May 16, 2007 3:04 PM
OK, it's official: Univision had more fun at its upfront than the networks that preceded it. Was it Marc Anthony, backed up by a 12-piece-plus band, closing the presentation with three brass-heavy numbers? Was it Jennifer Lopez showing up to flack her new show "Como Ama una Mujer?" Was it the emcee, comedian Andrew Kennedy making fun of Anglos? Was it Univision's co-sales chiefs Dennis McCauley and Tom McGarrity doing wire work a la "The Matrix" (or was that "Mary Poppins?") above the stage?
Whatever it is, it worked. I don't seem to remember 90 percent of the audiences at ABC or NBC on their feet, attempting (in some cases, painfully) to salsa. COO Ray Rodriguez and new CEO (and former ad buyer) Joe Uva did their obligatory pitch, crediting their newish private-equity owners with seeing what all the ad buyers in the audience should see: That Univision viewers love their network more than other networks' viewers love them. It was a veiled engagement pitch that wasn't as animatronic as some of the other networks' executives' performances. Which made it somehow, well, more engaging.