The SOAP OPERA HISTORY in SPAIN
The 80s was a very prolific period for daytime and nighttime dramas over the world. A lot of American soaps and serials were seen around the world, and fortunately, Spain wasn't an exception. The first soap opera seen in Spain was the nighttime show 'DALLAS' in 1982.
'Dallas' was a hit and a successful series that everybody loved to see each Tuesday in TVE1 at 22.40 at the end of 1981 and during 1982. The final episode of the season was the most successful episode in Spain and in the whole world: someone shot J.R.... But Spain never knew who shot J.R. Only one regional television (TV3) broadcast the continuation of the series, and until nearly 10 years later, the rest of regional televisions broadcast the continuation of Dallas, but not all the regional televisions broadcast it completely.
After all these years, Dallas hasn't been broadcast in any other Spanish channel yet. We are waiting for it!
In that same year, another serial with great success worldwide arrived in Spain. It was 'DYNASTY'. Dynasty was an instant success, but the Spanish tv station which broadcast it ( TVE1) decided that that Dynasty had a lot of complex social issues as homosexuality or cruel characters, so they decided to cancelled it after the 22 first episodes...
Spain had only two channels at that moment ( TVE1 and UHF) and we hadn't any American soap. Nobody knew General Hospital, Guiding Light or As the World Turns.
Nevertheless, one American nighttime soap arrived in Spain in January 1985. It was the most successful show in Spanish Tv history, it was FALCON CREST. FC started on Monday, 7th January 1985 at 3.35p.m. in TVE1. It was a complete revolution. Everybody was immediately hooked with the stories of Falcon Crest, with Angela Channing, her grandson Lance, her daughters Julia and Emma, the Gioberti family, Melissa and Chuli ( Chao-li). Spanish loved the luxurious life of Falcon Crest, and that mansion was a dream for each Spanish person. Everybody watched Falcon Crest and loved that lifestyle.
In January 1986, daytime television started in Spain for first time! After all these years, Spain had only two channels and they only broadcast programmes between 3.00 p.m. and 12.00 a.m. Now, Spain could watch one of the channels of tv at 8.00 in the morning. It was a first in Spain!
TVE1 broadcast daytime television with news, show programmes and two serial: one was a South American soap opera : 'LOS RICOS TAMBIEN LLORAN' ( Rich also cry) and the other one was the best of all: 'DYNASTY'.
Both soaps were a hit and everybody watched both shows. At the time of these soaps, nobody was in the streets, supermarkets or in other places, they were at home watching TV. The Carringtons and the Colbys were as family for the Spanish people.
TVE1 broadcast only the first 148 episodes from Monday to Friday at 11.35 a.m. from January 1986 to August 1986. Dynasty was a great success, and the season ended with a big fire in the Mirada Hotel and the powerful Blake Carrington strangling his ex-wife Alexis Carrington Colby.
And after this ending, TVE1 bought a new series to replace Dynasty. This series was the very first American soap opera that appeared in Spain, it was 'ONE LIFE TO LIVE'. OLTL was broadcast in TVE1 on Monday, 11th August 1986 at 11.30 a.m. daily.
The Buchannans, the Lords, the Woleks arrived and a lot of Spanish loved their stories. At the beginning , OLTL was a bit strange, there wasn't the same quality that in Dynasty, and there were a lot of characters, and they wern't very glamourous. TVE1 only bought 130 episodes ( episodes from 1908-81), and after the episode 130, OLTL never appeared again in Spain. The end was strange because any storyline was solved. Years later, I discovered that OLTL had a lot of episodes and it was a success in USA, and the soap opera had started in 1968!
After OLTL, TVE1 bought another soap: 'RITUALS' They broadcast 130 episodes of 1 hour long; on May 25, 1987, TVE1 broadcast the first episode and we could see completely all the episodes. Spain loved all their storylines.
In that same year, 1987, two other soap arrived, but these time in other tv channel (TV-2, the then disappeared UHF). At the beginnig of the year, an Australian soap opera debuted in TV-2. It was 'SONS AND DAUGHTERS', and after 150 episodes , more or less, the soap was cancelled and it was replaced by another soap, this time the soap was American: 'CAPITOL'. On Thursday, 18th June 1987, Capitol arrived Spain and after 262 episodes, TV-2 cancelled the soap without any explanation.
Once TVE-1 ended with 'Rituals', they broadcast the continuation of ' DYNASTY'. We could see the adventures of the Carrington family since episode one again. We could see until the end of the 7th season, when Krytle disappears misteriously.
And, after Dynasty, it arrived the first successful soap opera in Spain. TVE-1 broadcast the first episode on Monday, 2nd May 1989. It was the longest tv programme that it has ever been broadcast in Spanish tv history: it was SANTA BARBARA!
To be Continued...