‘Montecristo’ takes its vengeance

Drama wins big at Martin Fierro awards

BUENOS AIRES — “Montecristo” dominate the 37th annual Martin Fierro awards ceremony for 2006 TV productions on Thursday, bagging seven kudos.

The revenge drama, which drew a large audience for leading broadcaster Telefe and touched on kidnappings during Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship, won the Golden Martin Fierro for overall program and for lead actor and actress, supporting actor and acting revelation, among other awards.

Telefe took 13 kudos, including for Rodrigo de la Serna’s performance in detective miniseries “Hermanos y detectives” (Brothers and Detectives) and for teen comedy, general interest and journalistic programs.

Artear-Canal 13, long the country’s second-ranked broadcaster, tied Telefe for statues, with boxer/executive romance “Sos mi vida” (You Are the One) winning comedy and lead actorsin that category. Immigration drama “Vientos de agua” scooped miniseries, scriptwriting production and direction for Juan Jose Campanella of Oscar-nommed “El hijo de la novia” (Son of the Bride). Marcelo Tinelli took the host kudo for his long-running “ShowMatch” variety program.

America TV scooped six awards, including for humor program and newscast, while Canal 9 lagged with one and pubcaster Canal 7 went away empty-handed.

Organized by the Argentine Assn. of Television and Radio Journalists, ceremony is a sign for foreign buyers of the nation’s hot programs and production houses.

Telefe’s international division has sold “Montecristo” (loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”) to more than 45 territories and remake rights for the novela to Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Russia and Turkey. “You Are the One” and “Brothers” are seeing strong overseas sales, too.

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