Univision plots new shows, new net

Along with its new fall shows, Univision unveiled plans for a yet to be named Spanish-language network at New York's Lincoln Center on Wednesday.

Set to debut in January of 2002 with Jorge Delgado at the helm, the unnamed network is expected to reach 80% of Hispanic households throughout the U.S. - a feat made possible through Univision's acquisition of 17 full-powered stations from USA Broadcasting last December, and the company's purchase of several more stations since that deal.

While Univision's honchos, citing the wet ink still drying on the deal, could offer no comment on specific programming, other than to say its target audience will be Hispanics who heavily watch English-language television, Mario Rodriguez, Univision's president of entertainment made it clear that the new network will not be a rehashing ground for Univision programs.

"This will be a first run originals broadcast network," Rodriguez said. " It will compete with Univision for eyeballs."

Also announced was Univision fall season lineup, which sees the media company producing 50% of its schedule in the U.S. while maintaining old shows. New programs include, the weekly comedy hour, Los Metiches; Pica y Se Extiende, a weekly gossip and variety show; and Marta Susana, a new talk show produced in Miami. Three new novelas-the teen-driven Amigas y Rivales, La Intrusa and El Derecho de Nacer - have also been added to mix.

Univision will also premiere foreign-awarded films among them Mexico's Cilantro y Perijil, Sin Remitente and Hasta Morir.

Finally, on the sports end, Univision, Galavision and the new sister network will share World Cup 2002 coverage, in addition to several other soccer tournaments, including Copa América and Women's World Cup 2003.
- Llanor Alleyne