Jennifer Lopez at the Cable Show: 'I Want to Change the Face of Television'
The actress, singer and former "American Idol" judge appears to promote her role as chief creative officer of NuvoTV, a network in English for Latinos.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jennifer Lopez hopes her involvement as chief creative officer of NuvoTV will help “literally change the face of television.”
That was part of her message during an appearance Wednesday morning at the final opening-day session of the 2013 National Cable and Telecommunications Association's The Cable Show convention on Wednesday.
“I want to just have fun creating the shows,” Lopez said in an interview with Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly about what she hopes her legacy will be from her work at NuvoTV.
“What I want is for it to be remembered as a place where we gave a home to artists who didn’t have a home before, where Latino artists in front of and behind the story can tell their stories," Lopez explained. "And at the end of the day, we literally have changed the face of television.”
Asked about her possible return as a judge on American Idol, Lopez shrugged off the entire matter: “That’s just a rumor. I don’t have any announcement to make on that front right now. I’m working to build this network … and working on my 10th album.”
Lopez will appear on NuvoTV on occasion, including in the first episode of a personality profile show when the network relaunches in July. Her production company, Nuyorican Productions, which she founded in 2001 with manager Benny Medina, will also sell shows to the network, while continuing to work with others as well.
Lopez said when the executives at NuvoTV first came to her, they just saw her role as being the face of the English-language channel aimed at a Latino audience. She quickly let them know she wanted to do more than that.
“When we talked,” recalled Lopez, “I had a lot of ideas about what the network should be and programming for Latinos. It came from my upbringing. I grew up watching the Huxtables [on The Cosby Show] and Marcia Brady, but I didn’t see me.”
Lopez said as a child she fell in love with the movie West Side Story, which aired each year around Thanksgiving. She identified with what she saw and wants to bring that to others.
Lopez said being a celebrity can help NuvoTV but not just in bringing awareness: “Being a celebrity, everybody thinks ‘OK, I can bring awareness and that’s true. [But I’ve also had] 20 years in front of and behind the camera, so I bring relationships.”
Lopez said the “talent agencies [including the agency that represents her, CAA] are willing to work with us in a different way. Directors, writers -- it makes a big difference … we are able to boost the programming and the quality of the programming. That hasn’t been done before for this community.”
One area Lopez wants to boost on NuvoTV is in music. She said BET and MTV both used music to draw in an audience at first and then added other shows. She feels NuvoTV can do the same.
She also wants to bring original scripted programs to NuvoTV. “That’s a big thing for me,” said Lopez. “I feel like one amazing show can launch a network. We’re constantly on the lookout for that.”
JLo also wants NuvoTV to be educational, but not in the sense that it “hits you over the head.”
“Education in an interesting way,” she explained. “You can’t go on television [today] and get Latino figures and their history -- in politics, celebrities -- people who can change things, people who had different turning points in their life and ended up being very inspirational.”
And NuvoTV is not just for Latinos, insisted Lopez. She cited the movie The Joy Luck Club as an example.
“I knew it was about Asians but it touched me so much,” said Lopez. “It was a great story. It didn’t matter that it was about Asians, about that culture. You saw yourself in it. Every story touched some person. That’s what great art does. That’s what we want to accomplish with the NuvoTV network.”