My Lovely Hope Romances the Globe

Nadav Palti, Dori Media Group’s president and CEO, talks withTV Formats Weekly about the romantic comedy format My Lovely Hope (Esperanza mía) and how the company is dealing with the title’s somewhat risky subject matter.


My Lovely Hope (Esperanza mía), the tale of a young woman who poses as a nun to elude a shady company and ends up falling for a hunky priest, captivated audiences across Argentina when it debuted there early last year. Now Dori Media Group is hoping the romantic comedy format will find the same success worldwide, albeit with some slight tweaks to the risky plot.

“There are buyers in Catholic countries like the Philippines that saw the series and liked it, but then said, ‘We cannot broadcast this—please change it immediately so it will follow the Catholic religion more closely,’” says Nadav Palti, the president and CEO of Dori Media Group. “Countries want to reproduce it, but just a little bit differently.”

The first to pick up the format rights has been TV Azteca in Mexico, which will hew closely to the original production save for one detail: the imposter nun and her priestly crush won’t end up together.

“Mexico is a very conservative, religious country,” Palti explains. “[The producers] want to make sure that the priest will not leave the Church because of this love. This is very important to them.”

And that change might end up being a boon for Dori. “It’s very good for us, because thereafter we’re going to have two very important [finished tapes]: one will be the Argentine original and the other will be the Mexican version that we can place in more conservative [territories],” he says.

Nevertheless, Palti says that buyers wary of the edgy story line should focus on the format’s many extensions, which include the possibility of live shows, publications, music CDs and even a digital game.

“What I think will really lead to the success of this format is that it’s what I call a total package,” Palti says. “It’s a musical, so it has excellent music, which you can sell by itself or have the performers from the show go from the screen to the stage. And in Argentina, we developed an internet game where if you win, you can get a CD of music from the show.”

According to Palti, the key to exploiting the extension possibilities is in the casting; in the Argentine original, local actress and pop star Lali Espósito played the singing sister.

“You will get more out of the format if you have local actors who can also perform on stage,” Palti says, adding that TV Azteca is looking to cast a lead that will fit the Espósito mold.

With the Argentine finished tape already placed in countries as diverse as Israel, Poland, Spain, Vietnam and Indonesia, Palti hopes buyers will soon come calling for the format as well. He has his eyes set on Europe, where more liberal territories such as Germany, France and Scandinavia could opt for local adaptations.

“[My Lovely Hope] is an example of excellent, groundbreaking content that has no borders,” Palti says. “The story is about a priest in the Catholic Church, but despite this it’s been very successful in Israel, a Jewish country, and also in Indonesia, a Muslim country. It’s simply a unique program that can travel very well around the world and be seen by audiences of different religions, not just Catholics.”