Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur to be Adapted for English Television

Telemundo’s La Reina del Sur may be getting an English-language makeover…

Fox Television Studios is developing an adaptation of last year’s blockbuster telenovela.

La Reina del Sur

Based on Arturo Perez-Reverte’s bestselling book of the same La Reina del Sur, the telenovela centers on Teresa Mendoza (Kate del Castillo), an innocent young girl from a small Mexican village, whose desire to avenge a personal tragedy leads her to become the most powerful woman in the dangerous world of drug trafficking in Europe.

La Reina Del Sur was Telemundo’s most expensive telenovela ever with a budget of $10 million and became the highest-rated program in the network’s 19-year history, averaging nearly 4.2 million viewers, and more than 2.8 million viewers in the prized Adults 18-49 demographic. In addition, the telenovela’s series finale on May 30, 2011 was the No.1 broadcast program of the night, of any language. Telemundo even launched its first-ever Primetime Emmys campaign for La Reina Del Sur.

La Reina Del Sur isn’t considered a typical telenovela, with critics noting that is feels more like Breaking Bad than One Life to Live. With that in mind, Fox’s English-language adaptation will be developed as a one-hour largely serialized crime drama, said Fox Television Studios president David Madden. He describes it as being “darker, more violent than ABC’s Missing or Revenge.

Fox Television Studios, primarily a cable player with series like Burn Notice and The Killing, plans to aim La Reina Del Sur at cable networks. “I could see it run on Showtime or FX, but I can also see an ABC version of the show,” said Madden.

The La Reina Del Sur deal “came out of Fox Television Studios’ efforts to find more material out of Spanish-speaking countries and produce more content for Spanish-speaking audiences,” said Madden. It’s part of a larger strategy of targeting Latino audiences by News Corp., which recently announced that it will be launching a Spanish-language broadcast TV network.

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