María Mercedes (telenovela)

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Maria Mercedes
DVD cover
Created by Inés Rodena
Written by Carlos Romero
Vivian Pestalozzi
Directed by Beatriz Sheridan
Starring Thalía
Arturo Peniche
Carmen Salinas
Laura Zapata
Opening theme Maria Mercedes by Thalía
Ending theme Maria Mercedes by Thalía
Country of origin Mexico
Original language(s) Spanish
No. of episodes 82
Producer(s) Valentin Pimstein
Editor(s) Adrian Frutoe Maya
Cinematography Antonio Acevedo
Running time 45 minutes
Production company(s) Televisa
Distributor Televisa
Original channel Canal de las Estrellas
Picture format 480i SDTV
Original release September 14, 1992 – January 8, 1993
Preceded by De frente al Sol
Followed by Capricho
Related shows Maria Mercedes (Philippine TV series)

María Mercedes (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾi.a merˈseðes]) is a Mexican telenovela directed by Beatriz Sheridan and starring Thalía and Arturo Peniche. It was the first of the "Marías" telenovela trilogy, being followed by María la del barrio and Marimar.


Maria Mercedes is a poor young woman who is abandoned with her brothers and sister by her ambitious mother. Because of the lack of support from her perennially drunk father, she is forced to raise her brothers and sister on her own, working in the streets of Mexico City selling lottery tickets and flowers.

Santiago del Olmo is very sick and knows that he is dying. One morning when he is in the garden, he sees María selling lottery tickets in the street. He comes up with the idea to marry her just to upset his avaricious aunt Malvina after his death as a personal revenge. He gains Maria's trust and friendship, proposes to her, and she agrees. When Santiago dies, María became the head of the family, making Malvina's ire burn stronger. According to his will, Malvina, her son Jorge Luis and her daughter Digna must live there in his house with Maria, if they want to inherit any of his fortune. Jorge Luis is a sad man since the murder of his wife on their wedding day. His younger sister Digna is a very religious woman who has never dated a man at all and is afraid of almost everything, especially her mother.

After María moves into the del Olmo household, she falls in love with Jorge Luis, who is weak against his mother's will and always does as she wants.

Malvina makes it her life's mission to antagonize María. When she finds out that María loves her son, she pushes him to marry her in order to get the money back. She plans that after a few weeks he could make her give him control over the whole fortune and after that get divorced.

Jorge Luis and María get married but they do not share a room nor live like a traditional married couple. Within time, Jorge Luis starts to develop a real and deep love for María. On the other hand, María has another foe, Mistica, a sultry and selfish woman. She used to be Jorge Luis' girlfriend, but then left him heartbroken to marry a wealthy man, Sebastian Ordoñez. She realizes that she still loves Jorge Luis and is furious to know that he is married and falling in love with Maria. She promises herself that she will get Jorge Luis back and starts to help Malvina get rid of María.

María meets Magnolia, a beautiful, rich, and sophisticated woman who is her real mother. Magnolia has now remarried and has another son, but she regrets deeply having left her children. She gains María's trust and starts to help her daughters and her sons, especially Guillermo who is in jail and is the only one who recognizes her. Her true identity remains a secret for María and her other siblings, Rosario and Andres, and all the things she does for them have to be hidden from her new husband, Rodolfo (an architect who is Rosario's boss and is also a friend of Jorge Luis' family) and their son Gustavito (which is a youngest half-brother of Guillermo, Maria Mercedes, Rosario and Andres).

Magnolia teaches María good manners and how to seduce her husband. After Sebastian Ordoñes drops a high class party where he will give a prize to Jorge Luis and then tries to seduce María, Jorge Luis moved by jealousy and by the sight of the beautiful and well-dressed María, finally starts to fall for her and they sleep together. Soon María learns she is pregnant.

After María's father passes away, she and Jorge Luis go on a vacation trip that goes terribly awry because of the intervention of both Mistica and a local lifeguard who hits on María. Jorge Luis makes up his mind and asks María for a divorce as soon as they arrive back to Mexico City. However, Malvina has other plans. She tries to drive María crazy with the help of Cordelio, the butler, and puts her in an asylum. María manages to escape from the asylum and hides from the police in the house of Doña Filo, a good friend from her poverty years, until Jorge Luis asks the police not to pursue her any more.

With Cordelio as her ally, Malvina tries to kill María but all fails. Malvina realizes Magnolia's influence and begins to wonder if she could be María's mother. She tells this to Magnolia's new husband, Rodolfo Mancilla, who in turn goes to María's old house (where Rosario and Andres still live) and asks to see a picture of their mother. He at once recognizes her and later confronts her, arguing with her and throwing her out. Magnolia nevertheless survives by helping out a French tailor who once recognized her talent and pushed her ambitions (which clashed with the need to raise her family; she chose her career over them).

Far from María, Jorge Luis realizes that his feelings for her have grown so strong that he can’t live without her any more. He asks for forgiveness and she returns to the house where they live as a real married couple.

Nine months later María gives birth to twin girls, one of which dies a few days later. Jorge Luis put an end to Mistica's intentions for good after Mistica attempts to pin a pregnancy on him (the child was actually her husband Sebastian's). When he discovers that his mother still hates María, he decides that it is time to leave his mother and raise his family with Maria. He stands up for himself for the very first time against his mother's wishes and leaves. Malvina goes crazy and dresses as María used to in her poverty years and runs to the street where she starts to sell lottery tickets and clean windshields. She is caught and put in an asylum.

Magnolia tells the truth to her offspring. María at first is shocked by this revelation but her resentment shatters and she accepts her mother with love. Rosario is nevertheless disgusted and filled with rancor, a situation that remains until her old boss Rodolfo Mancilla agrees to accept them as his (step-) children. With this, the sisters make peace and Rosario can finally accept the courtship of Ricardo, a younger friend of Jorge Luis, without any remarks by María.

Since María and Jorge Luis only had a civil wedding, they have a great church wedding in the Basilica de Guadalupe with all their friends and relatives, closing the scene after they say "I do" and putting an end to the novela with a romantic kiss.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1993 TVyNovelas Awards Best Telenovela María Mercedes Nominated
Best Lead Actor Arturo Peniche Won
Best Female Villain Laura Zapata Won
Best Male Villain Roberto Ballesteros Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Carmen Salinas Won
Best Supporting Actor Fernando Ciangherotti
Raúl Padilla "Chóforo"
Best Young Actress Thalía Won

International releases[edit]

Country Network(s) Series premiere Series finale Weekly Schedule Time Title
 Mexico Canal de las Estrellas September 14, 1992 January 8, 1993 17:00 Maria Mercedes
 Mexico TLNovelas March 12, 2012 July 6, 2012 11:00/15:00/20:00/00:00 Maria Mercedes
 Romania Acasa TV 1998 1999 15:40 Maria Mercedes
 Philippines ABS-CBN July 8, 1996 March 7, 1997 14:00/19:00 Maria Mercedes
 Peru América Televisión November 3, 2011 February 24, 2012 9:30 Maria Mercedes
 Argentina Canal 9 Libertad February 29, 2012 May 30, 2012 monday to Friday 13:00 Maria Mercedes
 Argentina Azul TV (Now Canal 9) 2000 2000 13:00 Maria Mercedes
 Argentina Magazine June 1, 2011 September 16, 2011 21:00 Maria Mercedes
 Argentina Telefe December 8, 1997 1998 Monday to Friday 14:00 Maria Mercedes
 Paraguay Canal 13 RPC
November 16, 1992
March 12, 1993
May 8, 1993
August 5, 2011
Monday to Friday 19:00
11:00 (Rerun, transferd at 23:30)
Maria Mercedes
 Brazil SBT August 12, 1996 November 10, 1996 19:00 Maria Mercedes
 Malaysia NTV7 1999 2000 11:00 Maria Mercedes
 Slovenia Kanal A 1997 1998 16:00 Maria Mercedes
 Lithuania TV8 February 25, 2013 July 7, 2013 19:25 Maria Mercedes
 Philippines (remake) ABS-CBN October 7, 2013 January 24, 2014 21:15 Maria Mercedes
 Chile Mega November 4, 2013 February 9, 2014 21:00 María Mercedes
 Cyprus ANT1
Capital TV
December 16, 2013
May 2014
16:35, 16:00
María Mercedes
 Lebanon Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation
ماريا مرسيدس ماريا مرسيدس


In April 2013, ABS-CBN announced that they have bought the rights to air a Philippine version of María Mercedes after the success of the remake versions of Marimar (2007), Rosalinda (2009) (both were aired on GMA-7) and María la del Barrio (2011). The series starred Jessy Mendiola[1][2][3][4][5][6] in the title role, together with Jake Cuenca and Jason Abalos as her leading men, while Nikki Gil and Vivian Velez starred as the main antagonists. The series premiered on October 7, 2013 and ended on January 24, 2014.

it remade by Indonesia as Cinta Bunga


External links[edit]