Telemundo, J-Lo Reach Deal

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Jennifer Lopez became the new programming force on NBC-owned Telemundo's
block Tuesday night.

The entertainment superstar signed a multiyear agreement to develop and
executive-produce Spanish-language content -- produced in the United States with
domestic Latino talent -- for Telemundo through her Nuyorican Productions
company.

Although full details of the venture were unavailable, Telemundo chief
operating officer Alan Sokol told Multichannel News the deal may also
give Lopez opportunities to create bilingual shows for mun2, Telemundo's cable
channel for the generation X/Y audience.

Telemundo is distributed mostly through broadcast stations, with stand-alone
cable affiliates elsewhere.

First up: a primetime novela (limited drama series) premiering in 2004 about
a barrio girl overcoming various obstacles to succeed in the arts. The series
will be taped or filmed on location, location to be determined.

Other projects under discussion include a weekly music/dance variety show,
weekly dramas, situation comedies, reality series and other novelas.

Lopez will co-executive-produce and supervise all shows developed with Benny
Medina, her partner in Nuyorican.

Lopez is believed to be the first U.S. Latino superstar making a major
Spanish-language TV-production commitment.

Telemundo broke the news, with a live appearance by Lopez, near the end of
its annual fall-season upfront event in New York. The deal was under discussion
for several months, but it was completed only a few hours before the upfront
presentation.

A Lopez concert from her tour in Puerto Rico was carried on NBC last fall,
then repeated with additional material on Telemundo several weeks later.

"I wanted to get involved in making shows for Telemundo because I loved the
idea of creating quality shows for our culture," Lopez told the upfront
audience. "I see this opportunity as a way to connect to the Spanish-speaking
audience in a different and more profound way than has been done in the past. I
want to tell stories of Latinos who grow up here and live the American dream. We
want all of you to support the next wave of Latino TV."

At Telemundo's after-upfront party, Sokol noted that Lopez initiated the
negotiations for a long-term production contract.

"She's very passionate about this. Our challenge has been to develop a
Spanish-language-TV creative community, and this is a big step in that
direction," he said.

Sokol also expressed hope that new mun2 shows will come from the Nuyorican
arrangement. "She's the perfect personification of the channel," he added.

The deal is separate from Lopez's agreement with NBC to do an
English-language sitcom loosely based on her life.

Among the new fall shows on Telemundo's lineup: La Ley Del Silenco
(The Way of Silence), a young priest drama taped in and around
Houston; Las Comadres (The Comrades), the channel's daytime answer
to The View; and Historias de Testigos, a weekly drama on a
reporter investigating strange circumstances along the Texas-Mexico
border.

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