‘High School’ remake for Argentina

Broadcaster inks deal with Disney

BUENOS AIRES — Artear, Argentina’s second-biggest television broadcaster, has signed a deal with Disney to air its content and remake programs such as “High School Musical.”

Deal involves exclusive rights to carrying Disney films, series and kiddie programs such as “Playhouse Disney,” “Power Rangers,” “Kill Bill” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Artear, too, will adapt Disney formats through its associate production outfits Pol-ka and Ideas del Sur, two of the biggest in Argentina.

The first remake will be of Disney Channel telepic “High School Musical.”

To find the 18 stars of the local version, Marcelo Tinelli’s Ideas will produce a talent contest to bow in June or July on Artear’s Canal 13, said Adrian Suar, Artear’s head of programming and artistic director of Pol-ka.

Patagonik Film Group, the biggest film producer in Latin America, will then cast the 18 in a movie version of “HSM,” slated for a 2008 release.

Pol-ka is in the process of buying a stake in Patagonik, making a majority shareholder along with Artear and Disney.

Artear and Disney took a step toward the alliance last year with “Desperate Housewives,” which Pol-ka has remade for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. The model to adapt formats with the same scenery, structure and quality but local names and faces.

Looser renditions of “The Nanny” and “Married … With Children” have scored well for No. 1 net Telefe.

Artear and Disney, too, aim to adapt “HSM” and other programs around Latin America, with production centered in Buenos Aires, which is known for its artistic and technical talent as well as low costs.

Artear is a unit of Grupo Clarin, the biggest media conglom in Argentina.

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