During its upfront press conference this morning, Telemundo announced two English-language scripted series, including a reboot of the show that inspired ABC’s Ugly Betty, as well as a Spanish-language version of The Voice.
Betty in New York (a working title) is billed as “the modern retelling of the ground-breaking story, Yo soy Betty, la fea.” The reboot, which is still casting, will be in Spanish, even though a teaser of the show was entirely in English and execs did not describe it either in remarks or in the upfront press release as being in Spanish. (A Telemundo rep later explained that the teaser was in English “for marketing purposes.”)
The show centers on Beatriz Aurora Rincon Lozano, a young climber who takes a job at V&M Fashion as secretary to the company president. A teaser reel showed her walking through New York’s Times Square, marveling in a voiceover, “Who would’ve thought I’d end up here, after all the chaos I created?”
Ugly Betty ran on ABC from 2006 to 2010 and made a star of America Ferrera. It also popularized the concept of adapting international programming for American audiences, a feat not all broadcast networks managed to pull off.
Network head Luis Silberwasser also talked up another English language show during the 45-minute event, which is effectively a breakout preview of the larger NBCUniversal upfront on Monday. Titled El Recluso (The Inmate), the network’s first political thriller stars Ignacio Serricchio, who has appeared in Netflix’s Lost in Space, Fox’s Bones and film The Wedding Ringer.
La Voz, the Spanish-language version of NBC mainstay singing competition The Voice, is co-produced by Telemundo and Talpa and produced at the Telemundo Center in Miami, which just opened last month. The show will surface the nation’s most promising, unknown Hispanic vocalists. Luis Fonsi, known for global smash “Despacito,” is the first coach to be announced.
Among the other programming announcements:
El Señor de los Cielos returns for the seventh season. To avoid falling into the hands of Mexican law, Aurelio Casillas has turned himself in to the U.S. authorities, who have obtained his extradition. As he is about to be transferred to court and read his charges, his enemies and rivals have prepared a surprise for him. The series promises to be another action-packed season of one of Telemundo’s most successful super series.
Señora Acero, returning for its fifth season. Vicenta Acero – aka La Coyote – must face all sorts of dangers, including an enemy from the past who comes to settle an old debt and takes revenge on her son. This marks the beginning of a relentless persecution and Vicenta will be forced to flee to protect her family legacy.
El Baron Rojo is the story of Nacho Montero, a cultured, well-educated bon vivant with a penchant for adventure who embarks on a quest to become one of the pioneers of drug trafficking in the eighties. In an act of rebellion against his parents, he joins the most powerful cartel bosses of the time and floods the United States with cocaine. Everything seems to be poised for Baron to conquer the world, but the excesses, violence and illegality of Nacho’s life make him finally lose everything he fought for.
La Reina del Sur 2 (The Queen of the South 2), Telemundo’s worldwide success resumes with the return of Teresa Mendoza (Kate del Castillo), who after becoming one of the largest drug traffickers in Spain, flees, and is now forced to return to this dangerous world in order to save her daughter’s life. Teresa goes back to Mexico after eight years to meet with her daughter’s kidnapper and confront her enemies and the past she fought so hard to leave behind.
Falco is a police series about a young homicide detective who wakes up 23 years later after being shot and left in a coma. The world around him has changed; he missed his daughter’s childhood, his wife remarried, and he has to learn to work with his new partner. But Falco has not lost his detective skills, and he and his team will struggle to adjust to each other as he tries to perform his job while trying to figure out what happened 20 years ago.
Sin Senos Si Hay Paraiso picks up with Catalina La Pequeña and Daniela while waiting for the results of who will be crowned as her town’s beauty queen. Yesica Beltran, who attends the event dressed as her sister, has made contact with the judges and tries to bribe them in favor of Daniela. But Catalina La Pequeña stands out for her beauty and intelligence. The result of this pageant will define the course of their lives.
Falsa Identidad is the story of Isabel and Diego, two strangers who must flee their past in order to escape from their enemies. Diego left his family after his father died and his mother remarried. In an act of rebellion, Diego became involved in a criminal world, selling fuel to the town’s most powerful drug dealer, Gavino Gaona. Isabel married Porfirio “El Corona,” a member of a norteña band, when she was 15 years old and lives a life of domestic abuse. This new series will tell the story of two strangers fleeing their past who must assume new identities and pass themselves off as a happily married couple to escape their enemies and survive.
Prisionero Número Uno (WT) tells the story of Carmelo Alvarado, a hardworking immigrant who migrates to the United States to escape poverty and, after finding moderate success, is deported to Mexico. Back home, Carmelo’s charisma and good looks eventually land him a television show, where the host’s hard-hitting political commentary about the new U.S. president bring him massive popularity – and an audience to match. This unexpected success catapults Carmelo into political life and, ultimately, all the way to the presidency of Mexico. Here, however, trouble awaits. The former TV star-turned-President’s closest collaborators betray his trust and have him imprisoned, gaining him the new title of Prisionero Número Uno (Prisoner #1). Co-developed with Keshet International, the Telemundo series is based on an idea from Shira Hadad and Dror Mishani (Wisdom of the Crowd) will serve as executive producers with Keshet’s Avi Nir, Kelly Wright and Rachel Kaplan.
Exatlon is a sports and reality survival competition show where two teams compete in different challenges that will test their physical, mental and competitive skills. “Exatlon” will get the best out of all competitors through a combination of extreme circuits (EX) and 10 different sports (DECATHLON). Rival teams, made up of five men and five women each, including some celebrities and sports athletes, will face challenging obstacles that will test their strength, speed, endurance and motor skills. The teams not only compete amongst each other but within the teams, they also have to live together and the living conditions are part of the competition. At the end of the intense and exhaustive battle, the winner will be named the champion of “Exatlon.”
MasterChef Latino is a culinary competition produced by Endemol Shine Boomdog, creators of “MasterChef,” the prestigious international brand that has become the number one cooking competition in the world. This Spanish-language version returns for a second season and brings the culture, the food, the flavors and the seasonings of Latin American countries with a diverse representation of participants who love cooking. From delicious Texan enchiladas and California fish tacos to Puerto Rican mofongo, among others, only one will be crowned the MasterChef and the cash grand prize win.