EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first buys for this coming season, the CW has put in development Jane The Virgin, a drama based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen. Jennie Snyder Urman, creator of the CW’s drama series Emily Owens, MD, is set to write the adaptation for CBS TV Studios, where she is under an overall deal, and Ben Silverman’s Electus. Urman, Silverman, Gary Pearl and Jorge Granier executive produce. The CW project centers on Jane, a hard-working, religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated.
Juana La Virgen, created by Perla Farias, was a hit in its original run on Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV in 2002 where it drew an average of 39.1% share, topping the competition by a wide margin. It also did very well in Brazil, Spain, Colombia and Mexico and has been translated into 9 languages. In the U.S., Juana aired on Univision and is available on Hulu (get a glimpse of the first episode below).Juana was one of some 300 RCTV shows whose US format rights producer Gary Pearl controls via his partnership with Jorge Granier, managing director of RCTV International. Pearl reached out to Silverman, whom he’d had a relationship with since they worked together as agents at William Morris more than a decade ago. Silverman has experience in successfully adapting Latin American formats in the U.S. with ABC’s Ugly Betty, based on the Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty, La Fea, and the upcoming ABC series Killer Women, based on the Argentine crime drama Mujeres Asesinas. This would be Juana‘s second remake, which already has an Indian version. UTA-repped Urman’s series credits also include Gilmore Girls and Men In Trees.