Brazil's national electricity grid is laying on extra energy to avoid a nationwide blackout Friday when the final chapter of the hit soap opera "Tropical Paradise" airs, officials said Thursday.
TV Globo expects that 90 percent of television viewers in the country of 186 million people will tune in for the final chapter to learn who murdered the scheming villain Tais and to find out if Bebel, the Pygmalion-like prostitute, will live happily ever after.
"We are worried about a possible blackout caused by a sudden surge in electricity at the end of the program," said a spokesman for the electricity company, who spoke on condition he not be named, in accordance with department policy.
"When it is all over, millions of people will get up from their armchairs and sofas to turn on the lights of their living rooms, open the refrigerator for a cold beer or heat a meal in the microwave oven," he said.
He said extra generating capacity is customarily geared up for during soccer games and other programs that attract large audiences.
Prime-time soap operas known are telenovelas, with average runs of 200 episodes, are hugely popular in Brazil. Their plot lines often become front-page news, and the heroes and villains are major topics of conversation.