×

‘La Reina del Sur’ Season 2 Drives Ratings Gains for Telemundo

The trials of Teresa Mendoza have been very good for Telemundo.

The sophomore season of the network’s hit series “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South) went out on a high note Monday, grabbing 2.2 million viewers and 1.1 million in the adults 18-49 demographic. That was strong enough to make Telemundo the No. 1 network over all broadcast rivals in “La Reina’s” 10 p.m. time slot.

The crime thriller telenovela starring Kate del Castillo has given a competitive boost to NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language network, solidifying its lead over rival Univision in primetime in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Throughout its 60-episode run, which began April 22, “La Reina” kept Telemundo broadcast network among the top 3 networks regardless of language in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demos in the 10 p.m. Monday-Friday berth.

“We have had exceptional results from ‘La Reina’ especially in this period where the television industry is facing many challenges,” said Marcos Santana, president of Telemundo Global Studios and an executive producer of “La Reina.”

“La Reina,” revolving around a woman who inadvertently becomes a drug cartel boss, set social media engagement records for the network as well, per Telemundo. The network aims to capitalize on its momentum with the launch tonight of political thriller “Preso No. 1” (Prisoner No. 1), which was heavily promoted during the “La Reina” run.

The original “La Reina” in 2011 was a milestone series for Telemundo because it marked a new iteration of the telenovela genre that is the staple of Spanish-language TV.

Airing Monday through Friday, “La Reina” featured about half the number of episodes of a typical novela. It was also designed as a storyline to run for multiple seasons, which was a departure for Spanish-language TV. The first season of the show was one of the rocket-boosters that helped Telemundo slowly but surely close the ratings gap against Univision.

The storylines of “La Reina” were also edgier than many novelas in telling the story Teresa Mendoza story.  Telemundo has billed “La Reina” Season 2 as the “most ambitious” series produced for U.S. Spanish-language TV, with location shoots that stretched from Bogota to Bucharest. The sophomore edition was a co-production between Telemundo and Netflix. The streaming giant has worldwide rights to season 1 at present and is expected to bow season 2 outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico later this year.

For Telemundo, season two has averaged about 2 million viewers per episode in Nielsen’s L+3 ratings, which is high by the network’s standards. In adults 18-49, the series has averaged 1.05 million viewers; in 18-34 the average is hovering around 419,000. The vast majority of viewership is live, as evidenced by the modest lift between its L3 and L7 averages (2.1 million in total viewers, 1.08 in adults 18-49 and 430,000 in adults 18-34, as of July 9).

Season two of the series was highly anticipated by fans after an eight-year wait. Producers took great care given the importance of the franchise for NBCUniversal. “Queen of the South,” the English-language adaptation for USA Network, is heading into its fourth season later this year.

There’s no guarantee Telemundo will deliver a third season of “La Reina,” Santana said. The first installment was based on a best-selling novel. Season two took so long to come to fruition in part because writers were working on an original storyline — in addition to del Castillo’s well-documented real-life adventures. Telemundo is actively developing other projects with del Castillo, Santana said.

“If we find another solid story like (season 2) of course we will produce a third season,” Santana said. “But only if we find a plot that breaks the ceiling again in terms of content.”

More TV

  • Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore, 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Android, 'Doctor Who' Actor, Dies at 81

    Stephen Moore, best known for his roles as the paranoid android Marvin in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” radio series and the Silurian Eldane in “Doctor Who,” has died. He was 81. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” producer Dirk Maggs confirmed Moore’s death Sturday on Twitter, writing, “Our dear friend Stephen Moore has [...]

  • Baghdad-Central-Image

    Fremantle, Hulu Bringing 'Baghdad Central' to United States

    Fremantle is partnering with Hulu to bring the UK drama “Baghdad Central” to the United States, Fremantle announced Monday. The latest in Hulu’s growing slate of international content, “Baghdad Central” will launch on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom and stream on Hulu in 2020. Based on the novel by Elliott Colla, the six-part drama [...]

  • Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet

    Endemol Shine, China’s Hunan TV Duet on ‘Sing or Spin’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global production and distribution giant Endemol Shine is to duet with leading Chinese producer and broadcaster Hunan TV on primetime entertainment format “Sing or Spin,” which has an innovative spin: a revolving stage that lets singers know how well they are scoring. The show has been co-developed by Endemol Shine China and Hunan TV as [...]

  • 'Succession': Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen on

    'Succession' Stars Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen Break Down How To Make a Tomelette

    You can’t make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs, and you can’t get through an episode of ‘Succession’ without a few rounds of riffing, at least according to Nicholas Braun (who plays Greg Hirsch) and Matthew Macfadyen (who portrays Tom Wamsgans). “We basically improv in probably every scene to some capacity,” says Braun. Though the [...]

  • Manchester City Football Club Animated Series

    Manchester City Soccer Team Animated Series in the Works (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Sky Blue Academy,” an animated series set inside the training academy of reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City, is in the works, Variety has learned. The Pep Guardiola-managed team has enjoyed numerous successes in recent years and broken into world soccer’s elite, becoming a global brand in the process. The show will follow a [...]

  • LIVING WITH YOURSELF

    TV Review: 'Living with Yourself'

    Paul Rudd is such a naturally ebullient actor that it can be startling to see him ground down. A gifted physical performer who, at 50, looks so youthful that his appearance tends to precede all other attributes when he’s discussed, Rudd also still has the verve and energy of a rising star — a quality [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content