Everybody loves a happy ending. That is one of the reasons it is in our human nature to cling to the unrealistic hope of experiencing our own "cinderella story." Telenovelas provide the perfect platform for this classic idea of a cinderella story to become a reality.
There are many reasons my the telenovela industry has been so successful when producing this cinderella story type of program. First of all, a majority of the viewers of these programs come from countries with large rich poor gaps. The idea of an almost forbidden love that breaks with the cultural norms of the society in which the program is produced serves as a beacon of hope for the viewers at home. This hope stems from the idea that the status quo can be broken and love can conquer the socio-economic divide that is so prominent in many of the countries where these programs are watched and produced. A twist of fait or a role reversal of sorts truly resonates with the viewers of these programs since the majority are so accustomed to lives of economic uncertainty.
These ideas previously mentioned are very valid reasons as to why the "cinderella story" has brought so much success to the telenovela industry, but i believe the main reasons this type of plot line continues to prevail is due to the fact that we as viewers cannot resist rooting for the underdog. A telenovela cannot succeed unless the audience truly falls in love with the protagonists and wants what is best for her. The underdog character is the easiest to support because we all want to watch her succeed and complete her "rags to riches" transformation with grace.
Obviously, not all telenovelas tell the stereotypical tale of the poor naive cinderella making her way from the rural countryside to find love with a wealthy man in the big city. The industry has ingeniously developed many variations of this typical love story to provide for endless hours of entertainment based off one simple plot line. For example, my favorite twist on this classic situation is when the male protagonist takes on the role of the cinderella.
Telenovelas serve as an escape from reality and provide every viewer with the chance to live vicariously through the main characters and achieve their own "cinderella story."