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MyNetworkTV Telenovelas

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by Carrie Fairchild, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I remember (rather misguidedly) getting excited at the prospect of what this channel had to offer when it's programme slate was announced in the mid-00's. Primetime soapy goodness starring the likes of Morgan Fairchild, Bo Derek and Tatum O'Neal! What could possibly go wrong? A lot, it would seem. I only ever got to see Fashion House but it was so appallingly bad that I didn't see it out until the end. The writing was bad, the performances were bad and the budget was clearly minuscule. Did any of you indulge in any of the other soaps that the channel had to offer for that brief period in 2006 - 2007 (synopses below)?

    Fashion House: adapted from Cuban series Salir De Noche, Bo Derek plays fashion mogul Maria Gianni who battles for power against her newly returned arch rival Sophia Blakely (played by Morgan Fairchild). Tippi Hedren was on of the more random stars to pop up in this while the most notable name to come from this mess is probably Taylor "Chicago Fire" Kinney.

    [​IMG]

    Desire: this ran concurrently to Fashion House and is based on a Colombian series and also loosely inspired by Gossip Girl. Sofia Milos is the only name as such on the show. It revolved around two brothers on the run from a New Jersey crime family. I've never seen it but it had reasonably OK international sales.


    Wicked Wicked Games: Tatum O'Neal is a woman scorned. And Ben from Sunset Beach and Bond girl Serena Scott Thomas are among those incurring her wrath. Apparently Sean Young and Gordon Thomson were originally signed to play the Tatum and Ben (Clive Robertson) roles. Behold the acting masterclass from Tatum below.




    Watch Over Me: former Miss Universe Dayonara Torres plays a woman torn between her bioterrorist boyfriend and her bodyguard. Catherine Oxenberg and Casper Van Dien were among the dignitaries in the cast while Clive Robertson turned down a role in it, calling it "a waste of time".




    American Heiress: a Paris Hilton type and her rough and ready pilot crash into the Guatemalan jungles and fall in love. Wild Things and Black Widow actress Theresa Russell is the obligatory random Hollywood star to appear in this one alongside a pre-90210 Anna Lynne McCord and a post Fashion House / pre-One Tree Hill Robert Buckley. This was one of the last telenovelas to air and was dropped from schedules before all of the episodes played out.

    [​IMG]


    Saints & Sinners: this ran at the same time as American Heiress and was also dropped from the schedules before all episodes aired. One of the "starrier" vehicles on the network, it featured Mel Harris of thirtysomething, Maria Conchita Alonso, Charles Shaughnessy of The Nanny and Robin Givens. The setup was basically Romeo & Juliet on Miami Beach.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    Yes, I remember these and Fashion House at least aired here. While it wasn't particularly well-written or anything I did think it was an interesting idea and I think MyNetworkTV should've given them more time to try and work the kinks out of these. Maybe just aired one at a time instead of two though.
     
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  3. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I think building your entire primetime schedule around two mediocre telenovelas was a bit much and they could've done with additional programming to try and draw viewers in. The shows could've worked as two half hour shows in a one hour block too, as my recollection of Fashion House as time wore on was that each episode contained a lot of filler of flashbacks from previous episodes and overly long and stilted scenes (like the below). Pare these back a bit and you could've had a snappier half hour show rather than the one hour slog we were left with.

     
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  4. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    I watched Fashion House... from what I recall, the producers edited out too many scenes and realized too late they couldn't stretch each episode out to an hour hence all the mindless flashbacks. Also, Morgan fairchild didn't start until over a month into the show's run... and once she came in, the show did get more interesting.

    Wicked, Wicked Game... Tatum O'neal was an absolute delight.. and the whole show wouldn't have worked without her..imho.
     
  5. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star EXP: 3 Years

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    I also think an issue with this was that the writers were still stuck in a daytime soap mentality where they wanted people to just be able to "jump in", hence all the flashbacks to explain previous developments. I think they missed the point about telenovelas are that they're fast-paced and a finite type of thing, so you don't really have to pace yourself for the sake of the viewers or worry about burning through too many stories - the only pace you have to worry about is to hit those right story beats.

    I wonder now with streaming if we'll see other attempts at American/English-language telenovelas. What / If was basically soap anthology show.
     
  6. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    They seem to toy with it every so often but it never really sticks. Judith Krantz's Secrets was a telenovela although I've a feeling that if it had sold well, it would've returned as an ongoing series. Port Charles tried the telenovela format in it's final years. Then there was Miami Sands which was syndicated I think. Then MyNetworkTV. None of these were major successes, so the incentive to produce more was never really there.
     

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