By: Leila Cobo
While Shakira’s announced performance will be a major to-do at Univision Communications’ Upfront presentation on Tuesday, the network is also expected to announce major music-driven content as part of its 2017-18 programming.
New additions include two new scripted series: Barrio Records and a bio-series based on Luis Miguel’s life story.
Barrio Records, developed by Story House Entertainment, Univision’s new content development and production unit, will be based around hip-hop and reggaeton. The Luis Miguel series is being developed under executive producer Pedro Torres, who worked with the singer on multiple videos and who said in a recent press conference that “Luis Miguel is the greatest singer we [Mexico] have had and probably the greatest we will have in many years.”
Univision’s take on Luis Miguel, which was announced earlier this year, will compete with another bio-series produced by MGM TV and Gato Grande Productions that will air on Telemundo.
Beyond scripted series, Univision’s music-themed programming remains robust, while at the same time, music’s integration into all aspects of Univision programming will continue to grow, from sports to drama.
In a major move, the network is expected to announce that its three annual music awards shows — Premios Lo Nuestro, Premios Juventud and the Latin Grammys — will move to Sunday nights. The move, according to the network, is in “direct response to viewer demand.”
In addition, the network is bringing back its high-rated music-based competitions and reality shows. They include Pequeños Gigantes USA, the U.S. version of Mexican kiddie contest Pequeños Gigantes, which in its U.S. incarnation had a hugely successful first season. La Banda, the reality competition co-produced with Simon Cowell, returns for a third season, following the sustained success of CNCO, the group spawned from season 1 and who won artist of the year, new at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards. And dance competition Mira Quien Baila (Look Who’s Dancing) returns for a fifth season.
New to the Univision lineup will be Tu Cara Me Suena (Your Face Sounds Familiar), where celebrities will impersonate music icons.
Music is one of five “Passion Points” — the others are soccer, news, family and drama — under which Univision is presenting its programming lineup. The company’s upfront will take place Tuesday at the Lyric Theater in New York.