Telenovelas make a mark.

Perhaps for the first time, three of the top ten spots in US primetime television are occupied by Spanish-language programming.


Wednesday’s Nielsen overnight ratings show perennial frontrunner American Idol at the top of the list – solidly – but offerings by UNIvision occupy the 7th, 8th, and 9th positions.

UNI is a frequent top-ten of late, with telenovelas Eva Luna and Triunfo del Amor. The programs are similar to American soap operas, but unlike their long-running US counterparts, the telenovelas have a determined length and the story arc works toward a conclusion.

The new UNI entry is TERESA, the story of a smart young girl from the barrio who, through good grades, gets an opportunity to study at a prestigious school, where she passes herself off as wealthy. In typical telenovela fashion, her secret is discovered and she must work to balance her deceit against her possible exposure.

Teresa landed at #7 for Wednesday night with 4.5 million US viewers. UNI offerings Eva Luna and Triunfo del Amor tied at the #8 spot, both outpacing ABCs The Middle.

Topping the chart was American Idol on FOX, followed by CBS’s Criminal Minds and Survivor.

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