NUVOtv Expands Relationships With Jennifer Lopez, Mario Lopez


UPDATED: At its pre-upfront, the network aimed at English-speaking Latino millennials announces new series, reality shows and sports programming.

The cable channel NUVOtv, which targets Latino millennials with English language programming, announced expanded relationships with Jennifer Lopez and Mario Lopez -- and an increase in original programming, during its pre-upfront presentation on Thursday.

Although Jennifer Lopez will not appear onscreen in any of the programs in the coming season, her company Nuyorican Productions has five shows, including two new series: the talent search Sensation (working title) and the reality-show drama Los Jets, which is part of the network's new series of shows it calls "Nu America," described as an umbrella franchise for series that include social commentary.

On Monday, Jennifer Lopez will be on hand at the upfront presentation in New York City for advertisers along with NUVOtv CEO Michael Schwimmer, executive vp programming Bill Hilary and senior vp advertising Craig Geller.

Schwimmer said Thursday they were happy to have recently made a deal to acquire the Fuse channel from Madison Square Garden. Fuse is in about 73 million U.S. homes, with NUVOtv in under 35 million homes. He noted both Fuse and NUVOtv service a young, multicultural audience. He also said they look forward to taking advantage of Fuse studio space located near Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

Mario Lopez will continue to appear onscreen in his talk show, Mario Lopez: One on One, and will executive produce a series called Tequila King, which will be about the launch of a new brand of tequila by Mexican entrepreneur Eric Buccio.

"The coming television season marks a significant milestone in the development of NUVOtv as a network that offers rich and diverse programming focused on Latino culture and entertainment with universal appeal," said Schwimmer. "We have more than doubled down on our original programming efforts since last year's upfront. Our commitment to the future of NUVOtv is complemented by the purchase of Fuse and we're excited about what's ahead for both networks."

"As NUVOtv evolves, we are striving to create content with themes and stories that are unique to our audience," said Jennifer Lopez in a statement. 

Below are the other series being touted for media buyers at the official upfront on Monday:

Los Jets, which premieres July 16, follows a soccer team in a rural community in North Carolina (population 5,000), where the local Latino population has risen in 15 years from under 2 percent to over 55 percent. It is produced by Jennifer Lopez and her sister Lynda Lopez for Nuyorican Productions.

Tequila King is about Mario Lopez partnering with Buccio to bring a tequila brand to the U.S. It's produced by Mario Lopez's Gordo Productions.

Nu Point Of View, produced by Jennifer Lopez, is a showcase for Latino filmmakers. It is hosted by Gina Rodriguez.

Sensation, expected to premiere in the second quarter of 2015, will be a nationwide talent search for the next Latino sensation. That person will have to be able to sing, dance and act.

Supersong, which premieres June 8, is a one-hour special that follows singer Ricky Martin as he writes and records the theme song for the upcoming World Cup.

A Step Away, premiering in early 2015, is a weekly series that follows ten professional dancers on tour, as they travel with superstar performers. Jennifer Lopez executive produces.

The Collective, Powered by VEVO, which premieres at the end of this year, is a weekly series about celebrity DJs, who will offer their personal music picks. Jennifer Lopez executive produces.

Love & Salsa, premiering in early 2015, will be a competition series that combines matchmaking and performance. It's executive produced by Mario Lopez, Mark Schulman of 3 Arts and Gil Lopez of Gordo, in association with Jaam Productions.

Stand Up & Deliver, due to premiere in early 2015, has Jose Sarduy and Julissa Bermudez go to Mexico to host a Latin comedy festival.

Original Comedy Specials, to premiere soon, will be a series of stand-up comedy specials form Levity Entertainment, which owns comedy clubs including The Improv. Specials will feature Rick Gutierrez, Pablo Francisco, Pete Correale, Jim Breuer, Alonzo Bodden, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jamie Kennedy and others.

Knockout returns in 2015 with a weekly boxing competition. The boxers train in Las Vegas with Floyd Mayweather Sr. and others. Nine contenders will seek a professional contract. The season ends with a live prizefight.

There will also be boxing specials beginning June 7 under the Knockout brand. The first takes place in Miami.