TV Upfront

Latina exec mines 'the last frontier'

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That Nely Galan is behind what could be a new genre for general-market TV-the Anglo-cized telenovela-is no surprise. She was a magazine editor and modeling executive at 17, and at 30 partnered with Fox Television to produce crossover programming. Galan Entertainment, where Ms. Galan holds the title of president, this year signed a development deal with NBC Universal Television Group. She spoke to correspondent Jeff Zbar about telenovelas and the emerging Hispanic market. Below is an edited transcript.

Will English-language telenovelas attract American non-Hispanics and Latinos alike?

In the Anglo market, where they don't have any preconceived notions about it, they're either going to fall in love with the heightened passion type of product or they won't. When Americans watch it, it's not like it's going to scream Latino. They're not going to know the difference between this and "Desperate Housewives."

Does the limited-run, episodic nature of telenovelas make them TiVo-proof?

No. I TiVo "Oprah" every day and I watch it every day. It's all about "Are you addicted to something?" If you don't watch them every day, you'll save them for the weekend and you'll watch them again and again. You can program your own network.

What value do you think the telenovela concept has to advertisers?

This tells people that there is a new frontier of properties out there that is Latin, not just telenovela but in general. It's the last frontier that we've looked at in the United States, even though it's right under our nose.

That's very apropos in the year that we're talking about immigration. We have all these people living in our country watching foreign networks. And we have all this property and product right under our noses.

Every advertiser that I've carried from Telemundo wants to be in telenovelas. They just get it.
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