By: Veronica Villafane
Univision’s ratings primetime fortunes could be taking a turn for the better. Thanks to the premiere of supernatural series Amar a Muerte, the longtime No. 1 network recuperated its lead at 10 p.m., a time slot dominated by rival Telemundo over the past two years – at least for the show’s first week.
Featuring the return of actress Angelique Boyer to the network, Amar a Muerte gave Univision a big ratings boost, reaching 2.6 million total viewers, who tuned in to all or part of the series’ debut and giving it a double-digit lead in all key demos over competitor Telemundo, which is airing Señora Acero V.
That Telemundo super series, which has dealt with drug cartels and immigrant smuggling was a big ratings winner at 10 p.m. during its last two seasons. Season 5 started strong on October 15, but after its first four days, dropped to second place when Univision extended its 9 p.m. novela Mi Marido Tiene Más Familia an extra hour the day after its under-performing original La Piloto 2, airing at 10 p.m., came to an end.
Amar a Muerte stretched the winning trend beyond its first night, broadening its position as the No. 1 novela at 10 p.m. during the entire premiere week, averaging 1.4 million total viewers, 265,000 adults 18-34 and 607,000 adults 18-49, according to Nielsen ratings.
“Our audience’s reaction to the series has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Jessica Rodríguez, president and COO of Univision Networks.
Prior to its launch, Rodríguez was confident the reincarnation melodrama would do well with viewers, saying it would provide them with an escape from narco-novelas. And so far, the first week looks like the original series produced by Univision’s relatively new W Studios is on the right track.
Univision execs have a positive outlook for the series, expecting a November sweeps win over Telemundo not just at 10 p.m., but also during all of its primetime – from 8 to 11 p.m. – after seeing strong numbers on all their nighttime novelas.
“We are so encouraged by Univision’s success at all hours of primetime, including our most recent wins at 10 p.m. Our refreshed and revitalized pipeline of content from Televisa, strategic acquisitions and a robust lineup of daily live programming is fueling our momentum,” says Rodríguez.
Telemundo would not comment on their ratings loss across primetime last week, but a company spokesperson issued this statement: “According to Nielsen, Telemundo continues to be the #1 Spanish language network in weekday prime time this season by a double digit lead.”