Telemundo [www.telemundo.com] unveiled its new grid at Radio City Music Hall last night, introducing five novellas, a pair of news programs, a Carson-inspired late show, and a little futbol. Marking the NBC Universal-owned Hispanic network’s 20th year, President Don Browne acknowledged past missteps, but promised a bright future. “The primetime ratings are not where we thought they’d be,” he admitted. “We stretched the team a little too far a little too fast.”
Speaking to a half-full room that included NBCU bosses Jeff Zucker and Jay Ireland, Browne vowed to surpass better-established Univision [http://www.univision.com/portal.jhtml], though he didn’t refer to his rival by name. “Our competitor is good as it’s going to be. We’re not even close to as good as we’re going to be,” he said, stressing that Telemundo creates and owns its content.
Browne and Senior V.P. of Sales and Marketing Steve Mandala also announced an addition to Telemundo’s novela writing academy. Taller Telemundo: Actores will develop “the stars of the future” for the network’s novela dramas.
Telemundo’s new novelas are El Otro Lado del Amor, La Traicion, Dona Barbara, Las Brujas de South Beach, and Idolos de Juventud. The news programs are Al Rojo Vivo Fin de Semana con Candela Ferro and Enfoque, which is described as a Spanish-language version of NBCU sibling Meet the Press.
The network also revealed a weekend spinoff of 12 Corazones called 12 Corazones: Rumbo al Altar. It features six engaged couples competing for prizes, including the wedding of their dreams.
On the sports front, the network announced it will debut Chivas de Guadalajara (following the exploits of the popular Mexican soccer club Chivas), and digital Senior V.P. Peter Blacker shared that Telemundo had acquired the exclusive digital rights to the Mexican national team.
Alex Cambert, host of the debut late-night talker Mas Vale Tarde, got some laughs as he shared his thoughts onthe new show. “Doing what Steve Allen, Jay Leno and Johnny Carson did in the language of my parents and my grandparents is a dream come true,” he said. “I hope I don’t end up as the Sanjaya of late night.”
Sister network mun2 [http://www.mun2television.com/], appealing to younger Latinos, also revealed its slate. Introduced by programming V.P. Flavio Morales, the newcomers include magazine program holamun2.com: El Show, reality program Beauty Es Cool, and The mun2 Hook Up.