Latin American Telenovelas

Posted: November 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Latin Amerian “telenovela” drama, even though originally influenced by American television soap operas, is often cited as an example of television programming that has been successfully exported throughout the world despite competition from U.S. programmes. The hugely successful telenovela “Ugly Betty” was even adapted for the U.S. market. At the same time, millions of Hispanic people living in the United States watch telenovelas in Spanish.

See this article on Ugly Betty, “How Ugly Betty Changed the Flight from Bogota“. On the role of advertising in the telenovela, see “Love the Telenovela, Buy the Product“. On another aspect of telenovelas, this article in the Wall Street Journal describes how plots have absorbed the criminal culture of drug trafficking for which the region is notorious, The Telenovela Goes Narco.

Capture d’écran 2013-11-16 à 11.55.51Also see this interesting article in the New York Times, “US Census Bureau Uses Telenovelas to Reach Hispanics”, about how the U.S. government is working with the producers of the telenovela “Diablo” to encourage Hispanics to comply with the census. Describing the U.S. government strategy as “people placement”, the article reports: “In addition to the typical public service announcements and advertisements, the Census Bureau is helping to compose a remarkable story line featuring the Perla Beltrán character on the telenovela, amid the genre’s usual tales of sex scandals, unspeakable illnesses and implausible villains. It may be the first plotline on a soap opera blessed by the United States government.”


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