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Telefe extends ‘Montecristo’ sales

Telenovela remade for Italy, Spain

BUENOS AIRES — Telefe Intl. has extended remake sales of “Montecristo,” the hottest telenovela in Argentina last year, to Italy and Spain.

The revenge tale, which in daily segs touches on issues such as drug trafficking, kidnapping and military dictatorships, will be remade for these territories by undisclosed producers, a Telefe Intl. spokeswoman said.

Chile, Mexico and Portugal have “Montecristo” adaptations on air, and Colombia’s Caracol is prepping a version.

Telefe Intl. sold the finished novela, which is loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 novel “The Count of Monte Cristo,” to Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Macedonia, Serbia and the Philippines. That adds to the more than 40 markets that bought the Telefe-produced program last year.

The company also sold “Culpable de este amor” (Laura’s secret) to Sony in Spain, it said.

Russian producer A Media is preparing a local version of “Los simuladores” (The Pretenders), a private-eye miniseries in its fourth rerun in Argentina. A Media already has done a retread of “Los Roldan” (The Roldans), a comedy about a poor family that makes it rich, in Russia.

Argentine fiction is seeing a surge in format sales, thanks to edgier stories that set them apart from the competition out of Brazil and Mexico. Fox is remaking Telefe’s corruption-laden “Resistire” (Forever Julia) for the U.S. as “Watch Over Me.”

Mexico’s Televisa has picked up remake rights for Polka’s “Sos mi vida” (You Are the One) as well as Cinderella-like “Floricienta” (Floribella) and sitcom “Amor mio” (Loony Love), both originals of Cris Morena Group and RGB Entertainment.

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