×

Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños Leads Content Revamp as ‘Cuna de Lobos’ Debuts Strongly

Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños (Dream Factory), launched last year under the leadership of Patricio Wills, has begun to reap ratings dividends from its anthology series of re-versioned hit Televisa telenovelas of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Founded under the slogan ‘Rewriting History,’ Fabrica de Sueños kicked off to stellar ratings in September with “La Usurpadora” (“The Usurper”).

Its second series, “Cuna de Lobos” (“Cradle of Wolves”), which debuted Oct. 7 and stars Spain’s Paz Vega (“Rambo: Last Blood”), has not disappointed. Its first episode clinched the top spot on Televisa with 5.8 million viewers, per Nielsen Ibope Mexico, trouncing its competition in the 9:30 pm time slot by 81%.

“We have committed to offering contemporary content by adhering to the highest quality standards with the best producers and cast of international stature; ‘La Usurpadora’ and now ‘Cuna de Lobo,’ are clear examples of Televisa’s new line of programming,” said Wills, who headed NBCU’s Telemundo Studios before joining Televisa last year as President of Televisa Studios and taking on the challenge of revamping the beleaguered network’s programming content.

Almost to the day, the original “Cuna de Lobos” debuted in October 1986 to run for 170 episodes. It was so popular that the normally clogged streets of Mexico City were virtually empty on the night of its finale.

Those were the glory days when telenovelas gripped the country Monday to Friday and commanded stratospheric audience numbers.

In a nod to shifting audience tastes, the advent of streaming giants and shortened attention spans, Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños has opted to make 25-episode versions of the company’s original telenovelas, which normally comprised more than 100 episodes each. Casting Paz Vega in “Cuna de Lobos” was integral to the Mexican broadcaster’s bid to bolster the new show’s international appeal.

The new “Cuna de Lobos,” stripped Monday to Friday, follows Catalina Creel, played by Vega, who is the matriarch of the powerful Larios family. Domineering and obsessive, she will stop at nothing to protect her interests and reach her goals.

The Fabrica’s maiden series “La Usurpadora” (“The Usurper”) was also a ratings leader on Televisa, opening with 3.9 million viewers and beating competition in the 9:30 pm time slot by 149.42%, per Nielsen Ibope Mexico.

At U.S. Hispanic network Univision, which acquires the bulk of its primetime programming from Televisa under a long-standing PLA agreement, “La Usurpadora” averaged 1.6 million total viewers, making it the No. 1 Spanish-language network on weeknights from 9 pm to 10 p.m.

“La Usurpadora” centers on twin sisters, played by Sandra Echevarria, who were separated at birth and meet again as adults. Paola, desperate to escape her life as the First Lady of Mexico, forces her twin to take on her identity in order to simulate her own death, and start a new life with her lover. But the twin, Paulina, survives the attack and decides to fully embrace her new role as First Lady. The President, unaware she’s his wife’s twin, falls deeply in love with her.

The original 1998 “La Usurpadora” was one of the most exported Televisa telenovelas, licensed to 125 countries and dubbed into 25 languages.

Other re-versioned telenovela classics in the pipeline include: “Rubi,” “Quinceañera,” “El Guero” and Los Ricos Tambien Lloran.”

Cuna-de-lobos
CREDIT: Televisa S.A. DE C.V. 2019

More TV

  • What to Watch on TV This

    What to Watch on TV This Week: ‘Picard' Premieres and 'Shrill' Returns

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Star Trek: Picard” beams into existence on CBS All Access and “Shrill” returns [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Edges Unknown

    TCB, Cineflix, All3Media Announce Sales Ahead of NATPE Miami

    Miami’s NATPE market kicks off on Tuesday, but deal announcements are already landing. London-based TCB Media Rights has sold 130 hours of content to Latin America, Cineflix and National Geographic Latin America closed a deal for four titles, and Discovery Latin America picked up popular makeover format “10 Years Younger” from All3Media. TCB’s 130 Hours [...]

  • U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas

    U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas Markle Documentary

    ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 will air a 90-minute documentary on Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle. Markle and her husband Prince Harry sparked a global media frenzy earlier this month with their decision not to continue as senior members of the British Royal Family. Buckingham Palace announced that the couple are to lose their royal [...]

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Boss Tony Hall Lands at U.K.'s National Gallery

    BBC director general Tony Hall has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery. The executive, who has served on the Gallery’s board since November, takes over as chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September. Hall said: “The [...]

  • Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave'

    Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave' From Will Packer, Debmar-Mercury

    Fox Television Stations has ordered the weekly entertainment news magazine “Central Ave,” which hails from prolific film and TV producer Will Packer and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media will produce two half-hour shows per week of “Central Ave,” which tackles pop culture and other topics from a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” per [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content