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TELENOVELA WATCH: AMORES VERDADEROS Finale Sunday Night; LA TEMPESTAD Debuts Monday

AMORES VERDADEROS finale
AMORES VERDADEROS concludes its US run tonight with a two-hour finale starting at 8 p.m. ET. Univision is trying something different scheduling the finale on a Sunday, a fairly regular occurrence in Mexico, but I can’t recall the last time it happened in the US. If this two-hour finale follows the usual format for Univision’s two-hour finales, the first hour will be a highlight or recap program and the second hour will be the actual final hour of the telenovela.

AMORES VERDADEROS remained a fairly silly adaptation of AMOR EN CUSTODIA, a story that is utter bunk, really, in all its versions, but that silliness also made it a palatable enough ride, kept afloat by the engaging performances of the four leads: Eduardo Yáñez, Erika Buenfil, Eiza González and Sebastián Rulli, with nice support from Sherlyn, Enrique Rocha, Francisco Gattorno, Susana González and (for a spell) Mónika Sánchez.

LA TEMPESTAD debut
LA TEMPESTAD makes its US debut Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Univision. This Mexican telenovela from Televisa marks the return to the network of William Levy, perhaps currently the most well-known telenovela star to US audiences thanks to his stint on DANCING WITH THE STARS and several ubiquitous ad campaigns for M&M’s, AT&T and Pepsi.

The female protagonist is played by Ximena Navarrete, the 2010 Miss Universe, making her acting debut in this novela. One has to question the wisdom of casting a novice in the leading role of such a high-profile project, seemingly a set-up to fail, and the promos don’t inspire much confidence, but I’ll withhold judgment. Levy and Navarrete are joined by Iván Sánchez as the main antagonist, the Spanish actor best known in the US for his role on LA REINA DEL SUR, it certainly makes for one of the most attractive central trios in a while.

The story is a loose adaptation by Liliana Abud of the 2005 Colombian telenovela LA TORMENTA by Humberto “Kiko” Olivieri that starred Natalia Streignard, Christian Meier and Natasha Klauss.From the synopsis from Televisa, “loose” would seem to be the operative word.

Marina Reverte (Navarrete) is a hotel manager who loses her job when she files a complaint against a powerful businessman on behalf of a maid he sexually assaulted. At the same time, Marina’s mother is taken to the hospital where a tumor is discovered on her lung. An elegant and mysterious woman swoops in and offers Marina a job running her fish cannery, Neptuno. The job requires Marina to move with her mother to a seaside town where she meets Damián Fabré (Levy), the boorish captain and owner of a fishing boat called La Tempestad, who works for Neptuno.

The cast also features Laura Carmine (QUIÉN ERES TU?), Daniela Romo (TRIUNFO DEL AMOR), César Évora (AMOR BRAVÍO), María Sorté (AMOR BRAVÍO), Nora Salinas (FUEGO EN LA SANGRE), Manuel Ojeda (POR ELLA SOY EVA), Arturo Carmona (CORONA DE LÁGRIMAS) and Roberto Blandón (UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR). Mariana Seoane (POR ELLA SOY EVA) also joins the novela a few weeks down the line. The theme song is performed by Christina Aguilera and Alejandro Fernández. LA TEMPESTAD is produced by Salvador Mejía (QUÉ BONITO AMOR; TRIUNFO DEL AMOR).

RELATED:
- TELENOVELA WATCH: DAMA Y OBRERO and COMANDO ELITE Premiere Tonight (June 28)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: MARIDO EN ALQUILER Premieres Tonight On Telemundo (July 10)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: SECRETOS DEL PARAÍS and CACHITO DE CIELO Debut Today; Thoughts on CORAZÓN INDOMABLE (July 22)

R.G. Morin writes a regular 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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