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MAY
15
2 YEARS

Upfronts 2012: Sofia Vergara Makes Surprise Appearance at Univision Upfront

The top-rated Spanish-language network takes aim at NBC's 'might-see TV.'

Sofia Vergara
Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Modern Family star Sofia Vergara made a surprise appearance at Univision's upfront presentation Tuesday morning at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Vergara walked onstage in a tight leopard-print dress as Univision ad sales chief David Lawenda was engaged in a hip-shaking dance routine that channeled the Broadway setting.

"Sofia! Oh my God! What are you doing here?" Lawenda asked in mock surprise.

"Honey, I may work somewhere else, but this is where I live," said Vergara, utilizing the network's upfront brand statement: "Latinos Live Here."

Upfronts 2012: Complete Coverage

"You don't strike me as a Latino," Vergara observed.

"After five years, I'm Latino in my heart," said Lawenda in Spanish and English.

Colombia native Vergara, who began her acting career in telenovelas, is in New York for ABC's upfront presentation Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln Center. And ABC and Univision recently consummated their relationship with a partnership on an upcoming English-language news channel set to launch in early 2013.

Of course. that doesn't mean that ABC wasn't a target during Lawenda's lively presentation. He took direct aim at English-language broadcast competitors ABC, Fox, CBS and especially NBC.

Not only does Univision account for 73 percent of the U.S. Hispanic market, it has beaten NBC 195 nights this season among the 18-49 demo coveted by advertisers. And an onscreen graphic during Lawenda's presentation featured a dying peacock as he called NBC's primetime "might-see TV."

"When the English-language networks come to you this year asking for double-digit CPM (cost per thousand viewers) increases, and the Spanish-language networks come to you asking for an investment, remember the power of Univision," said Lawenda.

Email: Marisa.Guthrie@THR.com
Twitter: @MarisaGuthrie