Telemundo announced this week their new telenovela, ROSA DIAMANTE, will premiere on Tuesday, July 10th at 8:30 p.m. ET, sharing the hour with UNA MAID EN MANHATTAN, which is in its final chapters.  The move to rush ROSA DIAMANTE out this week in half-hour installments seems designed to get the jump on Univision who is premiering the Jaime Camil/Lucero telenovela POR ELLA…SOY EVA the following week.  This tinkering with schedules is fairly common during premiere weeks between the rival networks and I imagine will get even worse when the third Spanish-language broadcast network, MundoFox, hits the air in August.

ROSA DIAMANTE is a remake of the 1994 Argentine telenovela PERLA NEGRA which starred Andrea Del Boca.  The telenovela had a previous Mexican remake produced by Azteca in 1998 called PERLA that starred Silvia Navarro and Leonardo García.

The basic premise of the telenovela is a baby girl is abandoned at a prestigious boarding school with a pearl necklace (I imagine in this newest remake, it will be a diamond necklace) which is used to pay for the girl’s education.  She grows up at the school and becomes best friends with another orphaned girl, and then a handsome young Lothario enters their lives.  Betrayal, a tragic twist and a revenge plot follow, though I don’t wish to give away any more details of the story.

The leading actress of this production is Carla Hernández making her US debut.  I confess I’m not familiar with her work, not having seen the 2010 Azteca production she starred in, VIDAS ROBADAS.  Telemundo never seems wary about casting newcomers to their network in leading roles – indeed, this is the third time in a year they’ve done just that with Mónica Spear in FLOR SALVAJE and Adriana Fonseca in CORAZÓN VALIENTE.

With a Telemundo newcomer cast as the female protagonist, the network went with one of their most prolific lead actors for the male protagonist, Mauricio Ochmann.  ROSA DIAMANTE is Ochmann’s fourth leading role for Telemundo in five years after VICTORIA (2008), VICTORINOS (2009), and EL CLON (2010).

The other major name in the cast is Lupita Ferrer; the renowned Venezuelan actress’s last appearance for Telemundo was in 2007 in PECADOS AJENOS.  The cast also includes Sofía Lama (LA CASA DE AL LADO), Thalí Garcia, Begoña Narvaez, Patricio Castillo, Claudia Ramírez, and Manuel Balbi.

ROSA DIAMANTE marks a couple returns for Telemundo.  First, it’s their return to Mexico, both as a base of production and setting for their novela.  Telemundo has not aired a telenovela they filmed entirely in Mexico in four years, opting in recent years to produce all their foreign productions in Colombia.  This is actually their second Mexican production in two years as Telemundo produced a telenovela called AMAR DE NUEVO, a sequel to AMARTE ASÍ, in Mexico last year, but that novela looks to have been made solely for international markets with seemingly no plans to air it in the US.

ROSA DIAMANTE also marks a renewal of Telemundo’s partnership with Argos Comunicación, a Mexican production company that produced with Telemundo a number of telenovelas in the early 2000s like EL ALMA HERIDA and GITANAS.  Their last production together before ROSA DIAMANTE was the 2006 telenovela MARINA.

Also premiering this week on Telemundo is PABLO ESCOBAR: EL PATRÓN DEL MAL on Monday, July 9th at 10 p.m. ET.  A Colombian series produced by Caracol, it’s a biographical novela about the life of the notorious drug lord from his childhood through his rise to power as a cocaine trafficker in the 1970s and 80s and the manhunt for him in the early 1990s.

An ambitious, expensive series years in the making and touting over 450 filming locations in Medellin, Bogota and Miami, the production has a cinematic look, the brief sections I’ve seen look to be shot entirely single camera, an opening montage intercutting their lead actor with documentary and news footage.  Andrés Parra (El CARTEL) plays Escobar, Angie Cepeda plays his mistress, and the cast also features Cecilia Navia, Linda Lucia Callejas, Vicky Hernández, Ernesto Benjumea, Nicolás Montero, and Christian Tappan.

This week, Manuel Landeta made his on screen return to CORAZÓN VALIENTE (weeknights at 9 p.m. ET on Telemundo) as the wily, devious Bernardo del Castillo, the rich, puppet-masterish villain.  Landeta’s presence on the show was sorely missed as his charisma alone is enough to give scenes a bit more verve and crackle.  Complications following back surgery forced the actor to leave the production for a time, and the uncertainty over his availability led to some obvious scrambling in the writing: scenes of characters describing what the off screen Bernardo was up to, characters reading notes from Bernardo, taking phone calls from Bernardo, eventually leading to a double, wrapped head-to-toe in bandages like a mummy, portraying the character after he was blown up on a yacht.  The plotlines of the novela, scattershot even while Landeta was available, became even more disjointed and confusing.  Bernardo’s absence seemed to lead to the introduction of a surrogate villain, Esteban (Eduardo Rodriguez), Samantha’s boss, into the story to drive Bernardo’s primary villainous intent: meddling in the relationship between his son Willy (Fabián Ríos) and Samantha (Ximena Duque).  Esteban was even given the same motivation as Bernardo for his villainous turn, lustful obsession with Samantha.

With Bernardo back in the picture, perhaps the writers recognized the overabundance of villains on the show and swiftly moved to rectify that, killing off Luis (he seems really most sincerely dead at this point, though he’s risen from the grave twice already on this show) but keeping his portrayer, Gabriel Valenzuela, on the show as Luis’s kind twin brother Camilo; and they seem to be in the process of moving Lorena (Carolina Tejera) from the baddies to the goodies, though with the way this novela careers from plot point to plot point, that can change back in an episode.


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

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you mentioned Gitanas its one of my favorite telenovelas! I am so glad you talk about telenovelas.