English-language Hispanic cable network NuvoTV (formerly Si TV) is getting a shot in the arm from Jennifer Lopez, who is taking an ownership stake and will also help guide its programming.
Nuvo will air a show from the actor/singer/producer's shingle, Nuyorican Productions, about Lopez's first world tour with Enrique Iglesias—which wraps in December—and will collaborate with the network on its programming lineup. A reality series about backstage drama among Lopez's backup dancers is also under consideration. Lopez will act as exec producer on all her TV projects. Terms of her ownership stake were not disclosed.
Lopez spoke to Adweek about the possibility of creating an English-language network aimed at U.S. Hispanics (most of the television options for Latinos are in Spanish at the moment), and her unique ability to fill that niche. "The Latinos who grew up here in the States like myself grew up watching English-language TV," she said.
Latinos, Lopez suggested, are looking for representations of themselves in the media world, and not just on Spanish-language TV. "We have a pilot we're developing at Fox, but it's very rare that you see that. We're going to be looking for that kind of content," she said.
Lopez is no stranger to TV production, having worked on several series at Spanish-language networks. She's also developing a general-market pilot at ABC Family.
Michael Schwimmer, Nuvo's CEO, said that "there's a marketing and promotion side to the relationship as well." Lopez will work "closely with NuvoTV's distribution and advertising partners," the network said, in a bid to increase Nuvo's attractiveness to new clients.
Asked how the partnership differed from Discovery Communications' deal with Oprah Winfrey on OWN and Martha Stewart's ill-fated run on the Hallmark Channel, Schwimmer said, "Each of those circumstances which you mentioned are really different from ours. We're not becoming someone else's network. It's not just the contribution of a popular television personality who's going to bring her show to our air."
And what about the ad industry's reaction? "We're just getting started, so the answer is it's too early to give real market feedback," said Schwimmer, "but we anticipate that the news will be very exciting to our ad partners."