Episode 722: The New Telenovela : Planet Money One telenovela actress-turned-executive decided to create a new kind of drama. Her work changed the landscape of Spanish language TV--and of all TV.
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Episode 722: The New Telenovela

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Episode 722: The New Telenovela

Episode 722: The New Telenovela

Episode 722: The New Telenovela

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/492123182/492155967" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images
DVD cover of "La Reina del Sur" (The Queen of the South) starring Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.
HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images

You can probably picture a classic telenovela. It's dramatic, full of scandal. Cheating husbands. Cheating wives. Sunset romance. Dewy-eyed heroines.


Perla Farías was a telenovela actress in Venezuela, and she was getting bored of the typical story. So when she became an executive at Telemundo in the United States, she decided to try something different. At the time, Telemundo was the underdog in the world of US telenovelas, always in second place behind the giant Univision. But Farías's shows changed all that. They altered the landscape of Spanish language TV shows—and of all TV shows.

Music: "Sud Flores" and "Latin Drama Queen." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.