Gems Draws Shows From New Owner


Bolstered by the resources of its new ownership, Spanish-language network Gems Television last week debuted a fall lineup that includes several added newscasts, a live talk show, reality-based programs and original sitcoms.

Specifically, the network is ramping up its informational and news offerings, part of an ongoing effort to broaden Gems' female audience, said vice president of programming Yolanda Foster. The network, which reaches 3 million Hispanic homes, also hopes to draw families in, she said.

The schedule changes include three daily live newscasts meant to complementAmerica en Vivo, a live, interactive call-in show that airs weeknights at 8 p.m.

America en Vivois simulcast on Gems' new corporate cousin, Telemundo International (the former CBS TeleNoticias), which is distributed in Latin America.

In June Telemundo Network Group LLC, a Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Group company, completed a deal to acquire Gems from Cox Communications Inc. and Venezuela's Empresas 1-BC. Gems president Gary McBride left after the sale, which put the channel and Telemundo International under the same ownership.

Gems airs its two daytime newscasts 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.; the earlier show is simulcast on Telemundo International. The new ownership allows Gems to benefit from the Telemundo group's news, information resources and programming, said Manuel Abud, president of Telemundo Cable. For example, Gems'new daily 10:30 p.m. newscast comes from the domestic Telemundo Network. "We're leveraging some of those assets into Gems," Abud said. "This is all part of a comprehensive strategy to take everything to the next level."

Following the interactiveAmerica en Vivoat 9 p.m. isMaritere, one of Peru's highest-rated talk shows. At 11 p.m., Gems has bowedRompeportones, a sketch-comedy show.

On the weekend, Gems has added a large dose of reality programming, and some comedies.

"The viewing is much different from the weekday," Foster said.

Two sitcoms-Una Familia con AngelandSolo en America-have debuted on Saturdays and Sundays. Una Familiafollows the life of a divorced businesswoman, whileSolo en Americadepicts the struggles of a divorced Venezuelan immigrant who moves to Brooklyn with her teenage daughters. Gems has also introduced new reality-based shows to its weekend schedule.