A telenovela ( or ; Spanish: [telenoˈβela], European Portuguese: [ˌtɛɫɛnuˈvɛɫɐ], Brazilian Portuguese: [ˌtɛlenoˈvɛla]) is a type of limited-run television serial drama or soap opera produced primarily in Latin America. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão (Spanish and Portuguese words for television), and novela, a Spanish and Portuguese word for "novel". Similar genres around the world include teleserye (Philippines), téléroman (Canada, specifically Quebec), or simply dramas (Asia and the rest of the Arab World). In Spain, they are also called culebrones ("long snakes") because of the convoluted plots. Commonly described using the American colloquialism Spanish soap opera, many telenovelas share some stylistic and thematic similarities to the soap opera familiar to the English-speaking world. The significant difference is their series run length; telenovelas tell one self-contained story, typically within the span of a year or less whereas soap operas tend to have intertwined storylines told during indefinite, continuing runs. This makes them shorter than most other television series, but still much longer than a miniseries. This planned run results in a faster-paced, more concise style of melodrama compared to a typical soap opera. Episodes of telenovelas usually last between 30 and 45 minutes, and rarely more than an hour, except for final episodes. The telenovela combines drama with the 19th-century feuilleton, and naturally evolved from the Latin American radionovela, according to Blanca de Lizaur.
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