We are a bit perplexed.
Thinking that the new Mundo Fox would be a Spanish-language channel that would promote new original programming for Latinos living in the United States, from what we have seen so far, besides the somewhat promising "El Man es Germán," it is just seems to be another channel that is trying to be Univision or Telemundo with more programming from Latin America.
This week there was a major push to English Internet outlets about the channel's new "CORAZONES BLINDADOS" show, which is premiering on October 22. According the the online releases and the sponsored posts that are disguised as authentic blog entries (ethically lame), "CORAZONES BLINDADOS" is being billed as a fresh and original Spanish-language cop drama. Here is an excerpt of the official release:
A top hit in Colombia, “CORAZONES BLINDADOS,” with its cast of new Latino talent, tells the story of police force partners, Diana Ochoa and Raul Avila, played by Majida Issa and Andres Sandoval, who fall in love amidst fighting crime in Bogotá.
“CORAZONES BLINDADOS” is based on real life cases faced by the National Police Force of Colombia. Each daily hour-long episode was shot on location in high-definition in Bogotá. The series also has special scenes shot at the National School of Operations (CENOP), the military academy where Special Forces from Colombia and other countries train.
Packed with action, romance and suspense, “CORAZONES BLINDADOS” portrays relevant and controversial topics about everyday life such as women working in roles traditionally held by men, the difficulties faced by law enforcement officers, single working mothers, workplace romance, betrayal and the internal struggle to leave the past behind and give love a fighting chance.
“We are proud to bring the first original police drama series in Spanish to the U.S. TV market,” said Emiliano Saccone, President of MundoFox. “At MundoFox, our main focus is to entertain, inform and challenge…always taking bold strides by providing our audience with viewing options they can’t find elsewhere. The success of `CORAZONES BLINDADOS' is a great addition to our current programming portfolio and we are confident that our audience will respond very positively to this great storyline.”
Here are few of the trailers being shared appearing on our feeds now:
So let's review: Mundo Fox's prime-time weekly lineup is a cop drama based in Bogotá and a show called "EL CAPO" about a Colombian drug kingpin. Meh. Yawn. Moving on. Enough with shows about crime and drug shows, where is the Latin American "Mad Men?" Now THAT would get our attention. (BTW, MundoFox: if we see a Latin American MAD MEN being produced now, you will be hearing from us. Just kidding!)
MundoFox can promote its channel however it would like. But we think they miss the marketing target by a wide margin by pretending that "CORAZONES BLINDADOS" will be some amazing crossover hit and find major appeal to Latinos in the United States. Maybe first-generation Spanish speakers who come from Colombia, but we just don't think this show will have that much appeal in a bilingual, bicultural market. Most of us look at this and just see another stereotype, no matter now much it tries to challenge conventions.
If MundoFox really wanted to take a risk, creating an original primetime show that is actually BASED in the United States and is actually BILINGUAL would have been the way to go. At least if it wanted to reach a new demographic that is literally demanding for new original programming that reflects their world, not the world of cops in Colombia. But we are not surprised: MundoFox is also being pushed by Colombia's RCN network, so, wow, the two primetimes shows will be slanted to reflect the world of RCN and Colombia. Does RCN know the market it is serving? Probably not.
Just let's us call MundoFox what is actually is: this is not "Latino TV," as penned by The New York Times. It is just another Spanish-language network that is based in the United States. So far, we haven't seen much from the channel that we wouldn't see on the more established networks like Univision and Telemundo. Sure, a new Spanish-language TV network could probably have some viability in this market. However, MundoFox should just stop marketing its channel as it is the newest most innovative thing to hit the US Latino market. It's just another channel in Spanish. We get it.
Now, the network that actually starts to realize that not everything HAS to be in Spanish and that there is a desire for bilingual, bicultural programming will be the network that hits the jonrón in a US Latino market that has become more and more diverse.