Ay yi yi! Things are about to get muy caliente on NBC and USA. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the networks are turning to Spanish-language sister-channel Telemundo to develop new English-versions of two of its most popular telenovelas.
For those who aren't in the know, a "telenovela" is just as dramatic and scandalous as the typical American soap opera, but unlike English-speaking daytime dramas, telenovelas actually have a beginning and an ending (after all, "novela" is Spanish for "novel").
NBCUniversal Entertainment has optioned 'El Señor de los Cielos' ('The Lord of the Skies'), Telemundo's highest-rated novela last year. The series revolves around Aurelio Casillas (Rafael Amaya), a powerful Mexican drug lord from the '90s. The show was so popular that it spurred a seven-part web companion series.
Meanwhile, USA is developing 'Mujer de Acero' ('Woman of Steel'), which tells the story of a woman who goes from simple housewife to rocking the Mexican government after her husband is killed at their wedding. It turns out her groom was a wanted criminal, so now she has to evade the authorities and her husband's enemies, as she becomes the "queen of organized crime." Sounds a bit like 'Breaking Bad,' si?
The adaptations will be produced by Universal TV and Universal Cable Prods., respectively. This marks the first time that NBC and USA have optioned content from Telemundo, and if they are anywhere near as popular as their Spanish counterparts, it probably won't be the last time, either.