This post was originally published on March 7, 2014
Who doesn't love a juicy telenovela? It seems everyone does! The popularity of telenovelas has even caused U.S. network executives to adapt a handful into English-language primetime series. From Jane the Virgin to Killer Women, here are five shows that were adapted from telenovelas:
Chasing LifeView all slides
Jane the VirginView all slides
Killer WomenView all slides
Ugly BettyView all slides
Hollywood HeightsView all slides
The Black WidowView all slides
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ABC Family's series Chasing Life, which centers on a young aspiring journalist in her 20's battling cancer, was adapted from the Mexican telenovela Terminales.
Earlier this year, The CW ordered two drama pilots, one being Jane the Virgin. According to Entertainment Weekly, Gina Rodriguez has been tapped to star as Jane. The upcoming new series was adapted from the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen. In the drama, “a series of surprising and unforeseen events causes a hard-working, religious young Latina woman to be accidentally artificially inseminated.”
The crime drama series Killer Women, which aired on ABC for a month earlier this year before being canceled, was based on the Argentine crime drama Mujeres Asesinas. The 6 episode long series featured Sofia Vergara as one of its executive producers.
Remember the popular telenovela Yo Soy Betty, La Fea? ABC's Ugly Betty, starring America Ferrera, was based on the Colombian soap opera. The comedy-drama primetime TV show was executive produced by Salma Hayek and lasted four seasons.
Hollywood Heights premiered on Nick at Nite on June 18, 2012. The family drama, which starred Colombian American actress Brittany Underwood and Boricua Carlos Ponce, was loosely based on the Mexican telenovela Alcanzar una estrella. The popular family drama followed the traditional Latin American telenovela format, airing every weeknight at 9 p.m.
In September 2013, the Hollywood Reporter learned that NBC would be developing The Black Widow, an adaptation of Venezuelan telenovela La Viuda Joven. "We believe there is huge potential for telenovelas to be adapted and developed for American viewers. These stories clearly have resonance across all cultures and nationalities," NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said.