- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Brazil fears power outages for soap opera finale
Question of the Day
SAO PAULO (AP) - Brazil's national electricity grid braced for possible power outages Friday night during the television broadcast of the final chapter of a smash soap opera that enthralled Latin America's biggest country for months.
The Electric Energy System Operator said that unless energy generating and distributing companies prepared themselves, the country could suffer power outages at the end of "Avenida Brasil" _ the story of a young woman's vengeance on her nouveau-riche stepmother who abandoned her in a landfill.
A spokesman said officials feared sudden surges in electricity consumption from millions of viewers switching on living room lights, raiding refrigerators and turning on microwave ovens after the end of the 100-minute episode. The spokesman spoke anonymously in accordance with the agency's policies.
"Telenovelas," prime-time soap operas with average runs of 200 episodes, are hugely popular in Brazil, where the plot lines often become front page news and where discussions of the heroes and villains are a major topic of conversation.
Aware of the immense popularity of "Avenida Brasil," President Dilma Rousseff postponed a Friday political rally endorsing the governing Worker's Party mayoral candidate in Sao Paulo. The rally had been set to be held at the same time as the soap opera's final chapter.
"I haven't missed a single episode of `Avenida Brasil' since it began, and there is no way I will miss the last chapter," said secretary Elizabeth Sarti as she sipped a cup of coffee at a Starbucks. "Me and my husband have invited a group of friends for dinner and for the finale."
The show's enormous success was due to the fact that instead of focusing on the wealthy, it centered on Brazil's burgeoning middle class, which has grown by 40 million people in the last decade. Its main protagonists came from the middle class, while a handful of upper-class characters were relegated to the background.
"It is by far the best telenovela I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot," said Ricardo Fonseca de Martins, a computer analyst. "Its story of revenge, love affairs and of people who rose from poverty is what keeps me glued to the TV set every night."
For Renato Meirelles, CEO of Data Popular, a marketing firm specializing in the middle and lower classes, "Avenida Brasil" tapped into a previously untapped market.
"Here in Brazil, there's a real problem in understanding how the lower middle class thinks," he said. "This lower class doesn't hold up the elite as a model. The reference for these people is not the rich, but rather the neighbor who succeeded."
TWT Video Picks
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world