TELENOVELA WATCH: DE QUE TE QUIERO, TE QUIERO Premieres Tonight; Thoughts on Univision Scheduling and Editing Practices

DE QUE TE QUIERO, TE QUIERO premieres tonight at 7 p.m. ET on Univision just as this Televisa telenovela is finishing up its run in Mexico. A moderate success south of the border, DE QUE TE QUIERO, TE QUIERO is a Mexican adaptation of CARITA PINTADA, a Venezuelan telenovela from 1999 by Valentina Párraga. It is produced by Lucero Suárez whose previous novela was another Párraga adaptation, AMORCITO CORAZÓN.

The press release is careful about revealing plot details over the key event in the story, which is understandable but makes for a vague synopsis: “It’s love at first sight for Diego and Natalia. But after a shocking event and a major misunderstanding, she suddenly breaks off their budding romance and moves away, leaving Diego stunned and wondering why the love of his life has abandoned him with no goodbye or explanation.

“Two years later, fate brings Diego and Natalia face to face again. Despite their many unanswered questions, the powerful feelings they once shared resurface, only to be met with the cold, hard fact that time has conspired against their love. Having moved on with his life, Diego is now married to the jealous and conniving Diana – a formidable rival for Natalia. But the truth of what really happened when they first fell in love may be the most challenging obstacle of all.”

The protagonists are a pair of fresh faces: Juan Diego Covarrubias (AMOR BRAVÍO) and Livia Brito (ABISMO DE PASIÓN). They are joined by a pair of excellent vets in Cynthia Klitbo (CACHITO DE CIELO) and Marcelo Córdoba (POR ELLA SOY EVA). Also in the cast are Esmeralda Pimentel (ABISMO DE PASIÓN), Aarón Hernán, Marisol del Olmo (SOY TU DUEÑA), Silvia Mariscal, Gerardo Murguía, and Carlos Ferro (RELACIONES PELIGROSAS).


DE QUE TE QUIERO, TE QUIERO premieres as Univision is in one of their loopy scheduling phases, actually airing promos last week announcing a time change for their 8 p.m. telenovela, POR SIEMPRE MI AMOR, and for a daytime rerun of TRIUNFO DEL AMOR, only to change course mid-week, keeping POR SIEMPRE MI AMOR in its slot for now and opting for DESTILANDO AMOR instead of TRIUNFO.

The confusing promos and musical chair scheduling are becoming a too common occurrence for the network as they try to adapt to the falling viewership affecting all the big broadcast networks due to cable, internet and DVRs. But some of their recent scheduling choices are just bizarre, like putting POR SIEMPRE MI AMOR, obviously a slower-paced, older style novela suited for the 7 p.m. slot held previously by shows like CORONA DE LÁGRIMAS, at 8 p.m. Even odder was putting the Jaime Camil comedy QUÉ POBRES TAN RICOS at 10 p.m. after having had a string of successes with Televisa comedies at 8 p.m. including the previous Camil novela POR ELLA SOY EVA.

A potential ‘event’ program like LA VIUDA NEGRA which could boost the whole network is allowed to premiere to big numbers on a special Sunday telecast, but then relegated to their sister network UniMás, lifting that network – LA VIUDA NEGRA managed in its premiere week to beat Telemundo’s CAMELIA LA TEXANA head-to-head a few nights, the first time a UniMás/Telefutura series has done that since 2010 – while simultaneously taking more viewers from Univision’s own QUÉ POBRES TAN RICOS.

Sadly, it was no surprise Univision decided not to air the dark and violent LA VIUDA NEGRA on the principal network – Univision has become increasingly prudish in recent years, an attitude at the network that would appear to conflict with the young make up of their audience. Language deemed questionable is excised with an annoying muting, most noticeable in QUÉ POBRES TAN RICOS, wrecking a great deal of the verbal comedy and sexual innuendos.

Most ridiculously, audiences in the US are now being robbed of one of the most prominent attributes of telenovelas – steamy, passionate sex scenes. These scenes, sometimes lasting a minute or two in the Mexican airing, are being cut down by Univision to little more than an opening embrace and dissolve out. What is even more egregious is Univision’s editing sometimes alters the very intentions of a scene. A crucial consensual sex scene in LO QUE LA VIDA ME ROBÓ, the first between the protagonists, appeared to be a rape because Univision cut the sequence before the heroine reciprocated the aggressive advances of her husband, thus altering the very relationship between the two central characters for US audiences.

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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