Linha do destino
: o regresso das telenovelas portuguesas à matriz clássica do melodrama

  • Carolina Mendes Custódio (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The telenovela in Portugal seems to be returning to the classic matrix of the melodrama. Very relevant for the commercial channels SIC and TVI in the prime-times lot, the format has the constant need to adapt to what the public demands. After a period in which authors complexified the narratives and brought them closer to international series, broadcasted mainly by subscription channels, Portuguese telenovelas sought torefocus on their essence and tell stories with values, beliefs and shared codes, with which viewers can easily identify. In the current project, we study the evolution of the format in the country and the causes for the return to the melodramatic structure. Since the premiere of Gabriela(1977), passing through Vila Faia (1982) and following the dispute for audiences between SIC, TVI, subscription channels and, more recently, streaming platforms, it seeks to trace the course of telenovelas in Portugal, to understand in which way narratives are influenced. We conclude that the return to the melodramatic matrix is the answer of the private generalist stations SIC and TVI in face of what viewers hope to find in the format nowadays. Despite the numerous fiction offerings by other channels and platforms, characteristics such as portugality, sharing the same language and culture, and there flection of a representative reality are what distinguish the telenovela, making it a familiar and attractive product for the audience. The main objective of the study is to support the telenovela project, which consists of writing and presenting the script of the first chapter. Seeking to bring together the characteristics which make the format unmistakable, “Linha do Destino” addresses themes such as love, family, and day-to-day life in a small town where everyone knows one another and where fiction and reality often gets confused.
Date of Award21 Dec 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCatarina Duff Burnay (Supervisor)


  • National fiction
  • Audiovisual fiction narratives
  • Melodrama
  • Telenovela


  • Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação

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