Is 'Telenovela' Based On A Real Telenovela? The Eva Longordia Comedy Should Have Lots In Common With Them

It's that weird in-between time on TV — your favorite fall TV shows have aired their cliffhanger-filled mid-season finales and mid-season TV shows will soon fill the airwaves. Fortunately the Eva Longoria-led NBC comedy Telenovela will premiere after The Voice on Monday night and it looks hilarious. But is Telenovela based on a real telenovela? According to an interview in Latina, the new comedy series is based on a long-time idea by Longoria, who is also executive producing the series.

"I have always had this idea to develop a series about behind the scenes of a telenovela, and these writers just came up with this insane script that was too good to pass up," she told Latina. "This is a world we don't see on screen, a world we haven't seen and it’s just a great comedy anyone can enjoy."

Longoria stars as Ana Sofia Calderon, a telenovela star who experiences just as much drama off-screen as she does on-screen — and she doesn't speak Spanish. The series follows the behind-the-scenes folks of a telenovela and includes guest appearances by real-life telenovela stars, but the show itself isn't a telenovela. "We’re honoring all of [telenovelas’] glory — the acts, the makeup, the big characters," Longoria told Latina. "It’s a very rich world. But you know, the show, it’s about the real characters behind the scenes. It’s about career, and child rearing and family — it’s rooted in these universal themes."

Naturally, the series will take some cues from actual telenovelas. Here are some qualities from the genre I hope end up in Telenovela.

Intrigue!

Of course. How could it not?

Slapping!

I mean, this isn't a requirement, but it would be cool to have of the show-within-a-show's melodramatic moments erupt in an epic slap. But, like all epic slaps, it must be earned.

Priests!

A lot of telenovelas have priest characters — even Jane the Virgin, which is adapted from a telenovela, had one for a bit. Naturally, I hope Telenovela's telenovela has a nosy priest character who butts into everyone's business.

Romance!

Sure, there will be plenty of loving going on in the show-within-a-show, but I'm sure there's gotta be some on-set romances as well. You know, all those late nights and epic smooches (or slaps) will probably led to some love.

A Big Family!

Telenovelas often follow a big ol' family and I hope the same for Telenovela — but in their case, it'll be a big work family.

Many Episodes!

A true mark of the genre is that the telenovelas run for many episodes spanning months — and even years. Let's hope for the same for Telenovela, shall we?

Images: Jordin Althaus, Ben Cohen, John Tsiavis, Danny Feld/NBC; Giphy (2)