s “Limitless Love” and 2004 international hit “Rubi.”

TV Azteca will tout first HD telenovela “Amores cruzados,” also a first-ever international co-production with Colombia’s Caracol. Marcel Vinay, head of sales at TV Azteca, says co-production had cut costs and that a second project is in the works.

On the buying side, Mexican webs wrap up the vast majority of purchases during L.A. Screenings and through output deals with U.S. studios, making Mipcom more about the odd deal.

TV Azteca’s Pedro Lascurain says the amount he’s paying for U.S. series is down 10% this year, given the dollar’s appreciation against the peso.

At Mipcom, Lascurain says he was interested in new German dramatic series to replace some of the programming currently occupied by U.S. series and movies. TV Azteca is also shopping for docus for new highbrow channel Proyecto 40 as well as some HD content for new digital broadcast Canal 24.

Overall, Mexico’s TV market remains as stable as can be. TV duopoly Televisa and TV Azteca continue to attract basically the same number of eyeballs with the same lineup of telenovelas and variety shows on flagship stations.

Hot U.S. shows, such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” on TV Azteca, have found auds, but there are no runaway hits.

TV Azteca has replaced about eight hours per week of local programming during primetime on its secondary Canal 7 with U.S. series “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ghost Whisperer.”

TOP 3 SHOWS
1. “La fea mas bella,” Televisa, Canal 2
2. “Amor Mio,” Televisa, Canal 2
3. “Mundo de fieras,” Televisa, Canal 2

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