For Telemundo, evolving the programming model
Shifts focus from single-season novelas to Super Series
By the editors of Media Life
This article is part of an ongoing Media Life series entitled “Catching the next big wave: Hispanic media.” You can read previous stories by clicking here.
For a long time the Spanish-language networks took a different approach to programming than their English-language counterparts.
They focused on one-off telenovelas, which aired nightly and wrapped up with a neat conclusion after a few months, making the way for another close-ended series.
There are downsides to this method. If a storyline doesn’t resonate with viewers, a network can be stuck with a low-rated series every night. And if, on the flip side, a novela is a big hit, it still ends after just a few months.
Hoping to avoid these problems, Telemundo has shifted its approach over the past few years. It’s aired what it calls Super Series, or continuing stories that return for new seasons every few months.
It’s had such success with this approach, which is much more like the open-ended stories told by English-language series, that it’s ramping up production of Super Series for the coming year and adding some sequels and spinoffs, giving its schedule more stability.
The network released its new programming for the coming year in advance of Monday’s upfront presentation to media buyers.
It includes four new Super Series, which air in the 10 p.m. timeslot and are generally continuations of previous programs or spinoffs, though one is a new series.
The network also has three new novelas, though in a change from the past, two are continuations of previous programs.
Telemundo is also adding a Sunday night talk show hosted by Don Francisco, the longtime host of Univision’s Sabado Gigante,” which was canceled last year. Telemundo swooped in and wooed the popular host soon after Univision axed the program.
In fact, it’s revamping its Sunday schedule, in a new format that will rotate between a pair of miniseries and a three-show block where all the programs are televised from the same set.
And the network will expand its weekday morning show, “Un Nuevo Dia,” by 90 minutes, airing from 7 to 11:30 a.m.
Here’s a look at the new shows coming to Telemundo.
This spinoff of top Telemundo series “El Señor de los Cielos” follows the early years of Chema Venegas, a cartel leader in “Cielos.”
“Hugo Chavez, El Comandante”
The show stars Andres Parra as the legendary Latin American leader, showing how he came to power and why he was so controversial.
“El Señor de los Cielos”
The fifth season of the hugely popular series sees Aurelio Casillas go to war against his family.
“Señora Acero, La Coyote”
In the third season, Vicenta Rogers risks her life to protect immigrants amid the underworld of coyote smuggling.
“La Querida del Centauro”
The novela gets a second season, in which Centauro takes revenge on former mistress Yolanda and detective Gerardo.
A novela based on the acclaimed novel “Doña Barbara,” about a woman who was once abused but now brings the men who abuse women to justice.
“Sin Senos Sí Hay Paraíso”
This sequel follows Catalina “la pequeña” in an attempt to redeem her family from its history of violence.
Musical dramas and comedies
“Guerra de Idolos”
A drama about the people and families who manage the U.S. Latino music business.
A comedy about a woman obsessed with a telenovela actor who meets and gets to know him and all his imperfections.
“Silvana Sin Lana”
A romantic comedy about a woman who has to move back in with her mother and develops a surprising attraction to a single dad.
The network will add an hour-long newsmagazine, Los Reporteros,” at 7 p.m.
It will then rotate the 8 to 11 p.m. block between two different formats:
Miniseries – Telemundo has two miniseries, “El César” and “CORTES, Conquistador de Mexico”
“Domingos de Telemundo” – Three shows will be taped in the same studio, each running an hour. The 8 p.m. “Siempre Niños” follows kids with great talent (and sounds a lot like sister network NBC’s “Little Big Shots”); the 9 p.m. “Zoomundo” shows exotic creatures and animals from around the world; and “Don Francisco Te Invita” is the new late-night show with celebrities, comedians and more.