latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The power of "telenovelas"

If you don't know about the popularity of Spanish soap operas or telenovelas you're not in tune with the Hispanic population.

Shown usually during prime time, these dramas captivate not only people but whole countries. I remember hearing about how Colombia almost came to a stop during the finale of Betty La Fea a few years back since everyone stayed home to watch.

They appeal to both men and women and have launched major stars and have featured major recording artists as lead characters. Heck, even Erik Estrada with his Anglo-accent even gave them a good run when he was in Dos Mujeres Un Camino.

To this day, I can't call my abuela between 8-9:00 p.m. because she watches Contra Viento y Marea. You received no solace from abuelo when he was alive either because he was also watching his novelas.

Sure, they feature the proverbial person with amnesia and people who don't realize they are related, but the one thing I do have to say, other than admitting I have watched an episode or two ... ok, maybe more than that ... is that at least they end!

Today, the New York Times published an article entitled, "Networks See Telenovelas as Maybe the Next Salsa," and talk about some of the network's efforts to cross them over into the mainstream to appeal to millions of younger second- and third-generation Latinos who speak English more frequently

Stuart Elliott reports that in recent weeks ABC and CBS said they were exploring the creation of English-language versions of telenovelas, and Twentieth Television plans to remake telenovelas in English to run on stations owned by Fox Broadcasting.

I just hope the English versions have an ending!


  • At 10:53 AM , Blogger Idler said...

    At a Spanish conversation meeting the other night someone said that they use telenovelas as a learning tool. I guess those obvious plots are good for something--they make it easier for a novice Spanish-speaker to follow dialogue.

    As far as Gringo versions, it's hard to imagine their capturing that Latin sense of femininity that make telenovelas worth watching for so many men. Man, those women are hot!


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