A study in the works at Harvard shows that Brazilian telenovelas have an impact--in Brazil, anyway--on lowering fertility rates and on baby name choices. From the abstract:
We focus on fertility choices in Brazil, a country where soap operas (novelas) portray families that are much smaller than in reality. We exploit differences in the timing of entry into different markets of Rede Globo, the network that has an effective monopoly on novelas production in this country. Using Census data for the period 1970-1991, we find that women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility... [also,] people living in areas covered by the signal were more likely to name their children after novela characters.The working version of the paper--which has not yet been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal--is at the Bureau of Research and Economic Analysis of Development, or BREAD [seriously].