The Spanish-language underdog bested NBC during February sweeps as the fourth-highest-rated broadcast network. What shows helped with the surge? Here's a primer on five of the network's top-rated offerings this season, including (shocker!) four telenovelas.
1. Por Ella Soy Eva (For Her, I’m Eva)
Presumed dead in a fiery car crash, a ruthless playboy wanted for embezzlement disguises himself as a (rather ugly) woman to regain the trust of his jilted former flame and find out which of his colleagues framed him. ENGLISH SPEAKERS CAN APPRECIATE…a man wearing a dress! Not to mention the insane dedication to the shenanigan-filled plots of Mrs. Doubtfire, Ugly Betty, and ABC’s recent short-lived comedy Work It.
2. Mira Quién Balia (Look Who’s Dancing)
You don’t need subtitles to understand these moves. This take on Dancing With the Stars spices things up with popular Hispanic celebs and loads of salsa and merengue. ENGLISH SPEAKERS CAN APPRECIATE…the dancing and bling, of course, but also the occasional — and always intoxicating — lip-lock.
3. Un Refugio Para el Amor (A Shelter for Love)
This telenovela (which wrapped last year and is now available on Hulu) follows two lovers who reunite to find their son five years after he was kidnapped by a very angry ex. ENGLISH SPEAKERS CAN APPRECIATE…the ridiculous blue-collar/white-collar romance, which is seriously in short supply now that Downton Abbey‘s latest season is over.
4. Amores Verdaderos (True Love)
More high-low love! A rich, married landowner falls for her not-so-available bodyguard. And there’s more bodyguard drama: The lady’s spoiled daughter goes out of her way to terrorize the guy who protects her, but — like mother, like daughter — it’s not long before she falls for him. ENGLISH SPEAKERS CAN APPRECIATE…that rich lady’s curls! (See photo at left.) Apparently, this is where the RuPaul’s Drag Race girls draw their hair-spiration.
5. Amor Bravío (Fierce Love)
After losing his inheritance and pregnant wife (she’s in a coma, natch), a despondent man assumes a different identity to destroy the family responsible for his misfortunes. The obvious catch? He ends up in love with one of his targets. ENGLISH SPEAKERS CAN APPRECIATE… the outlandish story lines. Get this: The wife emerges from her coma when she goes into labor. Take that, General Hospital!