Too sweet to be true?

Dan Grech Sep 25, 2007


Lisa Napoli: A show that’s being called the “Cuban Sopranos” premieres tonight on CBS. It’s about a Cuban-American family’s sugar empire in South Florida.

The network claims the show’s family is only make-believe. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace’s Dan Grech says the family bears a striking resemblance to a real-life family in Palm Beach.

Announcer: In one of the most anticipated new series . . .

Male toaster: Excuse me everyone: A toast, to my brother.

Announcer: Cane: Tuesdays this fall on CBS.

Dan Grech: Cane is a prime-time melodrama of sex, violence, betrayal — and ethanol.

Cane promo: Sugar is the new oil. Billions of dollars.

CBS calls its fiction. But it’s hard to miss the similarities between the fictional Duque family and the real-life Fanjuls. Two Cuban-American brothers, unbridled ambition, a multibillion-dollar sugar empire.

Chuck Elderd: Do I think there’s a similarity there? I think yes.

Chuck Elderd heads the Palm Beach County Film and Television Commission. That similarity worried the Fanjuls, who say their story does not include the murder, backstabbing and corruption depicted in Cane.

So their lawyers reviewed the scripts.

Elderd: The family and its lawyers and the network are satisfied there isn’t some sort of connection.

Unlike the Duques, for example, the Fanjuls don’t make rum.

In Miami, I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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