The fascination with Latin American telenovelas is worldwide. Huge audiences that transcend nation, class, culture, age and gender differences sit daily in front of their television sets to watch these melodramatic serials. I'm a Latin American woman. Therefore, telenovelas have never been far away from my life. I'm also a scholar and telenovelas have been my chosen object of study since 1999.
The IX Telenovela Summit took place last week in Miami and generated some news stories. Here are a couple:
Creators aim for the world at US 'telenovela' summit (AFP)
MIAMI — Creators of telenovelas -- the dramatic Latin American incarnation of soap operas -- from 22 countries gathered this week in Miami to champion their genre as "more alive than ever" as they aim for new markets in Asia, eastern Europe and even Afghanistan. [Read more...]
Note: Telenovelas are not "the dramatic Latin American incarnation of soap operas." Statements like this blur the important differences between telenovelas and soap operas (1, 2), and dismiss the fact that telenovelas constitute a genre whose origins are in Latin America.
Telenovelas face challenge of reaching young people (EFE via COMTEX)
Miami, Nov 7, 2011-- The lucrative world of telenovelas faces the challenge of attracting young people through new platforms, experts in the sector agreed at a meeting in Miami. [Read more...]
Note: The challenge isn't to reach young people. They're already watching telenovelas. The real challenge is to realize that "to watch television" doesn't mean anymore "to sit in front of a TV set." And telenovela fans around the world have known this for a while. But, are producers and distributors catching up?
Another story worth noting appeared on Slate Magazine and focused on Univision's recipe for success:
Noches con Telenovelas: What’s behind Univision’s remarkable success?
One of Univision’s secrets is consistency. No one needs to consult a schedule to know what’s on: Every weeknight from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern, the network runs the same three telenovelasback-to-back-to-back. [Read more...]
Note: Consistency is a key factor in telenovelas' successful consumption. But, it's also important to mention that the genre is embedded in cultures originating in Latin America, which make the majority of Univision's audience.