A telenovela is a limited-run serial dramatic programming popular in Latin American, Portuguese, and Spanish television programming. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão (Spanish and Portuguese words for television), and novela, a Spanish word for "novel". Telenovelas are a distinct genre different from soap operas, for telenovelas have an ending and come to an end after a long run (generally less than one year). The telenovela combines drama with the 19th century feuilleton and the Latin American radionovela. The medium has been used repeatedly to transmit sociocultural messages by incorporating them into storylines.
Recent telenovelas have evolved in the structure of their plots and
in the themes they address. Couples who kiss each other in the first
minutes of the first episode
sometimes stay together for many episodes before the scriptwriter
splits them up. Moreover, previously taboo themes like urban violence, racism, and homosexuality have begun to appear in the newest telenovelas.