The recently rebranded Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas (formerly MTV
Tr3s) is delving into the world of Spanish-language telenovelas.
On Jan. 17, Tr3s will premeire Ninas mal, a Sony Pictures and MTV Latin America co-production that
became a hit in Latin America, reaching 12 million viewers across the region
and topping the ratings in Mexico and Colombia.
Ninas mal is Tr3s'
first youth-oriented daily scripted series, but it's not your typical novela,
Tr3s senior vice president of music and talent strategy Jesus Lara said.
"A key characteristic of this
novela is the music, and music is a critical part of the MTV brand," Lara said.
Ninas mal, which
tells the story of three high-society girls who attend a city's only charm
school, features more than 150 songs, several of which became No. 1 hits in
According to Lara, the success of the music in Ninas mal has encouraged the network to
continue to use the telenovela platform as part of its music strategy moving
forward. Lolita, the main theme of Ninas mal, is performed by Mexican pop
"The music drove a significant portion of the conversation
around the telenovela, offering these artists a window that they wouldn't
normally get," Lara said.
While this is the first time Tr3s will run a
Spanish-language Telenovela, it is not the first time a youth network adopts
such a strategy. Mun2, the cable channel owned by NBC Universal's Telemundo,
has aired seven telenovelas since January 20009, when it ran a subtitled,
edited version of Sin senos no hay
paraiso, which first ran on the broadcast net.
A Mun2 spokesperson said each novela run by the network was
"customized to cater to our young, bilingual, bicultural audience by adding
English subtitles and, with certain properties, editing the episodes down to
the more relevant (at times the raciest) episodes."
will premiere Jan. 17 and run weeknights. It is expected to run for three and a
half months in Spanish, with English subtitles. Tr3s officials don't believe
that will pose a problem.
"We will not define ourselves as a Spanish-language or
English-language destination; we want to speak to our audiences in the language
that they feel more comfortable; whether it's English, Spanish or even
Spanglish," Lara said.