This could actually be worthwhile watch, depending on how it’s handled, of course. I think the world of telenovelas is still something of a mystery to American audiences (unless you already watch them), and so there could be an education (mixed with entertainment, naturally) here. Again, depending on how the network handles the series.
I should note that WE tv is currently in the middle of a rebranding effort, introducing more original scripted content – although, as you can see, they haven’t entirely said goodbye to unscripted series. The network even officially dropped the word "women" from its name, announcing that it will focus on the broader and universal implications of the word "WE" as it continues to expand and redefine itself. Although I suspect it’s still a network whose target audience comprises primarily of women.
The above image features Afro Brazilian actors Camila Pitanga and Lázaro Ramos, in the telenovela "Lado a Lado" ("Side By Side"), which tells the story of two women – one a descendant of slaves and the other from an aristocratic family – who become friends in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the 20th century. Produced and broadcast by Rede Globo, from September 10, 2012 to March 8, 2013, the series won the 41st International Emmy Award for Best telenovela.
Details on the WE tv series follows…
WE tv announced today that it is developing a new unscripted series focused on the visually-stunning and hugely-popular world of telenovelas. Set in Miami, and produced by Matador, the show will follow a group of beautiful and fierce Latina actresses and actors working in this hyper-competitive world, which has captivated hundreds of millions of viewers around the globe.
Telenovelas are short-run Spanish-language soap operas that have captured hearts and TV screens around the world. Sexy, dramatic and over-the-top, telenovelas have taken the traditional American soap opera to a new level. First produced in Latin America, over the last few years South Florida has become the new home base for production of this TV genre, and Miami has earned the nickname, "Telenovela Tinseltown," as aspiring stars descend upon the city in the hopes of making it big.
"The world of telenovelas has everything we look for in a WE tv show – compelling characters, conflict, consequence and comic relief," said WE tv president Marc Juris. "We could not be more excited about this project and bringing these beautiful women and their stories and highly charged relationships to WE tv viewers. I think we’ll find the lines on the scripts in these TV dramas sometimes pale in comparison to real life."
The series will focus on the lives of a mix of high-profile and up-and-coming actresses and actors in the telenovela scene as they navigate this drama-filled world. The high-octane drama onscreen is nothing compared to the real-life drama these people face. These colorful frenemies compete for roles and dates, walk the same red carpets and, of course, fight for the same spotlight. And now they’re ready to take their careers to the next level. Which, if any, of these ambitious talents will be the next breakthrough star?