Telenovelas Return Anew with TV5’s La Reina del Sur

The checkered recent history of the telenovela on Philippine television continues.

On Monday, August 22, TV5 will gamble on a Latin American drama to fill in the network’s sore spots. Enter ‘La Reina del Sur’, a hit 2011 telenovela which starred Kate del Castillo, Humberto Zurita, Rafael Amaya, Iván Sánchez, and Cristina Urgel.

‘La Reina del Sur’ was based on a novel written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The telenovela tells the story of a young Mexican woman who rose to become Southern Spain’s most notorious drug trafficker.

With a production budget of over $10 million, ‘La Reina del Sur’ was considered by home network Telemundo as its second most expensive telenovela ever produced. Despite the heavy costs, the series became a hit in the United States, dominating even some of the other programs on English-language networks, and went on to air 63 episodes.

In the Philippines, ‘La Reina del Sur’ will be the country’s first telenovela in over a year and a half. The most recent telenovela to air in the country was ‘Corazon Indomable’, which was aired on GMA early last year.

Considering the problems that faced more recent telenovelas, TV5 will be under pressure to air the entire 63-episode slate of ‘La Reina del Sur’. That said, barring any unnecessary edits to the series, telenovela fans can only hope that TV5 can stay committed to ‘La Reina del Sur’ for the duration of its run.

Otherwise, it will be another disgraceful exit for a genre that has seen better days in the Philippines. Good luck with that.

‘La Reina del Sur’ airs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15 p.m. on TV5.

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33 thoughts on “Telenovelas Return Anew with TV5’s La Reina del Sur

    • I don’t think so. Think about it. TV5’s reputation already took a hit thanks to their obsessive commitment to sporting events. Now they’re resorting to imported Tagalized shows and even TV shopping blocks, so much that their entertainment department is all but defunct.

      They’re pretty much in the company of the Solar free TV networks now rather than ABS or GMA.

      Regarding telenovelas, their glory days here are long gone. They’re not as attractive as they were in the 90s, which is why TV5’s foray back into the telenovela genre will not help their cause.

      • Yep. Telenovelas are already a dead genre. We miss its glorious years when RPN 9’s telenovelas beat American series on rival networks, specifically Marimar. Leave that to Telenovela Channel (kahit puro Televisa telenovelas ang pinapanood mo).

      • Thing is, TV5 didn’t learn a thing or two about the telenovela’s lack of appeal these days. We think na baka maulit na naman ang nangyari sa The Two Sides of Ana at La Teniente ng ATC-IBC, whose abrupt end only hastened the fall of the telenovela.

    • Exactly. MVP took a risky course by joining forces with IBC-13 for AKTV, but it failed to reap the benefits. Now look at them. They’re more like a Tagalized version of FOX and Solar channels such as ETC, Jack TV and Solar Sports now save for News5 shows, just because of sports.

      A full-scale revamp is all that TV5 needed at this point. Anything they’re doing right now is temporary, even telenovelas such as La Reina del Sur.

      • It will be temporary. then once PBA and Olympic contracts expire, they should just terminate it, and revamp both TV5 and AksyonTV back to Entertainment and News.
        What they should do is:
        Decrease Shopping programs
        Do not renew PBA contract, PBA must not insist on VHF airing
        Separate AksyonTV into two netowrks, one sports and one news

      • If MVP were to sell TV5, he may include Cignal and its other TV-related affiliates on the package. That will be a very steep price to pay. Revamp is the best option for them now.

    • The first suggestion seems easy enough, but the second one is more complicated. Where will the PBA and Olympic coverage go in the future? They have very little options. ABS is too loaded, GMA is too reluctant, PTV is on a rebuild, IBC needs a new owner, Solar has had a poor financial history of sports coverage, and CNNPH is purely news. Getting rid of both will not be easy for TV5. Not to mention that in the former’s case, they just unveiled a new PBA Rush channel on Cignal.

      As for the third, I already talked about that in a prior article. However, that will depend on whether or not TV5 has enough money to produce a new news channel on Cignal (they already have HYPER for sports).

      • Suggeston 3: All sporting events would stay on HYPER, so AkysonTV could go back to News, PBA board must know it is 2016, not 70’s/80’s, they are insisting it should be a VHF channel to air it.

      • I think it would be better if AksyonTV becomes a sports channel on free TV instead. Those who were not subscribed to Cignal could benefit from it, not to mention that it will provide a worthy challenge to ABS-CBN Sports+Action. As for news, they’d be better off with a new Cignal channel.

        Anyway, it will be up to TV5 to make the necessary changes. The entertainment shows will be very tricky though, because the gaps are hard to fill with all these sporting commitments.

      • We’ll see. If they can improve soon enough, the better.

        I would have bet on GMA to cover the Olympics. The problem is that they’re a reluctant and unwilling bunch, and despite their standing as a big network, their decision-making and astute use of finances is always a question mark.

    • It won’t be AksyonTV anymore, it’s the News5 Network. But enough about that.

      Going back to TV5, what entertainment shows do you want to see on the network during this period of rebuilding?

  1. I think they would repartner with VIVA, then move PBA to 41 or end contract (splitting AksyonTV into two) a Sports5 and News5 Network, even if the league board insists VHF, they should know it is 2016, so they can allow it to be on UHF.

    • VIVA is out of the question, to be honest. Their partnership was doomed from the start. And now they don’t have a Vic del Rosario to guide them, they can just settle with shows from the FOX networks, since they’ve been partners lately.

      I won’t be surprised if TV5 airs Family Guy, NCIS or The Simpsons anytime soon. Even Ramon Bautista’s Science of Stupid from NatGeo, they can also air it. But no telenovelas; they’re not even popular anymore.

  2. Wouldn’t it be more ideal that AksyonTV and Hyper would switch with AksyonTV being a sports channel on free tv while Hyper would revamp and change its name to something more of a news worthy channel because establishing a new channel would likely be more costly?

    As for the programs, I would expect some locally produced shows coming(both from the entertainment and news division)back like the wattpad series and some of the cinefilipino tv series finalists. The tagalized series will likely still continue but let’s see if Vic del Rosario and VIVA will come back since the sports contracts have ended.

    • Switching AksyonTV and HYPER is not feasible, to be honest. HYPER, as we know, airs sports that don’t usually cater to the masses (e.g. PGA Tour), while AksyonTV is more on the mass-catered sports (e.g. basketball, volleyball). And besides, creating a news channel on Cignal shouldn’t be a problem since the majority of the programs are from Radyo5 and TV5.

      As for entertainment shows, forget about VIVA. It was a bad fit from the start. TV5 does have a partnership with the FOX channels so why not use them to a greater extent. I won’t be surprised if they air The Simpsons and Family Guy instead of Boomerang and Disney cartoons, and NCIS and the Marvel shows.

  3. Dearest tv 5,panahon pa po ni judge bao nakasubaybay na ko.Di pa ganyan kasikat ang tv5noon.Pero napapansin ko pong kulang kyo sa mga local telenobela.May isinulat po akong isang aklat na maihahambing ko sa NOLi ni Rizal.Pero ito po ay orihinal kong likha.Na kung bibigyan ng pagkakataon,alam kong malaki ang potensyal nito.2009ko pa po natapos ito.At sa inyo ko lang ito pwedeng ipagkatiwala.At alam ko pong mapapakinabangan natin ito kapwa kung maipoproduce ito.Marami pong salamat.

  4. Sir/madam,napapansin ko lang po na kulang kyo sa mga telenovelas.Hwag naman po sana kayong maooffend.Kung sakali at mamarapatin ninyo;mayroon po akong isinulat na nobela.Taong2009 pa po ito natapos.Alam ko pong malaki ang potensyal nito,at kung mabibigyan ng pagkakataon ay alam kong mapapakinabangan.Hawig ito sa Noli ni Rizal pero magkaiba po ng konsepto.Marami pong salamat at anoman po maging katugunan ninyo ay malugod kong tatanggapin.

    • I don’t think Chot Reyes is keen on competing against ABS or GMA. That said, their focus now is on their own programming that is distinct from those two networks, meaning no local teleseryes of any sort. I hope you understand.

  5. Ralph, I noticed that their entertainment shows are found in D5 studio on Youtube Channel. But they are dubbed movie and indie movies that not showed on TV.

    • Yes I know, and Chot Reyes is dead set on targeting techies with the emphasis on digital content. Again that’s just a part of the network’s aim to move away from competition and produce distinct content.

  6. It means that they aren’t competing with ABS and GMA which is very odd. Sayang yung mga contracted TV5 artists nila at nahihinayang ako kung ano ang mga kapalaran ng mga artist kasi hindi na sila makikita sa tv at sa youtube nalang. Hindi nila naiisip nga malaki ang factor yung mga artist kahit hindi nila noticed or famous to the public.

    • The dissolution of TV5’s entertainment department following the failed VIVA venture has a lot to do with TV5’s newfound approach. Most of their former contract artists have either become freelancers or moved to other networks. The fact is, TV5 suffered because they haven’t found a way to match the superior signal strength and reach of both ABS and GMA, and that was an important factor on why their initial aggressive approach to compete with ABS and GMA failed.

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