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TELENOVELA WATCH: MundoFox Launches Aug. 13; Plus, Nine Telenovelas Coming Up Including AMOR BRAVÍO and EL SECRETARIO


The upcoming week is chock-full of premieres including that of a whole new network bringing seven new telenovelas to the US; also the debut of Televisa’s AMOR BRAVÍO on Univision and Caracol’s EL SECRETARIO on Telemundo.

MUNDOFOX
MundoFox, a new Spanish-language broadcast network, a joint venture between Fox and Colombian broadcaster, RCN, officially goes live on August 13th, though their test signal has been going out for the past two weeks.

Their website http://www.mundofox.com/ has a channel finder at the top of page detailing the markets where the station will be available.  Hopefully sometime this weekend MundoFox will actually post their schedule on their website as well, for at present, I’m a bit at a lost as to what to expect on Monday.  Promos running on MundoFox give August 13th as the premiere date for most of their programs, but that date isn’t present on the web pages for most of the shows and the online TV listings I’ve looked at are still filled with the placeholder programming the network was running during the test signal.  Actually, those schedules are a bit of a hodgepodge, showing some of the new programs in their advertised time slots, but with other slots filled by the placeholder novelas I expect will be pulled when the network goes live.

Going by the promos airing on MundoFox, it appears the network will be broadcasting a five hour block of novelas in the afternoon, two-and-a-half hours of novelas in primetime with another primetime hour devoted to weekly series.

Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of MundoFox’s telenovelas are Colombian productions courtesy of RCN.  The sole exception is LOS EXITOSOS PÉREZ, a Televisa adaptation of the Argentine telenovela LOS EXITOSOS PELLS, which has been adapted all over the world – the Peruvian version, LOS EXITOSOS GOME$, starring Diego Bertie and Gianella Neyra, aired on Telemundo a couple years ago.

LOS EXITOSOS PÉREZ (8 p.m. ET) is about married newscasters Martín (Jaime Camil) and Sol (Ludwika Paleta) who are loved by the viewing public for their seemingly perfect on screen relationship, but actually hate each other once the cameras stop rolling.The telenovela also stars Verónica Castro, Rogelio Guerra, and José Ron.  Interestingly, MundoFox has scheduled this telenovela opposite POR ELLA…SOY EVA on Univision, which also stars Camil, putting the popular actor’s shows in direct competition.

EL CAPO (9 p.m. ET), which is being treated as the network’s flagship program, returns for a second season.  The first season aired on Univision’s sister network, Telefutura, and was one of that network’s biggest hits.  Indeed, the story seemed pretty well over, but Marlon Moreno returns as the Capo, a drug trafficker on the run from the law.

The 10:30 p.m. ET slot is going to be filled by a variety of series.  On Mondays, MundoFox will air the second season of KDABRA, a supernatural thriller to do with magic and illusions starring Christopher Von Uckermann. Colombian series LYNCH airs on Tuesdays, about a funeral home where clients go to fake their deaths.  LYNCH stars Jorge Perugorría and Natalia Oreiro (KACHORRA; SOS MI VIDA).  American series BONES, presumably dubbed into Spanish, airs on Wednesdays.  MENTES EN SHOCK airs on Thursdays, about a Spanish psychiatrist who arrives at a Colombian hospital where his mentally ill sister, who has been missing for two years, was last seen.  He goes to work at the hospital while hoping to one day reunite with his sister.  The series stars Spanish actors Alejandro Tous, Goya Toledo, and Colombian actress Marcela Mar (PURA SANGRE; EL CAPO).  The violent anthology thriller series TIEMPO FINAL airs on Fridays.

The afternoon schedule kicks off with EL JOE, LA LEYENDA (12 p.m. ET), a biographical telenovela from 2011 starring Jair Romero as Colombian salsa singer Joe Arroyo.  Also with Estefanía Borge, Andrés Suárez and Jeimmy Paola Vargas.

LAS SANTÍSIMAS (1 p.m. ET) is a telenovela MundoFox has run promos for, but it isn’t featured on the website, so I’m really not sure if we’ll actually be seeing it.  The MundoFox press release from earlier in the year described it as “the Latino version of SEX AND THE CITY, following the lives of five women from different backgrounds who, in their pursuit for happiness, encounter both internal and external obstacles.”  The cast features Margarita Ortega (SIN VERGÜENZA), Alejandra Azcárate, Jacqueline Arenal, Carolina Cuervo AND Kathy Sáenz (PURA SANGRE).

POBRES RICO (2 p.m. ET) is a comedic telenovela from this year starring Juan Pablo Raba and Paola Rey.  Rey is an actress familiar to American audiences from her work for Telemundo on the novelas PASIÓN DE GAVILANES and LA MUJER EN EL ESPEJO.  POBRES RICO is a rich-meet-poor clash of cultures story, where the Rico family, after losing everything, move into the last property they own, a house inhabited by the middle-class Siachoque family.

LAS DETECTIVAS Y EL VÍCTOR (3 p.m. ET), another comedic telenovela, this one from 2009-2010, also stars Paola Rey.  She is joined by another actor familiar to American audiences, Gregorio Pernía (LA HIJA DEL MARIACHI; FLOR SALVAJE).  After a mafia trap leads to his dismissal from the secret police unit he belonged to, Víctor García (Pernía) opens up his own detective agency with his wife (Rey), specializing in marital infidelity cases.  LAS DETECTIVAS Y EL VÍCTOR also stars Heidy Bermúdez, Jo Blanco, Gonzalo Revoredo, Nataly Umaña, Juan Pablo Gamboa and Juan Pablo Llano (UNA MAID EN MANHATTAN).

A MANO LIMPIA (4 p.m. ET) is a telenovela from 2010-2011 starring Claudio Cataño as Manuel “the Lion” Guerra, a young man who, after five years in prison, returns to his neighborhood to try and ensure his younger brother doesn’t follow the same path he did.  With the help of a psychology student, Silvia Pizarro (Valentina Acosta), Manuel sets up a gym as a gathering place for the local youths to try and encourage them away from a life of crime.

Last but not least, MundoFox is running the enormously popular 1999 telenovela YO SOY BETTY, LA FEA in half-hour installments weeknights at 6:30 p.m. ET.

AMOR BRAVÍO PREMIERES ON UNIVISION
The Televisa production, AMOR BRAVÍO, premieres August 13th at 10 p.m. ET on Univision, continuing the network’s four telenovela primetime lineup they started earlier this year.  The telenovela stars Silvia Navarro (MAÑANA ES PARA SIEMPRE) as Camila, a veterinarian who is invited by her uncle (Rogelio Guerra) to live at his ranch after a tragedy befalls her.  Of course, treachery is soon afoot as the ranch’s manager, Alonso (Flavio Medina) hopes to seduce and marry Camila, believing she will ultimately inherit the family fortune.  Leticia Calderón plays Isadora, Alonso’s conniving mother, and César Évora plays their accomplice, Dionisio.

Meanwhile, it turns out the uncle’s true heir, Daniel (Cristián de la Fuente – IN PLAIN SIGHT; CORAZÓN SALVAJE) is living happily in Chile.  The bad guys conspire to murder him, fail, but he winds up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  Time passes and Daniel, thirsty for revenge, travels to Mexico and, with a new identity, gets a job at the ranch, determined to destroy those who ruined his life.  What not too unexpectedly happens to disrupt his quest for vengeance?  Naturally, he falls for the woman of the ranch, Camila.

AMOR BRAVÍO also stars René Strickler, Olivia Bucio, and Laura Carmine.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Look for the We Love Soaps interview with Cristián de la Fuente on Monday.

EL SECRETARIO PREMIERES ON TELEMUNDO
With the Olympics ending this weekend, three time slots open up on Telemundo’s schedule which are typically filled by telenovelas.  It looks like the 11:30 p.m. ET slot will be filled with episodes of the anthology series DECISIONES for now; and the noon ET slot will be filled by a rebroadcast of the 2010 Telemundo production DÓNDE ESTÁ ELISA?, a mystery telenovela about the disintegration of a family after their daughter disappears that starred Gabriel Porras, Sonya Smith, Catherine Siachoque, Jorge Luis Pila and Roberto Mateos.

EL SECRETARIO, a 2011 Colombian telenovela produced by Caracol, makes its US debut August 13th at 11 a.m. ET.  This comedy follows Emilio (Juan Pablo Espinosa), a down on his luck Colombian living in New York who discovers he has a young daughter back in Colombia.  After a mix up involving a gangster and law enforcement, he finds the only job he can get is as a secretary at a thriving toilet paper company.  The cast features a number of familiar faces to US audiences: Stephanie Cayo (LA MARCA DEL DESEO; DOÑA BELLA) as a female executive at the company, Andrea López (EL CLON; ZORRO, LA ESPADA Y LA ROSA) as her best friend, and Martín Karpan (EL ROSTRO DE ANALIA) as the company’s owner who is involved with both women.

RELATED:
TELENOVELA WATCH: Gabriel Porras Joins CORAZÓN VALIENTE; Wedding Fireworks On UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR; Plus, Schedule Changes (June 16, 2012)
TELENOVELA WATCH: RELACIONES PELIGROSAS Finale On Monday; Plus: Who Shot Bernardo On CORAZÓN VALIENTE? (June 23, 2012)
TELENOVELA WATCH: UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR's Breakneck Pace, LA QUE NO PODÍA AMAR, UNA MAID EN MANHATTAN; Plus, Start Dates For PABLO ESCOBAR and POR ELLA..SOY EVA (June 30, 2012)
TELENOVELA WATCH: ROSA DIAMANTE, PABLO ESCOBAR Starting Next Week; Plus, CORAZON VALIENTE (July 7)
TELENOVELA WATCH: PABLO ESCOBAR, ROSA DIAMANTE Premiered; Plus, UNA MAID EN MANHATTAN, UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR & POR ELLA SOY EVA (July 14)
TELENOVELA WATCH: POR ELLA SOY EVA, PABLO ESCOBAR First Thoughts Plus, UNA MAID EN MANHATTAN, CORAZON APASIONADO (July 21)
TELENOVELA WATCH: EL ROSTRO DE LA VENGANZA Premieres July 30, ROSA DIAMANTE Expands, LA QUE NO PODÍA AMAR Nears End; Plus, PABLO ESCOBAR, UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR, PREMIOS TU MUNDO (July 28)
TELENOVELA WATCH: EL ROSTRO DE LA VENGANZA Struggles In Its Premiere Week (August 4)

R.G. Morin writes a weekly column for We Love Soaps, "Telenovela Watch: A weekly look at the world of telenovelas for non-Spanish speakers." For feedback or questions, you can email R.G. Morin   at argeemorin@hotmail.com.

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