Miami may not have the television production reputation of Los Angeles or New York, but television shows are being produced here every day that are being seen by millions of people across the globe. Some of the most popular telenovelas are filmed here, and, in fact, Telemundo says it's been operating over capacity for years now cranking out the Spanish-language soap operas at its Hialeah studios.
In the wake of the network reaching its highest primetime ratings ever during the second fiscal quarter of 2015, Telemundo Studios general manager Joshua Mintz tells Miami Today that the Hialeah facilities have pretty much reached peak-telenovela. The network churns out two episodes worth of drama on any given day, and a lot of work goes into it.
Each series of a novela costs about $10 million, and while some of that may go to paying foreign talent, Telemundo says a lot of that cash stays in Miami. Crews build about 100 to 250 sets for every series, wardrobe staff buys most clothing locally, and location rental fees are paid anytime a show ventures outside of the studios. And while not every series is explicitly set in Miami (though many are), production crews don't try to hide the fact that they're shot in Miami, giving tons of exposure to the city.
“There’s a difference between what we do and what a movie or general market production does,” Mintz tells the paper. “We’re producing two novelas a day, every day. A movie will be here for a couple of days and then go and take the people they brought with them.”
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Take for example Dueños del Paraíso, a Telemundo production that aired earlier this year that chronicled the story of a woman who takes over Miami's drug trade in the '80s all while looking for love.
Telemundo produced four novelas in Miami last year and plans to complete another four this year.