Univision Closes Out Spanish Upfront - Multichannel

Univision Closes Out Spanish Upfront

Author:
Publish date:

More U.S.-produced primetime content is in the 2003-04 season hopper at
Univision Communications Inc.'s hybrid broadcast station/cable networks,
Univision and TeleFutura, including a new weekly drama series.

Univision will have that series on its schedule, executives announced at the
company's annual New York upfront event Wednesday morning, bringing the annual
confluence of Spanish-language TV new-season ceremonies to a close for 2003.

The project is Al Fido de la Ley (At the Edge of the Law),
following a Latino law firm in California handling immigration cases.

Tuesday, Telemundo Communications Group Inc. disclosed that it will launch a
weekly drama hour, Historias y Testigos, on an investigative reporter
working the beat along the Mexico-U.S. border.

It's the first stab at weekly drama on Telemundo since the failed remodeling
of Charlie's Angels and Starsky & Hutch (as Angeles
and Reynoldo y Reyes, respectively) under former parent Sony Pictures
Television in the late 1990s.

As with Law and Order, episodes will be adapted from actual California
court cases, Univision programming vice president Otto Padron said at a
post-upfront press briefing. "There's a good chance we will staff it" with U.S.
Latino acting, writing, directing and production talent, as well as a legal
adviser, he added.

Cynthia Klitbo and Jorge Reyes are already aboard the show's ensemble cast,
with an outside production house in charge for Univision.

Two other Univision dramas, offered in novella form and produced in-house,
will also premiere this season.

Te Amare en Silencio (I'll Love You in Silence), originally
unveiled at the 2002 upfront, features a deaf woman and her pursuit for
happiness in Los Angeles. The other, Rebeca, will give viewers the chance
to determine how the main plot line -- who from among three men gets engaged to
the woman each pursues -- turns out, through online votes.

And Univision embraced its turn to join the new award-creation binge of 2003,
involving channels from G4 and Spike TV to Tuesday's Fox Sports Español
entry.

For summer 2004, Univision will premiere Premio Juventud (The Youth
Awards
), recognizing teen talent in films, TV, music and popular
culture.

A Christmas special from music producer Emilio Estafan, Nuestra
Navidad
, is also planned.

Baldo, another Univision project announced in 2001, remains in
development, Padron added. That's a proposed half-hour animated adaptation of
the popular newspaper comic strip, with its creators as executive producers and
everything written, directed, acted and animated by Latinos.

However, TeleFutura will have an animated series on its schedule with
Betty Toons
, depicting the characters of Betty La Fea, the worldwide
Spanish-language TV of several years back, as tikes.

TeleFutura's new season premieres also include Quien Tiene la Razon?
(Who's Right?), a domestically-produced relationship talk show with
psychologist Nancy Alvarez; Noticias Calientes (Hot News), a
behind-the-scenes comedy taking place at a network news organization; and
Armas de Seduccion
(Weapons of Seduction), mixing game- and
reality-show elements.

Related