Mid-East Getting Its Own 'Ugly Betty'

Sony Pictures Television inks an Arabic adaptations deal for a local-language version of the hit telenovela with pay TV group OSN, which also nabs Sony's Arabic "Everybody Loves Raymond."

The Middle East will be getting a taste of Latin American telenovelas thanks to an adaptation deal Sony Pictures Television has signed with Arabic broadcaster OSN for local-language versions of Ugly Betty.

OSN, the leading pay TV network in the Mid-East and North African region, has picked up the original Ugly Betty format and will adapt the tale of a homely women whose inner beauty shines through as a 90-episode telenovela to be called Hebal Regal El Ghorab (Crow's Foot) in Arabic. It is set to air in January, 2014. SPT Arabia will produce the Arabic version based on RCN's original Argentine format.

OSN has also picked up the exclusive premiere window for season three of El bab x el bab, SPT Arabia's local adaptation of Everybody Loves Raymond. OSN has also licensed the first two seasons of the Arab-language sitcom.

"SPT Arabia is leading the way in adapting international series for Arab audiences," trumpeted SPT Arabia president Ziad Kebbi. "Hebal Regal El Ghorab is our latest local production of an iconic global series, bringing our Arabic scripted catalog to well over 150 hours."

SPT has successfully adapted Ugly Betty in Russia and Everybody Loves Raymond in Russia and Poland.