MundoFox is now more than one year old, yet it already seems to have grown from its first weeks on the air. Today, the Fox Hispanic Media-owned broadcast network appears to have a clear focus on millennial Hispanics who may not be solely interested in the traditional telenovela. There are also some early successes that couldn’t be different from one another in their content. In an exclusive Q&A session, Fox Hispanic Media executive vice president of programming Adriana Ibañez opened up with Hispanic Television Update contributor Adam Jacobson on where MundoFox has come in a relatively short period of time, and where it is heading as it seeks to compete with Univision, Telemundo, UniMás and EstrellaTV. An edited transcript follows.
MCN: What are the clear breakout hits for MundoFox so far this fall?
Adriana Ibañez: We’re really excited about the fall television season. We kicked it off with the game show 100 Latinos Dijeron, an originally produced Spanish-language version of Family Feud hosted by Marco Antonio Regil. [Editor’s note: Regil is considered the dean of game shows in Mexico, having hosted that country’s versions of The Price Is Right and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?]
100 Latinos Dijeron is taped out of Los Angeles and airs at 7 p.m. ET. This is a show that the entire family can enjoy together. It has considerably grown in the time period and continues to show a positive trend.
We also launched the much-anticipated epic biblical series José de Egipto, which follows the success of previous biblical series El Rey David and Sanson y Dalila. The response has been amazing. Biblical-themed dramas have resonated very well among our viewers. José de Egipto is nothing like what viewers have been used to seeing on Spanish-language television in the U.S., and we could not be happier with its performance, which has been the highest in our short history.
After only one year on the air, MundoFox has hit a milestone with these two programs, delivering record ratings for the network.
MCN: El Factor X was certainly a centerpiece of the upfront presentations in May in New York. What can you say about the show today, and how it distinguishes itself from Telemundo’s La Voz Kids and similar shows on Hispanic television?
AI: Both shows stem from very successful formats. The X Factor in particular has enjoyed massive success in the U.S. and around the world. This was a huge project for us to have undertaken with less than a year on the air. This project is very dear to us, and marked the network's first reality platform show. It was a wonderful branding opportunity for us and was a beautiful vehicle to showcase and nurture young Latino talent.
MCN: Noticias MundoFox has already made its mark at 10 p.m. What sets this newscast apart from other networks' newscasts?
AI: Noticias MundoFox is committed to providing Latino viewers quality news programming and culturally relevant news content that is conscious of the diversity and sensitivities of the different demographics that comprise the U.S. Hispanic market. We are based out of Los Angeles, unlike other Spanish-language newscasts, with news bureaus in New York, Mexico City and Washington, D.C. We also have the privilege of having Peabody Award-winning news anchor Rolando Nichols hosting our national weekday newscasts.
MCN: There was much excitement at the Upfront presentation for MundoFox, held in May, regarding the addition of FX drama The Bridge to the lineup. How has the show performed on MundoFox?
AI: After a successful first season on FX, The Bridge has been dubbed into Spanish, bringing this gut-wrenching present-day thriller to U.S. Hispanic households for the first time.
Why has it been effective for MundoFox? The Bridge tells a story that not only resonates with our Mexican audience due to the real events upon which the plot is based, but it also touches on themes like immigration that hit close to home for all Latinos in this country.
In terms of the production value, something that makes this encore presentation of the series' first season so special is that actor Demian Bichir himself lends his voice for the Spanish-language version, delivering the lines of his character Marco Ruiz. This is something that has been received particularly well and has been appreciated by viewers.
MCN: Is the debut of The Bridge on MundoFox only the beginning of a wave of programming from Fox’s stable of U.S. networks?
AI: As we were preparing to launch as a network last year, we always knew going into this that we wanted to leverage being part of the Fox family, not only in terms of advertising opportunities but, more importantly, as part of our long-term content strategy.