Upfronts review, Telemundo and Univision 2016

What is an upfront?

Basically, it’s a big announcement/presentation of the year’s programming so that the networks can start attracting advertisers.

Telemundo produces their own shows, so it’s a pretty safe bet that we’ll get everything they presented in the Upfront. Univision, on the other hand, primarily broadcasts telenovelas produced by Televisa. They’ve never presented anything in an Upfront that Televisa didn’t produce, but typically Canal de las Estrellas shows them first and they don’t always get to Univision–we’re still “waiting” for El Color de la Pasión, and SURPRISE! A Que No Me Dejas is rumored to be starting at the end of May (even though it was presented at last year’s Upfront).

Telemundo and Univision presented their Upfronts Monday and Tuesday of this week, so we’re giving you a list of what’s on the way in order of the shows we’re least to most interested in–primarily focusing on telenovelas, but with a few other types of shows thrown in. If you want to look at the complete lists, you can find Univision’s here (also covering UniMás and Galavisión) and Telemundo’s here (also covering NBC Universo).

Pass.
Hugo Chávez: El Comandante (Telemundo)

It’s all in the title. Starring Andres Parra (Pablo Escobar); 60 episodes. More information from Variety.

Sara: It’s about Hugo Chávez. As far as recapping/discussion goes, I don’t want to cover that.

5ftLatina: Amen!

El Chapo (Univision)

Another self-explanatory title. This one’s a joint Netflix-Univision production.

5ftLatina: All I can say is “pass.”

Sara: I don’ t get the point of airing something that’s been on Netflix. Don’t networks want new material?

5ftLatina: This is a new production, but Narcos and Club de Cuervos have already aired on Netflix and those are being re-broadcast on Univision as part of the new partnership.

Sara: *shakes head in confusion*

Narcos (Univision)

This is the first season of the Netflix series, being re-broadcast on Univision, focusing on Pablo Escobar.

5ftLatina: *yawn*

Cortes, Conquistador de México (Telemundo)

Does just what it says on the tin.

5ftLatina: I do love me some history, but I don’t know if I can stomach this. I’m a little tired of the “history is written by the victors” angle.

Sara: I have to agree with that sentiment.

El Señor de los Cielos 5 (Telemundo)

Yet another installment of the most popular narconovela on Telemundo. But doesn’t announcing Season 5 spoil Season 4? OOOOPS Way to go, Telemundo.

5ftLatina: Seriously, he’s not dead yet?

Sara: And surely at this point it would be hard to jump into the series?

40 y 20 (Univision)

“Here’s what happens when a divorced, 40-year-old dad and his 20-year-old son live together like bachelors.” More information from Univision Corporate.

Sara: That has the potential to make me want to punch people in the throat.

5ftLatina: Really? Because the description put me to sleep.

Sara: Yeah, I was almost snoozing when I saw this “There’s dating, mischief and laugh-out-loud interactions with the ex-wife.” Which is probably code for sexist humor.

5ftLatina: *head explodes*

Tres Veces Ana (Univision)

This is a remake of the classic Lazos de Amor. Triplets are separated. This time they’re all named “Ana _.” Will be shown in two “seasons”–one in the summer and the second in the fall.

5ftLatina: The promos have been uninspiring, except to those who are big Boyer-Rulli fans. And they’re splitting this into 2 “seasons”? Um, no. It actually premieres on Univision on Monday, so why are they pushing so hard?

Super X’s (Galavisión)

Something about some kind of inept superheroes with unreliable powers.

Sara: Superpowers!

5ftLatina: Gah, yes, so tempting! But Galavisión’s planning/scheduling/communication with cable companies leaves a lot to be desired. Whether this one turns out to be any good or not, it may be incredibly difficult to follow it.

Sara: Damn you Galavisión! *shakes fists at the heavens*

Probably not
Club de Cuervos (Univision)

A rebroadcast of the comedy series from Netflix about fútbol players.

Sara: Wait, isn’t that on Netflix?

5ftLatina: Yeah, it’s part of their new partnership.

El Chema (Telemundo)

This is a spinoff of El Señor de los Cielos, starring Mauricio Ochmann.

5ftLatina: At least it’s not El Señor de los Cielos?

Sara: It might be easier for a “newcomer” to the franchise to jump in.

Bloque de Busqueda (UniMás)

A show about the team of elite law enforcement officers sent to find Pablo Escobar. This might be a re-run of the original RCN production or possibly a remake.

5ftLatina: While I typically like law enforcement dramas, there’s nothing about this that sounds especially tempting.

En la Vida de Joan Sebastian (Univision)

A mini-series about the life of Joan Sebastian. Stars Livia Brito as Maribel Guardia, and two of Joan Sebastian’s sons. Produced by Carla Estrada, 18 episodes. Here’s a link with more information.

Sara: Carla Estrada has a reputation for solid work. And it’s a short series. I’m “meh”, but I do like Joan Sebastian’s music. I’m not a big Livia Brito fan.

5ftLatina: I’m kind of…”meh,” but I don’t have a reason.

La Doña (Telemundo)

A remake/update of Doña Barbara with a construction theme. Stars Aracely Arámbula, Danna Paola, David Chocarro. More information from NovelaLounge.

5ftLatina: Well, it has a solid cast, but is it going to be possible to watch this without comparing it to the novel or the previous telenovela version?

Sara: I haven’t even seen the original and I’m iffy about this. Wait, I take that back. La Patrona got a lot of good buzz and when I went to Costa Rica, my hostess in Monteverde said she really liked that. So maybe I will give this one a try. I’m on the fence.

Maaaaaaaybe?
La Doble Vida de Estela Carrillo (Univision)

A teacher tries to balance a secret identity and her dream of becoming a música regional Mexicana singer after witnessing a murder. Produced by Rosy Ocampo.

5ftLatina: I like the combination of music and some sort of a mystery/thriller.

Sara: it’s about a teacher. This whole premise makes me laugh.

5ftLatina: I agree, when I tried to explain it I thought “OK, this really sounds weird,” but somehow I’m intrigued. Now that I see who’s in charge, I think it’s supposed to be a comedy?

Sara: I’ve tried Qué Pobres Tan Ricos and Antes Muerta Que Lichita. I just can’t seem to stick with her shows.

Mujeres de Negro (Univision)

Three women plot to kill their husbands. Remake of a Finnish program, Producer Carlos Moreno (Amor Bravio, Quiero Amarte). More information from Latin Times.

Sara: From the article “…features strong female characters who develop a radical plan to take control of their lives.” (granted it involves killing their husbands….)

5ftLatina: Ay, Univision…again with the remakes.

Sara: But I give Univision points for looking at Finland.

Vino el Amor (Univision)

Remake of the 2015 Chilean telenovela La ChúcaraMore information from NovelaLounge.

5ftLatina: I like the idea of a vineyard setting (or possibly just wine).

Sara: I still have faith in José Alberto Castro, despite Pasión y Poder. But, I’ve already seen the AMAZING Chilean version and I can’t fathom that Televisa will put together the proper cast. In fact, I already saw a rumor about who is being considered for the male lead and burst into tears.

Las Amazonas (Univision)

Stars Victoria Ruffo, Cesar Evora, Danna Garcia, Grettel Valdez, Mariluz Bermúdez. It’s not in the Upfront, but Univision almost always ends up showing a Mejia production despite what they said in their upfronts. Remember that time they announced El Color de la Pasión and they ended up showing Lo Imperdonable? More information from Latin Times.

5ftLatina: The cast looks amazing. Horses!

Sara: Andres Palacios!

5ftLatina: Mejia. 🙁 X1000.

Sara: Damn Mejia for putting together such solid casts and producing such drivel. I don’t know if I will be able to resist at least trying this one.

El Vato, Season 2 (NBC Universo)

The further adventures of El Vato and his friends in LA. Here’s a press release from NBC.

5ftLatina: You know I love the “Mariana Conquers LA” portion of the show. But the thing is, and I say this lovingly…it’s not a great show. It’s entertaining enough, but my continued viewing is going to depend on how the rest of this season goes.

Sin senos si hay paraíso (Telemundo)

A sequel to Sin senos no hay paraiso (2008). More information from Telemundo.

Sara: I like Catherine Siachoque (caveat: I can only take her in doses.)

5ftLatina: I never saw the original, but I think it’s the sex, drugs and violence that are going to be sort of a turnoff.

El Principe (UniMás)

A Spanish series from Telecinco, being re-broadcast here for the first time. This is a spy drama set in Morocco, involving police corruption, drug trafficking and Muslim extremism. Here’s a synopsis from Univision Corporate.

5ftLatina: Spy dramas are one of my favorite genres and I have more confidence in this one knowing it’s a Spanish series and not a Televisa production.

Sara: I’m still nervous about it. Spain doesn’t have a history of fairly portraying Muslims and Jews LOL. I don’t know. It just feels…iffy?

5ftLatina: Right…Spain…good point.

Las Hijas de Tierra Blanca (UniMás)

Sounds like a narco, but from the POV of the women of Tierra Blanca who fight them off.

5ftLatina: I like that it’s a spin on the traditional narconovela, so *I* might like it…but it’s still not going to appeal to those burned-out on drugs and violence.

Sara: Having only watched Señora Acero (1-2) and La Querida del Centauro, I’m willing to give it a try. Especially if it’s as well written as La Querida del Centauro.

Cautiously optimistic
Guerra de Idolos (Telemundo)

It’s about two families competing in the Latin music business.

Sara: Sounds good…if it doesn’t get all drug lord money laundering.

5ftLatina: Yes, gimme the Nashville or Smash of música regional Mexicana! However, after watching this season of El Vato, if this doesn’t put the MUSIC more at the forefront…pass.

La Candidata (Univision)

A woman who is believed dead returns to take revenge by challenging her politically corrupt husband in a presidential election. It’s produced by the same woman who produced Yo no creo en los hombres. More information from NovelaLounge.

5ftLatina: If we can count on the same level of quality as Yo no creo, this should be a pretty good one, however they haven’t announced a cast yet.

Sara: This has a lot of potential. I’ll hold judgment until I see a cast.

Su Verdadero Nombre Era Dolores (Univision)

A biopic about Jenni Rivera. More information from Billboard.

5ftLatina: I’m all for more attention for women performers.

Sara: I’m a fan of Jenni Rivera. I’d love to see this.

Silvana sin Lana (Telemundo)

Stars Maritza Rodriguez, Carlos Ponce. A formerly-rich woman falls for her not-rich neighbor. Remake of the Chilean novel Pituca sin Luca. More information from Latin Times.

5ftLatina: The cast sounds good

Sara: Mr. Sara is willing to give it a try because of Carlos Ponce.

5ftLatina: I don’t really have a reason, but I’m in.

Bring it!
Canción de Mujer (Univision)

A reality show looking for the next big música regional Mexicana singer.

5ftLatina: I love competitive reality! It’s all women! There’s singing!

Sara: This could be awesome! A big pro for me is that contest shows tend to air just once a week.

Señora Acero 3: La Coyote (Telemundo)

We have a new Señora. More information from Telemundo.

Sara: The cast is good. Honestly, it looks like this is a “reboot” of a sort. It might be good. But there’s no Blanca Soto (she’s not a great actress, but she was fun to watch.) Still, this is a “Bring it” for me. I’ve already invested 2 seasons. Why break the streak now?

La Querida del Centauro 2 (Telemundo)

All the leads from Season 1 are returning, plus Sandra Echevarria. More information from People en Español.

Sara: Hell yes. That is all. Although…Sandra Echevarria.

La Fan (Telemundo)

Written by Angélica Vale. A comedy about an actor’s biggest fan meeting him and turning his life upside down. More information from NovelaLounge.

5ftLatina: I am so totally stoked about this one because ANGÉLICA VALE!

Sara: I am totally stoked about this because you are.

Por favor, Virgen, let this be as good as it looks!
La Ronca de Oro (UniMás)

The story of ‘50s singer Helena Vargas.
A preview from CMO Productions…

5ftLatina: I love a good music story, and especially when it’s someone I know very little about.

Sara: Ditto.

5ftLatina: And that preview…this looks like an amazing production!

Sara: YESS!!!!!! It looks fricking amazing.


These are just the opinions of two opinionated TV addicts (and one mostly-disinterested person who pointed to a few things and said “That one sounds good.”). Let us know in the comments whether you share our opinions, or if you’re feeling shy you can wait for the weekend and vote in our Upfronts Poll. Remember, none of these programs have aired in the US yet. We thank you in advance for not spoiling our fun.

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Jarifa
Jarifa
4 years ago

Great to see this all in one place!

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Jarifa

Kat is the Queen of organized info. She’s my idol.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Jarifa

Gracias, Jarifa! I think we were posting at the same time this morning 😀 I figured with all the “news” coming in at once it would be nice to get a handle on what’s coming and start making some tentative plans.

Steph
Steph
4 years ago

Thank you both for a detailed summary!

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Steph

I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m so excited about the Upfronts. I really hope we aren’t disappointed.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Steph

Gracias, Steph!

Kelly
Kelly
4 years ago

ANOTHER El Senor?? I watched the first three but couldn’t get in to the fourth. It was all the same- everyone is a jerk and a bunch of people get shot, but not the ones who should be shot.

Based on what I know of Finland (from watching clips of Eurovision), Finns are crazy. So that could be an interesting show!

Thanks for the heads up as to why I won’t have a social life for the next year.

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

“Thanks for the heads up as to why I won’t have a social life for the next year.”

Word! My DVR is going to be busy!

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

Hell yes! As long as they spread out the days and times I can record it all!

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

RECORD ALL THE THINGS!

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

It’s the only way to keep up!

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Gracias, Kelly! Your reaction is pretty much what mine was. Weren’t they talking like “Season 4! Death! Death! Death!”? I guess Rafael Amaya’s just too pretty to die.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago

I just saw a preview for Ronca de Oro! In June! I’m so excited!!!!!

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

OMG OMG OMG!!

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

IKR!

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

Oh I wish bitmoji worked on WordPress.

Jarifa
Jarifa
4 years ago

Thanks, Kat, for taking the time to put this together and thanks, Kat and Sara, for annotating it. What a riot! There definitely are possibilities. I will be trying out “Tres veces Ana” next week. Just the thought of triplets is enough to make it a go for me. That alone opens the door to all sort of bizarro possibilities and derailments. I never saw “Lazos de amor” so the plot will be fresh telenovela fare ( if that can even exist). I like Angelique Boyer and Sebastián Rulli is easy on the eyes. “Mujeres de negro” is another go.… Read more »

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Jarifa

I know Angelica Vale has still been working on writing and hosting a variety show, but no I don’t think she’s done a telenovela since La Fea Mas Bella, so I’m really looking forward to La Fan.

Jarifa
Jarifa
4 years ago

Yes, Angélica Vale is always into so many different types of projects.
One more thing . . . As far as narco novelas go, I have no interest . PBS Frontline did an excellent but chilling biography of “El Chapo” Guzmán las summer and that was enough for me. It is interesting though how “El Chapo’s” latest escape has made its way into the telenovela world. […].

Admin edit to remove specific plot information.

Vivi
Vivi
4 years ago

Kat and Sara- I love reading all your fun comments on the upcoming telenovelas and series! El Rincon del Oro with that great promo definitely appeals to me. Univision has been premiering quite a few telenovelas well before they premier in Mexico. Que te Perdone Dios, El Hotel de los Secretos, Yago, and now Tres Veces Ana. Not sure what the reason is behind that, but it’s an interesting trend. Looks like Uni won’t be moving Yago to UniMas after all, and I’m glad. Although I fully intended to follow and record it wherever it went. It’s an excellent series–… Read more »

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

OMIGOSH, Vivi! Yago!! Yes!!! I was working on a post about my Yago obsession when your comment came through. I’m so in love with it!

Vivi
Vivi
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

It’s so good, isn’t it! Loving every minute of it and wondering why more people aren’t so that Uni won’t consider stupid stuff like moving it to midnight on a lesser channel.

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

I am shaking my head right along with you. And I admit feeling frustrated too. Here we have this great show and it’s not getting the ratings so I doubt they’ll take a risk like this again.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

I’m not sure what you mean by “lesser”? Availability? It’s not an inferior channel, just a different one. It sounds like their strategy is to split things up so that Univision sticks to the traditional novelas, UniMás is edgier and has more of the imports, and Galavision has all the comedies.

Vivi
Vivi
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

Availability. A lot less people have access to UniMas than Univision.

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

Amen to that! I didn’t have access to Unimás with my old cable provider. I’m so glad I do now.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

Yes, that they have to fix if they want both networks on equal footing with different lineups. And then they need to rehab the image of UniMás because I have seen a lot of the implication that UniMás is somehow inferior. Which I guess comes from people not realizing that there’s been some solid programming over there that’s basically being ignored.

But I don’t want to continue and detract from the Yago review Sara posted where she covers some of this stuff 🙂

http://5ftlatina.com/cohete/2016/05/22/yago-revisited/

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Vivi

Gracias, Vivi! Clearly they’re trying a lot of different things to recapture viewer interest. I guess we’ll see what sticks?

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

*snort* Some consistency and firm decision making might help.

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago

El Principe is “coming soon.” I guess it’s a good thing UniMás cleared their schedule? But what what about fútbol…?

Sara
Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  5ftLatina

So this is in addition to RdO?

Fútbol is a ratings plus. Will they just do lots of preemptions?

5ftLatina
Admin
5ftLatina
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

Usually they’re showing fútbol in the late afternoon/early evening, so they can avoid schedule fuss if it’s on late enough. Who knows know soon “soon” is, though.