Telemundo Touts World Cup Plans, Return of Reina del Sur and Senor de Los Cielos

Telemundo is building its 2022-23 season lineup around the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the return of two of the Spanish-language outlet’s biggest star drama vehicles: Kate del Castillo in Season 3 of “La Reina del Sur” and Rafael Amaya rising from the dead for an eighth round of “El Señor de los Cielos.”

The NBCUniversal-owned programmer also is stepping up investment in a range of multilingual content for the Peacock streaming platform.

Telemundo will formally unveil its programming plans to advertisers and media buyers on Monday evening as the industry gathers in New York for the network upfront presentation. Headlining the scripted side of the presentation is the return of hits “La Reina del Sur” (“The Queen of the South”) and “El Señor de los Cielos” (“Lord of the Skies”), which are both set in the world of Latin American drug trafficking.

The NBCU Spanish-language group will use the quadrennial soccer championship series to launch a host of new content, as well as dedicated World Cup streaming channel on Peacock for live coverage of matches and postgame wrap-ups, a daily roundtable show, highlights and interviews during the tournament that runs Nov. 21-Dec. 18 in Qatar.

Telemundo has an unusual opportunity this time around with World Cup because the games were moved out of their typical mid-summer berth to late fall to avoid the scorching heat in the West Asian nation near Saudi Arabia. The division has a lot of scripted and unscripted content on tap to take advantage of the viewership surge the World Cup historically delivers.

The Hispanic-focused content unit is also revving up its investment in development deals with emerging and nontraditional creators to deliver shows for the Tplus hub set to launch on Peacock later this year. The hope is to deliver a menu of shows to appeal to the spectrum of multigenerational demographics found in many Hispanic homes. With Tplus, Telemundo aims to feature creators who bring a youthful perspective on multilingual content for U.S.-born Hispanic viewers.

Among the projects in the works for Tplus are a docuseries about reggaeton, produced by Daddy Yankee and featuring Bad Bunny, Ivy Queen and Karol G. Also in the works is “Gente Sana,” a project with J Balvin revolving around his “journey towards mental wellness.”

Scripted dramas on tap for Tplus include a thriller “Keep This to Yourself” about a man haunted by a murder from the past, produced by actor-director Wilmer Valderrama; “Leopard Skin,” starring Carla Gugino, Ana De La Reguera and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; and “90 Minutes,” from Propagate Fuego, a drama about a group of misfits that rescues an ailing soccer team.

NBCUniversal is investing more in Spanish-language content overall. But Telemundo is still juggling programming demands and decision-making between its linear broadcast and cable assets and supplying shows for Peacock. For Telemundo, among the other priorities for the coming season are narrative dramas built around biopics of two Mexican entertainment giants: singer Vicente Fernández (who died in December at age 81) and the late actor María Félix. Jaime Camil is on board to star as Fernández.

“That gives our audience a really nice way to have unique content on linear as well as unique content on streaming via Peacock that addresses the entirety of the Hispanic audience,” said Romina Rosado, NBCUniversal’s executive vice president and general manager for Hispanic streaming.

Among other news from Telemundo’s unveiling of its programming slate:

  • Telemundo and NBC News will launch a free 24/7 streaming news channel on Peacock featuring live reporting, breaking news and “Latino lifestyle topics.”
  • Tplus is developing reality dating series “Young at Heart” and “Love is Relative,” along with reality series “Viva Houston” centered on “frenemy Latina entrepreneurs.”
  • John Skipper and Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media has signed with Telemundo to create sports content starting with programming related to World Cup.

(Pictured: Kate del Castillo in Season 3 of “La Raina del Sur”)

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