What happens when an old Chinese ninja master meets a group of cumbia musicians living in a Latin American slum controlled by drug dealers?
Well, I’m not really sure but we will soon find out, as MundoFox last week announced the upcoming premiere of Cumbia Ninja, an original series set in a Latin American slum (we’re not sure which one, but I guess they’re all the same,) where a young idealist and his buddies come up with an unusual way to clean up the streets where they live.
I don’t know you, but anything that doesn’t include a septuagenarian dancing around with a group of scantily-clad Latinas on a Saturday afternoon or some evil twin trying to poison the hacendado in a primetime telenovela sounds very refreshing.
This is exhausting! In addition to covering this week’s Hispanic TV Upfronts for these guys and these guys, I had to save some juicy details for the not-so-serious side of the 3-day-marathon of parties, parties and parties, programming presentations, interviews and business meetings.
* Hispanic TV Upfront week started May 13 with two networks, Azteca America and Estrella TV, holding “intimate dinners” at the exact same time in two very distant places, presumably to keep me from attending either. But, as you all know by now, I’m a sneaky Mexican and managed to attend both.
* Estrella TV brought to dinner at Tao Restaurant its most recent acquisition, Myrka Dellanos, who looked amazing and who is now going to be news anchoring instead of selling toothpaste.
* As it has been the case before, I crashed the People en Español party at Marquee, which was OK, but not nearly as as glamorous and/or fun as previous years. However, beggars can’t be chosers, so I shut up now. Besides, I must continue to be nice to them, especially to Elvis Lizardo, who famously calls me “The Mexican glue that keep us all together.”
* After surveilling the venue for some famous bellos, I realized celebrities are not the only beautiful bunch, so I proceded to propose People en Español Editor ArmandoCorrea a co-production of “Los 50 ejecutivos más bellos del mercado latino,” a list that would be curated by @miblogestublog -of course, and published and promoted by Time Inc. or someone with that kind of money. I’m thinking MundoFox’ Hernán López should go on the cover, while Telemundo’s Peter Blacker will take the back cover, though I’m still not sure. Other execs being considered: Mundo Fox’ Oswald Mendez, Telemundo’s Emilio Romano and Fusion’s Miguel Ferrer. [This blog is accepting submissions now.]
* Tuesday events kicked off at 11:00 am at The New Amsterdam Theatre, where Univision held a lavish presentation for over 1,600 guests.
* Pretty much all those 1,600 guests then walked or took buses to Univision’s after party, which took place at ESPACE, where there was not a lot of “espace” nor food to feed all those hungry mouths. At some point, many attendees grew restless and angry as waiter after waiter kept passing in front of us with trays full of food, but destined to “VIP’s only.” That didn’t stop me, however, so I quickly managed to get a hold of a VERY VIP name tag (above) in order to secure some mini-burgers.
* The stunt didn’t work and I had to settle for a peanut butter cookie that surely contained about 5,325 calories.
* Since it secured me no food whatsoever, my Randy Falco name tag made a second appearance later that night at the Telemundo upfront in Lincoln Center, where it was not as well received as I had imagined. I still wore it to go say ‘hi’ to NBCU’s Chairman of Hispanic Ventures Joe Uva, who requested my immediate removal from the premises. [I stayed.]
* The marathon continued Wednesday with a noon presentation by Fox Hispanic Media at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. The presentation included FHM’s four networks: Fox Deportes, Fox Life, Nat Geo Mundo and Mundo Fox. It attracted some big talent, including Bárbara Mori, Marlon Moreno, Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya, who came onstage not wearing fishnet stockings but a pair of cowboy boots.
* After a presentation that seemed to last hours, most of us headed East towards Vme’s upfront at the Instituto Cervantes. Under new management, Vme hosted a small, intimate, sit-down presentation in a dark basement with no cellular signal whatsoever, making it the perfect setting for a much needed afternoon nap. (I caught several executives and members of the media happily snoring away, but I decided not to publish their names, mostly because it wouldn’t be fair and because I was also fast asleep.)
* The marathon ended Wednesday night with a much-needed, circus-themed party hosted by Viacom’s Tr3s and headlined by Daddy Yankee, who made even the most stiff media executive shake his/her hips. EXTRA BONUS POINT for Tr3s, which spared us the power points and the data on Hispanic TV audience growth, etc. etc. etc.
Yet, my favorite moment this week came at the Tr3s party when I was able to capture the following shot, featuring the great Eduardo Caballero, the father, grandfather, godfather of Hispanic media, and Ari Madrid, probably the craziest -and smartest- millennial I’ve ever met and one of the youngest entrants to this business.
Caballero changed the media world once. Ari will change it forever.
“My department did a little research, and it concluded that -by now- you have been exposed to about 320,000 hours of upfront presentations,” joked Tom Maney, the svp of advertising sales at Fox Hispanic Media. Damn, right, Tom, I’m not sure it was exactly 320,000 hours, but it certainly felt like it.
In any case, I’m happy to report the folks over at MundoFox spared us a Hollywood sign stunt. Instead, they introduced the audience to the new reality in programming embraced by Latinos; one that mixes the two worlds -and languages- in which we move around. Thus, Lucy/Betty/Betty/Lucy… ES-LUTTY!*
*NOTE: Not to be pronounced as ‘slutty.’ Thank you for your cooperation.