Spanish and English Mix in a Web Telenovela

By Tanzina Vega (NY Times)

If viewers are looking for telenovelas in Spanglish with a heavy dose of marketing, then Telemundo’s new Web series “Mia Mundo” will satisfy.

The show, which will be shown on Telemundo.com, will feature actors from Spanish-language telenovelas and English-language reality shows in what the network is calling its “first-ever bilingual branded entertainment series.”

Mia, the lead character’s name, is also a play on words for the type of female viewer the show is intended to attract — the Modern Independent Achiever. “The MIA essentially is the new Latina,” said Jacqueline Hernández, the chief operating officer of Telemundo. “She’s career-driven, she’s very proud, she’s an achiever.”

She can also satisfy the show’s sponsors, Verizon Wireless and Chevrolet, by being tech-adept and driving a certain type of car.

Mia, played by the actress Jacqueline Márquez, will use a Verizon Wireless mobile phone and tablet and will drive a Chevrolet Cruze. Her boyfriend Ryan, played by José Guillermo Cortines, will drive a Chevrolet Camaro. Verizon Wireless will also run behind-the-scenes video clips on the Verizon Video app.

“We don’t want to force a vehicle onto a character that doesn’t make sense,” said Steve Tihanyi, the general director for marketing alliance and branded entertainment at General Motors. Mr. Tihanyi described the Chevy Cruze as an attractive, fuel-efficient vehicle that fits with Mia’s character of “a young woman, relatively successful and she’s building her career.” The bold styling of the Camaro, on the other hand, fits with Ryan’s character, Mr. Tihanyi said.

Most of the show will be in English with the bits of Spanish woven in when Mia is speaking to her grandmother or to her friends, said Ms. Hernández of Telemundo. “Spanish is used very organically,” she said. “It’s more about the cultural relevance.”

English-speaking performers in the show include Jenni Pulos from “Interior Therapy With Jeff Lewis” and Gretchen Rossi of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

Thirteen three-minute episodes will be shown weekly online starting May 3, with one-minute trailers appearing on television. Viewers will be able to vote for how they want the show to end. The hour long finale will be shown on mun2, Telemundo’s cable network.

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