The life and untimely death of Selena Quintanilla has held the public’s attention for 24 years and counting. A young Jennifer Lopez first bidi-bidi-bom-bom’d her way into our hearts in the oft-quoted, still-beloved 1997 biopic Selena, and other Selena-related projects followed over the years. A new Telemundo series promises to plumb the depths of Selena’s murder investigation and trial for previously untold insights, despite Quintanilla family objections.
El Secreto de Selena is based on the 1997 best-selling book by journalist Maria Celeste Arrarás, who covered the trial and interviewed Selena’s murderer Yolanda Saldívar. The series first aired last year in Mexico and Latin America—but now U.S. audiences can watch it starting August 25 on Telemundo, according to Billboard.
The Quintanilla family isn’t listed in the credits of El Secreto de Selena. In 2017, Selena’s sister Suzette said Arrarás’s “book is based on a whole bunch of lies.” Previously, Selena’s father Abraham Quintanilla Jr. sued her widower Chris Perez in 2016 over a TV series based on Perez’s memoir To Selena With Love. El Secreto de Selena enters a crowded category of film and TV projects about the singer’s life, including a scripted Netflix series that was announced in December 2018 (with Suzette and Abraham executive producing), and an ABC series that was announced roughly a year earlier (the Quintanillas were also involved at the time of the announcement). Whether El Secreto can tell us something new is unlikely, but the cultural obsession around Selena remains timeless.