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In a rare feat, Mexican music star and budding actress Jenni Rivera has a hand in projects from both major Spanish-language network operators. But she’s looking to do much more.
“I have always wanted to be the Mexican Oprah Winfrey,” she told THR in an interview. “I know that one day I will have my own TV talk show, maybe bilingual. I will probably have a radio talk show like Howard Stern does. I want to be one of the first Mexican females to be able to break into this.”
After having often heard that she should try her hand at acting, Rivera will star in the Univision Webnovela “No Me Hallo” (Finding Myself), a production of Univision Studios and Univision Interactive Media. She also will executive produce (and at times appear in) a reality show for Telemundo’s young adult-skewing mun2 network.
The latter, dubbed “Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis & Raq-C,” will feature Rivera’s oldest daughter, who runs Rivera’s business, and the daughter’s best friend, a radio DJ. The show is about two young, strong Latinas making their way in the world.
“We’ve always valued her and what she represents to our viewer,” Flavio Morales, senior vp programming and production for mun2, said of Rivera, who was raised in Long Beach, Calif. “She personifies what mun2 is all about, the uniquely American experience of being a bicultural Latino.”
The acting role for Univision was one reason why she took a different approach with mun2. Plus, “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put my own life out there as reality,” she said.
In the Univision romantic comedy for the Web, Rivera plays a woman who constantly changes jobs as she tries to find herself.
Univision Networks president Cesar Conde said “Hallo” will be filmed for the Web with 15-20 episodes of 3-5 minutes each. “Assuming it works, we may reverse-incubate it for TV,” he told THR.
Adding to the Rivera rush, Univision sister network TeleFutura on Sunday aired a special about Rivera titled “Jenni Rivera: La Diva de Hierro” (The Iron Diva). It included details about how the family dealt with sexual abuse that Rivera’s ex-husband was found to have committed against his daughters and Rivera’s sister.
Univision and Telemundo say they don’t mind that Rivera will have a role with both Spanish-language TV giants in the U.S.
Rivera, who specializes in the brass-based, traditional Mexican music style known as Banda, said she admires Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce for their move from music into acting.
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