Latin American television genre

A telenovela, or simply novela, is a serial drama television program. It is popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. Telenovelas are different from soap operas, because unlike soap operas, telenovelas have an ending and do not run for many years. They usually come to an end after one television season (which is usually less than one year) or at most two television seasons (which is less than two years). Telenovelas rarely run more than two seasons. The telenovela combines drama with the 19th century feuilleton and the Latin American radionovela. They are often used to give cultural messages by adding them into storylines.[1]

Because the telenovela is similar to the American soap opera, the telenovela is often called a "Spanish soap opera" in the United States. While most English language soap operas have no ending, almost all telenovelas run for a limited time. They are usually shown five or six days a week and run for an average of 120 episodes.[2]


  1. Brown, William J. (Winter 1992). "Sociocultural Influences of Prodevelopment Soap Operas in the Third World". Journal of Popular Film and Television. Vol. 19, no. 4. Carnegie Endowment for International Peacen. p. 157. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
  2. Hecht, John (2006-09-26). "Telenovela market". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2007-07-15.