The rise of Hispanics in the U.S. is undisputable, even with the recession slowing down immigration. Their impact on U.S. TV viewership is growing, too. Nielsen just released an estimate projecting that 40% of new TV homes next year will be Latino. Overall, that is a 3% growth in the number of Hispanic TV households vs. .5% increase for African American TV homes. Meanwhile, top Spanish-language broadcaster Univision reported its first weekly win in the key adults 18-49 demographic, beating its English-language counterparts for the first time last week. Granted, the win involves an atypical week, one that included part of the Labor Day weekend that is especially slow for the traditional broadcasters. And Univision featured a strong Mexico vs. Ecuador soccer game and the finale of one of its telenovelas. Still, the win is impressive and was Univision’s 14th weekly victory in adults 18-34, a demographic once completely owned by Fox.
The English-language networks must be taking notice. There have been several attempts to do series about Latinos, including CBS’ Cane and the WB’s Greetings From Tucson, but none except ABC’s Ugly Betty lasted long. This coming season, there are two new series with Hispanic leads, NBC’s Outlaw starring Jimmy Smits and CBS’ Chaos starring Freddy Rodriguez.