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Get ready for English-language telenovelas

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Telenovelas are caliente! Hot hot hot!

The networks have discovered melodramatic Spanish soaps, and ABC and CBS are preparing English-language versions for primetime next summer. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have the details. Why telenovelas, and why now? Maybe because last summer, as EW reported, the hottest network among the coveted 18-to-34 demographic was Univision. It was just about the only place to see new primetime drama episodes on any given night, thanks to telenovelas like Apuesto por un amor. I’m just afraid something is going to be lost in translation. ABC is developing a version of Colombian hit Betty la fea (”Betty the Ugly Girl”) with the definitely not fea Salma Hayek. I mean, the networks have had enough trouble adapting imported shows like The Office, and that was in English. How are they going to do with Spanish?

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