Headed by writer-producer Jeff Valdez, New Cadence launched earlier this year as a production venture designed to develop series and other content from Latinx creators, actors, directors and producers. Valdez’s partners in the venture are Sol Trujillo, former US West and Orange CEO, HBO and 21st Century Fox alum Vincent Cordero and investor Bruce Barshop.
New Cadence is assembling a comedy festival focused on Latinx talent to be held next year in San Antonio, Texas. The pact with WarnerMedia calls for at least one special for HBO Max to be derived from the HA Comedy Festival. The deal was expected to be announced today at L’Attitude, a three-day business conference that begins today in San Diego focusing on Latinx movers and shakers in a variety of industries.
On the series development front, Valdez said New Cadence is initially looking for half-hour aspirational material aimed at a broad audience. “We are not looking for Latino shows, per se, we are looking to develop shows for a wide audience that come from a Latino perspective,” Valdez told Variety.
Valdez and Trujillo have spent the past year making the rounds with industry titans to discuss the extremely low level of Latinx participation at all levels of the entertainment industry and to underscore the fast-growing influence and economic power of Hispanic consumers in the U.S.
The timing of New Cadence’s arrival was fortuitous for WarnerMedia. Kevin Reilly, head of programming for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max direct-to-consumer service and president of TNT, TBS and TruTV, said reaching young and diverse audiences is a key goal of the HBO Max programming strategy.
“This was on the top of my agenda and suddenly here they were in my office with the right idea and focus,” Reilly told Variety. “You’ve got a group of experienced and influential executives here who have a desire to seed the next generation of creatives. That’s a really unique situation.”
Reilly noted that any programmer trying to reach a younger demographic has to pay attention to Latinx community — “that’s just a demographic fact,” he said.
Trujillo credited WarnerMedia executives with recognizing the enormous muscle of a community that remains woefully underrepresented in mainstream entertainment.