May 12, 2008 / 6:02 AM / 11 years ago

Telemundo revives "El Clon" for U.S. Latino market

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “El Clon,” one of the most successful telenovelas of all time, is set for a reincarnation under a deal set to be announced Monday (May 12) at Telemundo’s “upfront” presentation to advertisers in New York.

Telemundo has partnered with TV Globo to co-produce the famous Brazilian soap for the U.S. Hispanic market in Spanish.

“El Clon” (“The Clone”) is a contemporary story of love and honor that deals with such topics as drug trafficking, cloning and attitudes to Islam. It became the most-watched drama on Brazilian television in its day.

Originally produced in Portuguese as “O Clone” in 2001, the show was dubbed into Spanish for Telemundo and first aired as “El Clon” in 2002. It became Telemundo’s strongest 10 p.m. property. It also was an international success, dubbed into other languages and airing in more than 90 countries.

The new Spanish version might have some tweaks, according to Ricardo Scalamandre, general director for international business at Globo TV.

“We are producing based on the original format but specifically for an Hispanic audience, and there will be differences,” Scalamandre said. “The original plot was in Rio ... now it’s in California. The main characters and the main story remain the same, but it is to be completely customized for the Spanish market.”

The series will be produced by Telemundo Studios in Colombia, and TV Globo will provide the original format, as well as the expertise of the creative and production team that headed the original show, including screenwriter Gloria Perez and director Jayme Monjardim.

Under the agreement, Telemundo will have exclusive broadcast rights for the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and both companies will market the new production through their international sales teams worldwide.

“Our original relationship with TV Globo was in terms of acquiring content,” Telemundo president Don Browne said. “This sets a benchmark in terms of how far we have come. This is a partnership made in heaven, and ‘El Clon’ is truly a classic.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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