Univision Announces Fall Schedule

May 17, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Univision Communications announced its fall 2006 schedule Monday, sticking with its plan to run telenovelas during prime time and introducing a new game show and reality series.

Excluding the new crop of telenovelas set to air during the season, the No. 1 Spanish-language network is adding just five new series to its schedule, among them a singing competition and a sitcom featuring a family where the husband is a homemaker husband and the wife goes to work.

For the network, which has been far and away the Spanish-language leader in the United States, the message repeated to advertisers attending Univision’s upfront presentation focused on the need for advertisers to take advantage of the fast-growing demographic of Hispanic adults ages 18 to 34, who, according to the network, are extremely loyal to Univision’s advertisers.

“This business is young and growing,” said Univision President Ray Rodriguez. “We know how to connect with the Hispanic audience.”

Competition for the Spanish-language audience has never been more fierce. In addition to a reinvigorated rival in NBC Universal’s Telemundo, a number of other Spanish-language networks have cropped up in recent years, all attempting to tap into the fast-growing Hispanic market while at the same time looking to slow down the ratings juggernaut that is Univision.

Despite the competition, Univision officials are generally sticking with the established strategy to run telenovelas produced by powerhouse production companies Grupo Televisa of Mexico and Venezuela’s Venevision.

Univision has made changes in some of the other areas of its schedule. Hoping to capitalize on the ratings success of dance competition show “Bailando por un Sueno,” Univision announced that it will air “Cantando por un Sueno,” which will feature regular people teaming up with famous singers to win the chance to grant a noble wish to someone. The show airs Sundays 8-11 p.m. (ET).

Another series premiering this fall on Sundays from 7-9 p.m. is “Belleza Latina,” a show featuring Latina women competing in a beauty pageant.

On the comedy front, “%A1;Que Madre, Tan Padre!” is a series about a mother forced to go back to work after the father loses his job, and the chaos that ensues as the father adjusts to life as a homemaker. Univision plans to run the half-hour show Fridays at 10 p.m.

The network is also launching “%A1;Buenas Tardes!,” an hour-long game show that runs at 12 p.m. Monday through Friday and features five families competing against each other for the chance to fulfill a special wish.

Among the new telenovelas scheduled to air next season is “Heridas de Amor,” a story about love emerging amid rivalries and family strife; “Duelo de Pasiones,” a love story set on a coffee plantation in Mexico; “La Verdad Oculta,” a story about an ex-convict looking to settle scores; and “La Fea Mas Bella,” a story about an unattractive woman who transforms into a beauty.

Meanwhile, Univision’s second broadcast network said Tuesday that it will launch two new telenovelas this fall-“Por Amor” and “La Marca Del Deseo”-as well as the new game show “%BF;Que Dice La Gente?,” a Spanish version of the United States’ “Family Feud.”

Galavision, the company’s Spanish-language cable network, said Tuesday it will debut five new series this fall, including “Mision: Reportar,” a reality show competition to find Univision’s next on-air entertainment reporter; “Un Destino,” which showcases exotic world locales; “Notas de Estilo,” a home-makeover show; “Delicioso,” a cooking show hosted by chef Ingrid Hoffmann; and “Tercer Grado,” a talk show featuring renowned journalists and international newsmakers.