Telenovelas make Miami a mini-Hollywood

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Actress Catherine Siachoque flanked by actors Miguel Varoni (L) and Gabriel Porras (R). (Photo/ Telemundo)

While long-running US soap operas like “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” may have given way to talk shows and reality TV, Spanish-language soaps, or telenovelas, are still hugely popular in the Hispanic market. And, to capitalize on a growing US Hispanic market, networks Telemundo and Univision are now filming more telenovelas in Miami. “El Talismán,” “La Casa de al Lado,” and “Eva Luna” are just a few of the popular programs now being filmed in Miami.

Actress Maritza Rodríguez flanked by actors Miguel Varoni (L) and Gabriel Porras (R). (Photo/ Telemundo)

Miami has a lot to offer telenovela producers, cast and crew, including architecture straight out of a movie set, and plenty of other locations for shooting, from beaches to trendy cafés to vacant mansions abandoned during the housing bust. The programs’ stars feel safer in Miami than in Mexico, where the majority of telenovelas are still filmed. And while production costs in the US are significantly higher than in Mexico, Florida offers attractive tax breaks for producers, who also find more promotion and cross-marketing opportunities in the US.

Telenovelas have a lot to offer Miami, too. In 2009, they were responsible for pumping $11.5 million into the local economy. In 2011, that amount nearly quadrupled, to $40 million. And that’s 40 million reasons to say, “Bienvenidos a Miami!”

Read it at The New York Times.

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