Radio versus television in Brazil: the in-between media genesis and development of Brazilian soap operas

Eduardo Vicente, Rosana Soares


This article offers a perspective on the history of radionovelas, which were the radio soap operas produced after the 1940s in Brazil. It analyses the emergence of the genre in the country and how it had influence over the subsequent production of telenovelas, starting with a brief description on the beginning of radionovelas in Brazil, under clear influence of the radio production existing in other Latin American countries. Two main trends in Brazilian radio drama are to be identified. The first of them shows great commercial success, which is associated to the melodrama tradition, besides being known for presenting overacting. It also includes the protagonism of higher class representatives and excludes social conflicts. The second trend in Brazilian radio drama production is less popular and more realistic, presenting national issues, protagonists coming from the working classes, a more naturalistic way of acting, and it is usually committed to social criticism. Even though such second tendency was less influential in radio drama, it became incredibly relevant for the development of the telenovelas, nowadays the most important television genre in Brazil. Finally, telenovelas, on their turn, were the main reference for the language renewal of the Brazilian radionovelas produced between the 1970s and 1980s.

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:: ECREA Radio Research Section :: 2016

Radio, Sound & Society Journal ..::.. ISSN: 2183-8798