Brazil: “Globo Soap IBOPE Goes the Way of Mazzaropi”
The offending story: “Globo suffers. From March to August of this year, the broadcaster suffered an unprecedented falloff in its audience, while Record grew and SBT paid close attention.” CartaCapital picked up the story when the original publication refused to run it, and fired the reporter. Ecce Globo. See Brazil: “Globo Gets Another Journo Borked”

It is difficult to identify persons without integrity of character as heros. Militias often are as criminal as the drug trade. For those who suffer from urban violence, it is clear: Armed men who are not the police are bandits. Period.

The Diário do Grande ABC (metro São Paulo, Brazil) carries this note from Mauro Trindade of TV Press. It seems to confuse apples (audience) with oranges (audience share) at a certain point.

Or as they say here, alhos with bugalhos.

The assessment of Globo’s current soap opera provides some follow-up to

This reported ideological policing of popular telefiction by “The Naked” Maia is another weird angle I need to follow up on.

A lenta e progressiva queda na audiência da Globo chegou a um momento decisivo. Duas Caras, o carro-chefe da emissora, só por uma semana alcançou os 40 pontos do Ibope e, na semana de 29 de outubro a 4 de novembro, cambaleou em 35 pontos. Para aumentar a crise, por alegados motivos pessoais, Aguinaldo Silva afastou-se do folhetim.

The slow and progressive decline of Globo has reached a decisive moment. The soap opera “Two Faces,” its top program, only achieved 40 points in the IBOPE ratings during one week, and during the week of October 29 to November 4, fell to 35 points. To make the crisis worse, the scriptwriter, Aguinaldo Silva, left the program, alleging personal reasons.

I had read elsewhere that Silva actually aborted his plan vacation in Portugal after he got to the airport and found he had lost his passport had expired.

And that the personal reasons cited were death threats.

I would kind of like to see the substantiating documentation on those threats.

Globo tends to confuse fiction and reality.

A crise parece mais forte se a novela for comparada a outras produções dos anos 2000. Belíssima, de 2006, e Senhora do Destino, de 2004/2005, chegaram a 60 pontos. , Celebrity, de 2003/2004, a 63. E América, de 2005, a 66.

The crisis looks even deeper if you compare these ratings to other productions from the current decade. Belíssima (2006) and Mistress of Destiny (2004-5) pulled in 60 points. Celebrity (2003-4) garnered 63. América (2005) received 66.

As an American watching América — “I’m as corny as Kansas in August / high as the flag on the Fourth of July” — I felt the way real extraterrestrials must have felt when they tuned in the Mercury Theater’s War of the Worlds for the first time.

Globo’s America is a deluxe Miami shopping mall crammed with hooting rodeo clowns with big belt buckles, showing off their English as she is spoke.

The subplot involving the principal hottie of the cast, in a search for a coyote to help her cross the Mexican border, owed about as much to the dramaturgy of Shaw and Chekhov as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue cover story.

Apparently, Spanish as she is spoke in academic circles in Madrid is now the official language of Tijuana tough guys.

Milk shot out of my nose every time I tuned that sucker in.

Não há uma única explicação para a queda de audiência. Em primeiro lugar, a audiência da TV aberta sofre com a concorrência de outras atrações, como jogos de computador e bate-papos na internet, que têm afastado os jovens da frente do televisor.

There is no single explanation for the fall-off in the ratings. First of all, the open-broadcast TV audience now suffers competition from other diversions, such as computer games and Internet chats that are taking young people away from the TV set.

Segundo a Eletros (Associação Nacional de Fabricantes de Produtos Eletroeletrônicos), este ano serão vendidos 11,7 milhões de aparelhos de televisão contra os 11 milhões de computadores apurados pela Abinee (Associação Brasileira da Indústria Elétrica e Eletrônica), uma alta de 46% sobre o ano anterior.

According to Electros (a national association of electronics manufacturers), 11.7 million TV sets will be sold this year, as compared with the 11 million computers counted by Abinee (another electronics industry trade association) — an increase of 46% over the previous year.

Wait, though: Do the IBOPE points mentioned measure share or audience?

Audience, I think.

Além disso, novos horários de trabalho levam as pessoas a chegar mais tarde em casa.

Furthermore, new work schedules mean people get home later.

Nos Estados Unidos, a audiência do seriado I Love Lucy, nos anos 50, chegava a 72%. Hoje não há nada nem perto disso. Um sucesso, como CSI Las Vegas, atinge 10%.

But we now proceed to a comparative point that cites share.

In the United States, audience for the series I Love Lucy, in the 1950s, reached 72%. Today, no program comes even close. A hit like CSI:Las Vegas gets 10%.

Audience share, right?

Os investimentos de outras emissoras em dramaturgia também mordem os calcanhares da Globo. A Record aposta a longo prazo e, sem o ônus de ser a líder de audiência, pode experimentar novos horários e temáticas originais. Caso de Vidas Opostas, que levou como nunca à TV a rotina de violência de uma favela, e Caminhos do Coração, com uma bizarra história que mistura circo, mutantes e trama policial.

Investments in fictional programming by other broadcasters are also nipping at Globo’s heels. Record is betting on the long term, and, without the burden of ratings leadership, can experiment with new schedules and original topics. That was the case with Vidas Opostas (“Opposite Lives”), which brought the routine violence of a shantytown to TV as never before, and Caminhos do Coração (“The Ways of the Heart”), with a bizarre plot that mixes circus freaks [mutants] with a detective story.

It does?!

An homage to Tod Browning?

(X-Men is more like it, it seems)

I will have to watch an episode or two.

A novela de Aguinaldo Silva, porém, tropeça em dificuldades próprias. Tem enredo confuso, com personagens de difícil aceitação. Dois de seus protagonistas têm caráter perigosamente dúbio. Juvenal Antena, de Antonio Fagundes, é o “líder comunitário” da favela Portelinha e pode ser identificado como um chefe de milícia, grupos pára-militares que atuam em áreas pobres do Rio e impõem a bala suas regras.

Silva’s soap, however, is stumbling over difficulties of its own. It has a confused plot, with characters who are difficult to accept. Two of its main characters are dangerously dubious. Juvenal Antena, played by Antonio Fagundes, is the “community leader” of the Portelinha shantytown and can be identified as the head of a militia — paramilitary groups that operate in poor areas of Rio and impose their rules at gunpoint.

A Globo cross-marketing campaign actually makes it very clear that Portelinha is based on Rio das Pedras. On which see also

Rio das Pedras is apparently run according to a venerable Sicilian family-business plan. If you get my drift.
And Globo apparently thinks this is a good thing.

É difícil identificar heróis em personagens sem firmeza de caráter. Milícias muitas vezes são tão criminosas quanto os traficantes. Para quem sofre a violência urbana, é claro: Quem anda armado e não é polícia, é bandido. E ponto final.

It is difficult to identify persons without integrity of character as heros. Militias often are as criminal as the drug trade. For those who suffer from urban violence, it is clear: Armed men who are not the police are bandits. Period.

The hero of the soap is supposed to be the character played by the wildly talented and famous Lázaro Ramos. On whom see

One difference between the two shows, dramatically speaking, is the degree of realism: Vidas Opostas, for example, showed the militias as a creature of the police and political corruption — the evil and oily seu Fausto and the jaw-droppingly superevil delegado Nogueira of the state judicial police.

Nogueira tries to blackmail a crooked pol into using his pull with the media to ratfink Nogueira’s enemies, including the hunky and virtuous prosecutor who ends up not getting the girl. See

But the figure of Juvenal Antena is not a policeman, and seems to blend aspects of the militias with aspects of the Landless Workers Movement. Weirdly.

From Globo’s own weird promotional material on the show:

The Portelinha favela was born thanks to the determination of Juvenal Antena. A born leader, a smart man who has a way with words, Juvenal was head of security at a construction company, GPN, where workers brought in from the Northeast were falsely promised they would receive their back wages from the bankrupt company. Revolted by this injustice, Juvenal resigns and joins the workers in fighting for their rights. He dreams of getting these homeless families together and creating a community. From dream to reality is a big leap. With additional help from the State Secretary of Social Services, Narciso Tellerman (a future legislator), Juvenal organizes an invasion of the GPN property, where he constructs, over the years, the community of his dreams: Portelinha, a place where his people want for nothing, where there are neither drugs nor violence. But Marconi Ferraço has bought the GPN property, and will wage a legal and moral battle against Juvenal Antena.

Marconi Ferraço is not his real name — hence the title of the soap, “Two Faces.”

In a funny way, the suggestion seems to be that the militias are Lula. Or, with that little white moustache, some sort of almagam of Lula and Antônio Carlos Magalhães.

There does seem to a concerted noise machine campaign afoot to the extent that the Lulist forces that ousted Magalhães in Bahia are “the new colonels.”

Antena talks funny, has this populist rhetoric about the plight of the Northeastern informal worker — reminds one a bit of José Wilker in (the delirious; rent it) The Man in the Black Cape as well — chases young women with a certain wild, crude enthusiasm … I am looking a some back episodes to try to rule that hunch out or in.

The pairing Marconi-Antena (“antenna”) is very Dickensian-Pynchonian. For that matter, so is a social services secretary named Narciso.

(I graduated from San Narciso Community College myself, you know.)

This testimonial by a putative viewer from the Rio das Pedras neighborhood, interviewed by a Globo soap magazine, rings false:

“This soap opera is showing the good side of the favela. And this story of the militia is very much like ours,” said the (anonymous) young woman, alluding to the way in which Juvenal Antena (Antônio Fagundes) controls Portelinha with an iron hand …

On “the militias are good thing,” see also

Nadinho is a DEM-PFL city councilmember accused of having a political rival — and militia chieftain, and alleged equity partner in the gambling rackets — whacked.

Allegedly — and who knows if the issue will ever get clarified by competent and impartial finders of fact? — over a political dispute involving “vote Quimby or my friend here will blow your brains out” voter support for DEM party president Rodrigo Maia, son of the naked mayor of Rio.

At any rate, a debating point: Social realism is becoming a product differentiator in the Brazilian popular fiction market. And viewers prefer watching programming that shows their lives as they really are.

Discuss. List supporting evidence for both sides of the proposition.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
“Local designer creates Rio de Janeiro version of the board-game Risk, with favelas, BOPE and militias.” O Globo seems to be beating this “tempest in a teapot” story to death as a substitute for reporting actual developments in the militia situation. Click to zoom. This map makes me realize I made an error the other day, claiming that the Zone Oeste overlaps with the area studied by the Small Arms Survey. See Rio: Sector Analysis on the Black Market in Guns and Ammo. Should I go back and correct or should I follow local practices and either (1) claim that my reporting was correct and the Small Arms Survey is “unethical” and “ideologically slanted,” or (2) blame the error on the government?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s