‘Top Chef Mexico,’ VR and Sports on Deck For Telemundo, NBC Universo

Telemundo and NBC Universo are loading up on new shows that are a big departure for Spanish-language television, from scripted drama series to shows with second-screen apps and virtual reality woven into the storytelling.

Sports also is a big priority for NBCU’s Spanish-language networks now that it has nabbed the Spanish-language rights to the next three World Cup championships. NBC Sports and Olympics president Mark Lazarus was on hand to announce the launch of NBC Deportes as a unit within NBC Sports to produce Spanish-language programming, just in time for next year’s summer Olympics in Rio.

At the Tuesday evening upfront at Frederick P. Rose Hall, NBCUniversal execs emphasized the high level of mobile, smartphone and social media usage among young U.S. Hispanics in their pitch to advertisers.

Joe Uva, NBCU’s chairman of Hispanic Enterprises and Content, made mention of the fact that President Bill Clinton appeared earlier in the day at the upfront for rival Univision Communications. Noting that Clinton discussed the growing clout and influence of the Hispanic population, Uva said: “We couldn’t agree more.”

Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser emphasized the company’s focus on targeting U.S.-born Hispanics rather than importing shows from Latin America.  “We want a network that gets it and gets us,” Silberwasser said.

Telemundo’s push includes the “Super Series” that are a departure from the telenovela format in that they are designed to return for multiple seasons. Telemundo has two such series on the air now — “El Señor de Los Cielos” and “Señora Acero” — and a third on the way.

Telemundo is also developing a series of biopics on Latin American musical icons, starting with Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Another big initiative is the launch next season of a Saturday night variety show, “La Sopresa de tu Vida” (The Surprise of Your Life) to take advantage of the opening on the night now that Univision’s long-running “Sabado Gigante” is coming to an end in September.

Meanwhile, NBC Universo is borrowing a franchise from sibling cabler Bravo in mounting “Top Chef Mexico,” featuring chef contestants from Mexico and the U.S. The show follows Telemundo’s success in adapting NBC’s “The Voice” into a kid-focused competition, “La Voz Kids.”

Among digital initiatives, exec talked up the launch of a second-screen app for series “Double Accion” which is designed to be watched concurrently with the linear telecast. There’s also an effort to bring VR to programming through what was briefly described as a “simple, brandable attachment” to a smartphone.

(Pictured: NBCUniversal’s Joe Uva with “Sopresa” hosts Angelica Vale and Raul Gonzalez)

More TV

  • Love Island - Pictured: Kyra Green,

    Profits and Revenues Slide, but Are ‘Better Than Expected,’ Says ITV

    ITV’s revenues and profits slid into negative territory in the first half of the year, but CEO Carolyn McCall said the results were better than expected. The boss of Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster had previously warned that 2019 would partly be about mitigating losses for the company, as major advertisers brace for Brexit. “The economic [...]

  • Harley Quinn DC Universe

    4 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 1

    The 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour kicked off on Tuesday with presentations from DC Universe, A+E Networks, and Nat Geo. DC Universe, the DC-branded streaming service, brought their adult animated series based on “Harley Quinn,” while A+E brought along a range of projects from across their portfolio. It was also announced that A+E [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'The Boys' Final Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases the trailer for the second season of “The Purge” and Amazon drops the final trailer before “The Boys” launches.  RENEWALS Viceland has renewed the pro wrestling docu-series “Dark Side of the Ring” for a second season. The upcoming season will feature 10 hour-long episodes chronicling the lives of wrestlers inside [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA West Unveils Candidates for Election That Reflects Discord Over Agency Campaign

    The WGA West has unveiled the slate of candidates for officer posts and board seats in the election that reflects the divisions among members over the guild’s handling of the campaign to reform its rules governing talent agents. Scribes Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”) and William Schmidt (“Yellowstone”) are set to challenge David Goodman for the president’s [...]

  • The Code CBS

    'The Code' Canceled After One Season on CBS

    Freshman military drama “The Code” is officially done at CBS. The news comes just one day after the show’s season finale, which will now serve as the show’s series finale. “Thank you to all you wonderful people who watched [‘The Code’],” series star Dana Delany wrote on Twitter. “Last night was our finale and sadly, [...]

  • Matt Tolmach'Venom' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Amazon to Develop Human IPO Series With Matt Tolmach Producing

    Amazon is developing a series inspired by the true story of a man who sold shares of himself to investors, Variety has learned. In a competitive situation, Amazon has landed the project, titled “JNNA.” It is described as a half-hour comedy about the next big investment craze — humans. It is inspired by Mike Merrill, [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Projects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for 2020 Olympics

    NBCUniversal projected it would sell more than $1.2 billion in advertising for its 17 days of broadcasts of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, citing the event as a rare opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach big audiences without the worry of politics getting in the way of a commercial message. The Olympics is “one of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content