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‘La Reina del Sur’ Premiere Pops on Telemundo

The second season premiere of crime drama La Reina del Sur came eight years after season one wrapped, but the Telemundo show still popped a big number April 22. La Reina tallied 2.36 million total viewers in the 10 p.m. hour, with 1.26 million in the 18-49 demo. (Telemundo noted a “cumulative” audience of nearly 3 million total and 1.59 million in 18-49, referring to the number of unduplicated viewers who watched for at least 6 minutes.)

Kate del Castillo stars as Teresa Mendoza, drug kingpin on the run. She disappeared into the U.S. Federal Witness Protection Program after taking down Mexican presidential candidate Epifanio Vargas at the end of last season. Under a new name, she is raising her daughter Sofia in Tuscany, until her life takes an unexpected turn or two.

Season one averaged three million total viewers, and two million in the 18-49 bracket.

The network said the La Reina season two premiere was No. 1 among viewers 18-49 regardless of language in New York, Miami, Houston and Dallas, among other major markets.

La Reina is a significant part of Telemundo’s prime strategy. Season two was shot in eight countries. Telemundo will do 60 episodes this season.

Created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, La Reina del Sur is written by Roberto Stopello, Juan Marcos Blanco, Miguel Ferrari and Jose Miguel Nuñez. (The title translates to Queen of the South.) Marcos Santana is executive producer and showrunner, with Telemundo’s Martha Godoy and AG Studios’ Rodrigo Guerrero exec producing as well.

La Reina del Sur is a co-production between Telemundo Global Studios and Netflix. Telemundo has the exclusive rights in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and Netflix has the exclusive rights for the rest of the world for OTT.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.