'Sin Tetas' will raise issues, Telemundo says

Don Browne touts novela's social impact

NEW YORK -- Telemundo executives said Monday that its new primetime novela "Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso" ("Without Breasts, There Is No Paradise") is intentionally but constructively provocative.

The novela, which begins in June, is a best-seller by Gustavo Bolivar and based on real events. It follows a young woman who flees her home country but finds a whole new set of danger and oppression in her new country including forced surgery. It is, as Telemundo marketed it at its upfront press breakfast Monday, "a story of a good girl who made bad choices to escape a life of poverty."

Network president Don Browne said Monday that the novela features topics that are ripped from the headlines and is of great concern to the community. It's paired with public-service announcements and prosocial campaigns to inspire change.

"It'll cause people to talk about issues that need to be talked about," Browne said. A project based on the same book is also in development at sibling network NBC, though Telemundo is much further along.

"Sin Tetas" is one of five new primetime novelas shown Monday. They also include "Por Que Diablos" ("Why the Devil?"); "Amor de Madre" (A Mother's Love"); "Lola Calamidades" ("Calamity Lola"); and "El Juramento" ("Secret Lies"). The join "El Clon," a novela based on a 2002 movie being produced by Telemundo Studios in Colombia and TV Globo.

Also at its briefing, Telemundo unveiled further details of an effort it's calling "concept integration," which will allow advertisers to get in on the ground floor of program development. The idea is making the rounds of media agencies after presentations earlier this year by ad sales chied Michael Rodriguez and others. It's an advantage that Telemundo has, in that it owns its content, as well as being able to sell the show (and the product placement), internationally.

"It is a very unique position that we're in," Browne said.