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June 28, 2006
Must-see My58TV?

So, as you may have read in today's Scene section, WB 58 has signed on with fledgling mini-network My Network TV and will begin airing prime-time soap operas starting Sept. 5.

Read our story for the full scoop - all that pesky who, what, where, when and how stuff. For now, we'd just like to riff on the soaps you'll be watching come fall.

They are based on the telenovas that are so popular on Spanish-language TV. But, don't even use the T-word around Elliott Troshinsky, the president of Channel 3 (KCRA) and My58TV (the new name for WB 58). He prefers the term nighttime soaps.

"What we don't want to do," Troshinsky says, "is confuse this with the Spanish model."

Why, Elliott? Are you afraid that potential viewers will read the Spanish word telenovas and immediately turn to rival Univision (KUVS)? After all, on Comcast and other cable carriers, My58TV's channel position is 4 and Univision's 5.

Even Troshinsky admits that the concept of telenovas - oops, nighttime soaps - works. "Worldwide, this format has been incredibly successful," he says.

Still, the content of the English-language versions sounds kind of cheesy to us. Two words, folks: Bo Derek. Yup, she'll be starring in a My Network TV show -“Fashion House” involves “greed, lust and blind ambition” in the fashion industry, and Derek will be making her long-awaited (OK, short-awaited) screen comeback as a powerful fashion maven.

The other soap, “Desire,” “chronicles the destruction of a family and the bonds of brotherhood...when two brothers on the run from the mafia find themselves in a heated battle of passion. betrayal, deceit and murder over the woman they both love,” according to press materials released by Fox. It's based on a telenovela that was a hit in Colombia.

At the end of 13 weeks, My Network TV will replace the two shows with others in a similar vein. Examples include “Dangerous Love,” an updating of “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Watch Over Me,” a takeoff on the Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner movie, “The Bodyguard.”

And, because this is a Fox-produced effort, there's the obligatory reality show in development (meaning, no air date yet). It will be called “Celebrity Love Island,” in which six celebrities and non-celebrities are “thrown together in a Fantasy Island setting.”

Hilarity ensues, we're sure.

-- Sam McManis

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