This fall CBS will premiere Cane, a new series set in South Florida about a rum-producing dynasty. It stars NYPD Blue's Jimmy Smits as heir to the sugar cane fortune of the fictional Duque family. Advertised as a "steamy seductive drama about bitter rivals and their dangerous battles for love, lust, and wealth," it hews very close to telenovela territory, and the promo looks like an attempt to create a Cuban-American Godfather (large family parties in the lush gardens of suburban villas, fireworks, hit-men, etc.).
The English-language networks have shown dogged determination in getting telenovela fans to switch over to shows that take themselves more seriously, but Cane has a prime time competitor that's also set in Miami. Telemundo's Las Brujas de South Beach (The Witches of South Beach) is "an enchanting, magical story about four very unique women who were all sisters in a past life." Sadly, the brujas were burned at the stake in Sixteenth Century Spain. Now "these women have reunited in modern day South Beach and must come together to solve the mysteries of love and death that were left unanswered."
New Times endorses this one. While Cane appears to offer lots of dark brooding in the smoke of the sugar cane fields, the world will be in deep Harry Potter withdrawal this fall, and the brujas do magic tricks. --Emily Witt
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