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Show of the week: Precious Pearl

Precious Pearl, winner of the 2014 International Emmy Award for Best Telenovela, launches at NATPE as the top new show from Brazilian TV giant Globo.

It premiered on Brazil’s leading network, Rede Globo, in September 2013, achieving 21 rating points and a 46% share in primetime, averaging over 26 million viewers per day by April 2014.

Although it launches internationally at NATPE, the telenovela has been airing since mid-September on Globo’s channel in Portugal, and is regularly among the daily top five most-watched pay TV programmes in the country.

Precious Pearl is a classic telenovela, with a strong love story,” says Raphael Correa Netto, Globo’s executive director of international business. “This genre has pleased our audience for years, especially the Latin audiences.”

“This super production brings unique elements, typical of Globo’s telenovelas: high production quality, and a different storyline that merges fiction with current issues or humour,” he adds.

The 110x60mins telenovela tells a love story of a factory worker (played by Bianca Bin, star of The Enchanted Tale) and a millionaire, whose daughter, Pearl (Brazil Avenue), brings harmony to the problems that hinders love between her parents thanks to special powers of reconciliation.

“A differentiating factor of this product is the flawless historic reconstruction,” Correa Netto says. “The story takes place in the Thirties and Forties, and the costumes and set production make the audience travel through time.”

To produce Precious Pearl, Globo created two scenic cities that cover an area of over 8,000 square meters, in addition to about 60 studio sets. In the location for the traditional Carioca neighborhood of Lapa, a tram meanders through a 70-meter long rail built specially for the telenovela.

The highly ambitious production also saw cameras roll in the Himalayas, where staff spent 20 days shooting scenes in the Nepali cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur; in Bungamati – a 16th century village; in the Golden Temple; and in the Shechen Monastery.

Further highlights among Globo telenovelas line-up at NATPE include Imperio, written by well-known Brazilian author Aguinaldo Silva, which has been airing since July on Rede Globo; and Helena’s Shadow, helmed by Jayme Monjardim and Leonardo Nogueira, co-directors of the 2013 love story Caribbean Flower.

One of world’s biggest TV production houses, Globo generates around 2,400 hours of TV entertainment a year.

In 2014, it secured a privileged position for its telenovelas on two of Latin America’s network heavyweights, Telefe in Argentina and Azteca in Mexico, via two three-year volume deals.

The show: Precious Pearl
The producer: Globo
The distributor: Globo
The broadcaster: Rede Globo (Brazil), SIC (Portugal)
The concept: Lavish Emmy Award-winning period drama