CANNES — Vindicating TV Globo’s event-novela strategy, TV Globo Intl. has licensed the “Caminho das Indias” (India — A Love Story) in more than 90 countries in 90 days from a Natpe 2010 launch.
On cop show “Internal Affairs,” the Latin American TV giant has last week closed the U.S. with Univision-owned Spanish-language network TeleFutura.
Budgeted at more than $50 million, running 160 hours, using three city sets, and shot in India, Brazil and Dubai, plus a backlot in Rio, “India” is arguably the most ambitious telenovela ever produced by TV Globo.
In more recent sales in one of Globo’s fastest roll-outs ever, “India” has been licensed to TRK for the Ukraine, MBC Corp., the leading Middle East satcaster, and TeleFutura for the U.S.
Telefe has taken Argentine rights. The romancer closed crux sales — to Russia’s Domashniy TV, Portuguese broadcaster SIC, Romania’s Acasa TV — soon after Natpe; 90% of Latin America has sold out.
“India” was written by Gloria Perez, the scribe behind two of TV Globo’s highest-profile fiction series: “Amazonia,” and “The Clone.”
“India” can’t be described as a gamble, Raphael Correa, Globo TV Intl. head of sales, said at Mip TV.
Globo networks has a 73% market share of a $7.5 billion TV market in Brazil last year.
But “India” was a step-up in “thinking from development — writers, management, producers — about not only Brazil but also international. That was a departure,” Correa said.
And it wasn’t quite certain how Brazilians would react to “India’s” across-the-tracks romance between an Indian man and Indian woman.
In the event, airing January-September 2009, “India” was a runaway success, punching an 81% share in its final episode.
Globo is now pushing the envelope on multiple fronts, Correa said.
One is the incorporation of film talent, and with it film values, in future novelas and dramas. Cinematographer Affonso Beato, d.p. on Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mother,” provided lush cinematography on contempo urban “Seize the Day,” Globo’s main 9 p.m. telenovela, which has sold 10 countries; director Fernando Meirelles (“The Constant Gardener”) conceived and helmed part of contempo miniseries “Sound & Fury,”about a Shakespeare actor on the slide.
International co-production “Mad Love,” a remake of a Globo ’80s novela made with TV Azteca, and set to bow September, bodes very well for future co-productions with TV Azteca, Correa said.
And Globo is deepening diversification, including format sales from 2009.
One innovative format highlight, said Correa, is “Profession Reporter,” whose just-bowed second season sees rookie journos being put through their paces in Haiti. “Reporter” has scored 48% in a latenight timeslot.