‘La Reina del Sur’ Finale Does Muy, Muy Bien for Telemundo

The telenovela scores the Spanish-language network’s highest ratings ever

The May 30 finale of "La Reina del Sur" — that's "Queen of the South" to you gringos — was the highest-rated program in Telemundo's 19-year history, reeling in 2.8 million adults in the 18-49 demographic and 4.2 million viewers overall.

Impressively, the flashy telenovela finished second only to ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" in the 10pm hour Monday night across all broadcast and cable networks in adults 18-49, and was number one in men 18-49 (who says guys don't watch soaps?).

Also read: Telemundo Launches Its First Emmy Campaign; Will Tout 'La Reina del Sur'

Those numbers put "La Reina del Sur" at or near the level of the finales of such network darlings as "Parks and Recreation" (4.2 million tuned in for the first half-hour of its finale) and "The Simpsons" (5.2 million).

"La Reina del Sur" debuted February 28, 2011, and over the course of its 63 episodes told the epic tale of Teresa Mendoza (played by Kate del Castillo), a young woman who flees a Mexican drug cartel and becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain.

Telemundo has submitted the drama for an Emmy — the first time the Hialeah, FL–based network has entered into the primetime awards race.