Brazil in American popular culture tends to follow the usual stereotypes, as does much of Latin America. It's much more convenient to use themes and plots that people are familiar with than presenting a completely realistic view, not to mention keeping as much Spanish or Portuguese out of the dialogue as possible - god forbid that Americans have to read subtitles.
While there are exceptions - there is a ton of Spanish spoken on Dexter and Weeds, for example - when you turn on the TV in the US, you'll be hard pressed to find themes about Latin America that aren't related to drugs, crime, or sexy women. Even Ugly Betty, based on the popular Colombian novela, is rapidly coming to an end mostly due to bad writing, but in my opinion, also due to sticking to many of the same Latino stereotypes other shows do. Sometimes, though, there are small, positive glimpses: V, ABC's remake of the 80s alien show, stars a fantastic Brazilian-born actress who got the chance to speak a little Portuguese at the beginning of the season, when there were brief shots of Rio.
Then, there are shows that take real-life occurrences and turn them into Hollywood crap. Take, for example, the most recent episode of Law and Order, that mixed together the Climategate e-mail scandal, the Balloon Boy incident, and more importantly, the Goldman case. The basic plot is that an American woman divorces her husband and kidnaps their child to Brazil, where she marries a Brazilian scientist. The scientist goes to the US for a climate conference, and then the plot gets Law and Order-y. With all of these different plot lines, the "ripped from the headlines" episode, ironically broadcast on NBC, does very little justice to the many left behind parents who followed the Goldman case (in fact, the fictional kidnapped child's name is Nicole, the same name of the daughter of an American LBP being held in Brazil). Don't try to hard to find the episode online - it's pretty dumb (not to mention it doesn't help LBPs' reputation in the least).
What do you think of Brazil and Latin stereotypes on American TV?