Hypochondriac, a single-camera comedy written/executive produced by Robin Shorr (The Middle) and executive produced by Emmy-winning Modern Family star Julie Bowen, has received a script commitment plus penalty at Fox. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV, is based on the Colombian telenovela La Hipocondriaca, which ran on Caracol TV from 2012-13.
The Fox adaptation centers on a Type A hypochondriac who receives a fatal diagnosis. She then sets herself – and her friends and family – on a path of comedic destruction in pursuit of her “authentic self”.
As a producer, Bowen works with 20th TV, the studio behind Modern Family. She became involved in Hypochondriac after being exposed to the format by her agency Paradigm, which reps it. The project was pitched to 20th TV, which bought it and then introduced Bowen and Shorr, who had a blind deal at the studio. Executive producing with Bowen and Shorr are George Salinas and Jaime Aymerich of Crossover Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based film and television distribution company specializing in representing Spanish language format rights.
For the past three years, Shorr has worked on ABC/WBTV comedy The Middle, most recently as a co-executive producer. She is repped by UTA and attorney Bruce Gellman. Bowen is with Paradigm and Liberman/Zerman Management. Crossover is repped by Paradigm.
The original telenovela has twists and love triangles typical for the genre, with the lead, Macarena (Stephanie Cayo) being accidentally misdiagnosed, and the doctor forced to keep the ruse while falling in love with his patient. Here is a trailer:
US networks have had success with comedic adaptations of Latin American telenovelas, including ABC’s Ugly Betty and the CW’s Jane the Virgin. Additionally, ABC Family has drama Chasing Life, also based on a telenovela.