One year ago, the future of popular reality TV series Larrymania and its star, Larry Hernandez, were in question.
On Sept. 25, 2015, Hernandez — a regional Mexican music star known for narco-corridos, songs that glamorize the Mexican drug lords — was prevented from boarding a Southwest Airlines flight from Ontario, Calif., to Denver by airport police who received a warrant for his arrest. The warrant, issued in South Carolina, accused Hernandez of kidnapping, assault, and assault and battery causing injury.
That put Larrymania into best-of mode and sent NBC Universo execs into a mini crisis-mode.
Today, Larrymania is two episodes into its fifth season. Viewers have enjoyed catching up on the launch of a new beauty line from Hernandez’s fiancée, Kenia. They’ve also seen Larry enjoy a day off with the guys that takes an unexpected competitive turn.
Thus, all is well — for now — with Larrymania, which returned to the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot on the NBCUniversal pay-TV network on Nov. 27.
The reality show is arguably one of the most-watched programs on NBC Universo and is one of the few holdover programs from the network’s previous incarnation, mun2. That’s why media reports of what Hernandez was accused of were so concerning to network executives.
In late October 2015, it became known that Hernandez was charged with wrapping a man in plastic sheeting; forcing him into his hotel room with “several associates of Hernandez”; and beating him when Hernandez wasn’t paid in full for an August performance in the small agricultural town of Newbury, S.C., where many first-generation Mexican and Central American immigrants have settled.
At first, NBC Universo VP/Communications Peter Dobrow declined to comment on future plans for the series.
By February 2016, it became clear that Hernandez’s legal troubles would not be immediately resolved. With Hernandez out on bail, the network green-lighted a fifth season of Larrymania.
Alluding to his troubles, Hernandez said, “This new season of Larrymania will no doubt be very special because many different things have happened in my life. This is a new chapter of my life I want to share with my fans.”
There has been little discussion of Hernandez’s legal situation since February, when it was believed all charged would be dropped over suspicions the star was framed by another individual.
One thing is clear: The only thing Hernandez needs to worry about at the moment is Larrymania’s performance in the Nielsen ratings.