Get ready for English-language telenovelas

Telenovelas are caliente! Hot hot hot!

The networks have discovered melodramatic Spanish soaps, and ABC and CBS are preparing English-language versions for primetime next summer. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have the details. Why telenovelas, and why now? Maybe because last summer, as EW reported, the hottest network among the coveted 18-to-34 demographic was Univision. It was just about the only place to see new primetime drama episodes on any given night, thanks to telenovelas like Apuesto por un amor. I’m just afraid something is going to be lost in translation. ABC is developing a version of Colombian hit Betty la fea (”Betty the Ugly Girl”) with the definitely not fea Salma Hayek. I mean, the networks have had enough trouble adapting imported shows like The Office, and that was in English. How are they going to do with Spanish?

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Comments (5 total) Add your comment
  • Josh

    Wouldn’t ‘Coupling’ have been a better English example?

  • miv

    Josh, I agree with you on Coupliing being a better example of poor translation.
    I think what the networks should pick up on the fact that telenovelas END and that’s what’s annoying about many American soaps, the same storylines go on forever! (Not to say I haven’t invested some time in some Days of Our Lives)
    Personally, I applaud more Latino-tinged programming, but I don’t think they should limit should limit it to this culture, but think about this limited engagement soap operas for all!

  • Ron Mwangaguhunga

    I’m hoping they develop a version of the 1996 telenovela “Xica da Silva.” I don’t even speak spanish but I loved that jammy on telemundo.

  • Mario

    the reason why “telenovelas” are so popular is because a) they are over the top b) campy as can be and as another poster pointed out, c) they have a begining and an end.. within this lifetime!
    I bet the networks are going to try to “sophisticate” the genre and that will simply kill the interest — also, I don’t expect many spanish speaking viewers to stop watching telenovelas in their native tongue to see a bastardized, butchered up version in english..
    Either way, interesting concept.. I hope they make the right decisions and try to keep the camp, ridiculous plots (Woman marries man who is wealthy but doesn’t know it, has a child, ends up in a psycho ward, daughter grows up poor, marries the guy who stole all the money away from her family, etc..etc..) and please.. keep the skimpy outfits.. that’s the only reason most of us latino guys will endure the soaps anyway! ;) eye candy!

  • David

    Telenovelas are awesome!! I remember watching them with my dad, cousins, and all the guys…The women always look HOT and SEXY! I hope the American (Anglo) audience is ready for this..it’d be interesting to see Ashley, or Todd, rushing home to make it just in time for the 8pm novela. ;)~ let’s give it a try,,if don’t work,, keep ‘em in Univision,,y en Espa├▒ol.

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