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.