The wild story lines, the bizarre plot twists, the dramatic acting. All these and more are the reasons that Latinos love telenovelas.
With around 5.6 million Americans tuning in these shows – compared to just 2.9 million for soap operas, according to Nielsen – one woman saw an opportunity to get her message to a growing audience of Latino viewers across the U.S.
Clara Del Villar, the unabashed conservative founder of the Hispanic Post, decided that her Republican colleagues were not appealing to the Latino market as well as they could and came up with the idea for "Familia con Fuego" or “Family With Fire” – an English-language telenovela set in New York City’s Washington Heights about a Dominican family restaurant.
“It’s a story that reflects a little bit of my family, but it’s really a classic immigrant story,” Del Villar told Fox News Latino.
Del Villar, whose family came to the U.S. in the 1950s after escaping the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, has spent much of her career in the investment banking world and champions free market economics and conservative values. She created the show to address conservative ideas on issues like immigration reform, health care and unemployment.
“I want people to understand my politics,” she said. “I’m a conservative Republican and I want to dispel the notion that conservatives don’t care about Hispanics.”
Rounding up some funding from various foundations, Del Villar was able to produce 12 web episodes, each running about five minutes long and aimed at the key youth market. Along with being an alternative to finding a television channel to run her show, she said the web was the perfect place for her to display her show given the high numbers of Latinos utilizing the Internet.
“That’s where everything happens,” she said.
Del Villar admits that this is her first venture in the entertainment world (“I don’t think I made 'House of Cards' here.”), but hopes that the success of the show will attract investors and that one day she could hopefully create an entire network based on conservative, free market ideas and focused on the Latino community.
“There are 3.2 million Hispanic businesses in the U.S.,” Del Villar said. “So much of the conversation in this country affects these people.”