Hyphenate to work with indie outfit on programming, promotion

Jennifer Lopez is hitting the small screen in a big way.

The multihyphenate has bought a minority stake in the English-language U.S. Hispanic network NuvoTV with which she has forged an exclusive partnership. As part owner, Lopez and her production shingle Nuyorican Prods. will work closely with NuvoTV on all creative elements, including programming strategy, production and marketing.

“When I sat down with the powers-that-be at NuvoTV, I saw it as a no-brainer; I’m an English-speaking Latina myself,” Lopez told Variety. “I want to take NuvoTV to the next level.”

The 8-year old indie cabler just raised $40 million in new investor coin last month (Daily Variety, Aug. 29).

“We’ll continue to refine our brand and evolve,” said NuvoTV CEO Michael Schwimmer. “Jennifer and her brand will impact how NuvoTV evolves.”

Schwimmer noted that Lopez’s investment is a sign of the heightened activity in the Latino media market. NuvoTV was a pioneer in tailoring English-lingo programming for Hispanic auds. Fox and NBCUniversal have been pouring resources into Spanish-lingo nets. Helmer Robert Rodriguez and his partners, John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa of FactoryMade Ventures, are launching El Rey, a male-skewed English-language network in 2014.

“It’s is an exciting time for this particular segment of the market,” Schwimmer said.

New original programming on NuvoTV will include scripted and reality skeins but music and dance will likely play a key role. “Music and dance is a big part of our culture,” said Lopez, who has pledged to work with NuvoTV’s distribution and advertising partners to promote the cabler.

First out the gate early next year is a music special based on Lopez’s current concert tour with Enrique Iglesias.

Lopez’s most recent incursion into TV as a producer was talent competish “Q’viva! The Chosen” which debuted on Univision in January and aired an English-language version on Fox in March. She also spent the past two seasons on Fox’s “American Idol” as a judge.

NuvoTV currently reaches 30 million homes.

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