Telemundo Orders Second Season of Novela, In Big Break From Tradition

El Señor de los Cielos is back — expect dramatic face slaps

Telemundo Studios is bringing back its original series, “El Señor de los Cielos” (“Lord of the Skies”), marking what the network says is the first time it’s ever brought back a telenovela for a second season.

The first run of “El Señor de los Cielos” was one of the most successful series in the history of Telemundo. It regularly beat at least one English network in the adults 18-34 and adults 18-49 demographics, topping all networks about 25 percent of the time. The original arc, which aired 74 episodes from April to August, reached a total of 14.7 million viewers.

Online, “El Señor de los Cielos” was viewed by 3.3 million users, generating more than 35 million page views while the show aired, the network told TheWrap. This time around, will add online content to supplement the show.

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Produced by Telemundo Studios and filmed by Argos Television, “El Señor de los Cielos” is one of the network’s most ambitious productions to date. The series tells the story of Aurelio Casillas (Rafael Amaya), a top Mexican drug lord who is presumed dead — but rumored to be alive — after an attempt at plastic surgery to change his face. Inspired by true facts, the second season of “El Señor de los Cielos” will once again recreate the late 1990s time period, filming on location at real Mexican ranches and haciendas.

Telenovelas are not built to return for additional seasons. They generally run five nights a week for 100 to 120 episodes.

“We are looking forward to building on the success of the first season of ‘El Señor de Los Cielos,’ a novela we designed from the beginning to be produced and aired in consecutive seasons,” said Joshua Mintz, executive vice president of scripted programming and general manager of Telemundo Studios. “For the first time in our history, we are leveraging the best of the novela genre with the frequency of the general market drama series. We are sure that ‘El Señor de los Cielos” production quality, cast and connection with the audience will bring us many more seasons.”

Production on the soap opera’s second season began Monday in Mexico City. The new run is set to premiere in the spring of 2014.