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Telenovela Is Spanish-Language King

As Univision’s Joe Uva and Telemundo’s Don Browne headed to Las Vegas this week to participate in this year’s NATPE conference, their respective networks were reporting a ratings bonanza in primetime, thanks mostly to the king of Spanish-language content: telenovelas.

Whether imported from Mexico or produced in-house, recent ratings highlights for Univision and Telemundo show that despite the rise of reality shows and other new TV formats, telenovelas keep delivering the highest audiences among Hispanic viewers, beating the networks’ own previous records.

This month, the Jan. 21 premiere of Univision’s Al Diablo con Los Guapos reported the biggest audience ever for an 8 p.m. telenovela among adults 18-49 (2.8 million) beating previous Univision successes including Rubí and La Fea Más Bella, all of them imported from Mexico’s Grupo Televisa.

Al Diablo con Los Guapos, starring César Évora, Laura Flores, Allisson Lozz and Eugenio Siller, had an even more impressive second episode on Tuesday Jan. 22 (3 million adults 18-49) beating ABC, CBS and The CW in the 8-9 p.m. time slot. That same episode made Univision the No. 1 network among all adults 18-34 in Los Angeles and Houston.

Telemundo for its part is also enjoying a ratings bonanza with Victoria, which according to the network has become its most successful telenovela ever. Victoria, which premiered Dec. 4, reached a milestone on Thursday Jan. 24 when it averaged over 1 million adults 18-49 for the first time (1,047,000 per Nielsen).

For January, the series featuring Mexican actress Victoria Ruffo is averaging 886,000 adults 18-49, growing the time slot (9pm –10 pm) by 42% compared to the same month of the previous year.