Brazil is in the grip of a soap opera. Avenida Brasil on Globo TV attracts 50% of the viewing public.
The BBC reports Brazilians are known to take their soap operas or novelas seriously, but Avenida Brasil has even surpassed another national passion, exceeding audiences for a recent football final.
The show is notable for putting Brazil's growing middle class centre stage where in the past it was the lives of the super wealthy which dominated.
The story is set in an imaginary district in the suburbs called Divino, where everyone knows each other, hangs out at the local bar and gossips about their neighbour's latest indiscretions.
High levels of melodrama are combined with an intricate story based on a child who comes back as an adult to avenge the death of her father.
The BBC says viewers have been gripped by the battle between Rita and Carminha, the evil stepmother who abandoned her in a landfill site as a child.