United Airlines’ Oscar Munoz Named to Univision’s Board of Directors

Oscar Munoz is ready to share his (Uni)vision

The 61-year-old Mexican-American businessman and executive chairman of United Airlines has been named as an independent director on Univision’s board of directors.

Oscar Munoz

Prior to his role at United Airlines, Munoz served on the board of parent company United Continental Holdings (UCH) and held multiple executive positions at CSX Corporation and AT&T.

Univision, the Hispanic media giant whose takeover by private equity investors led by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis will soon close, has also named SoftBank Group COO Marcelo Claure; Estée Lauder Companies SVP of public affairs María Cristina “MC” González Noguera; and veteran Walmart exec Gisel Ruiz to the board.

It’s understood that Univision will name at least four more members to the board when the pending takeover by new majority investors is complete. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.

ForgeLight, a firm run by Davis, and Searchlight Capital Partners are buying majority control of Univision from a collection of other private equity investors. Mexico-based production power Televisa is keeping its 36% stake.

Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Saban Capital Group acquired the company for $13.7 billion in 2007, beating out a rival bid from Televisa. The current transaction, which is expected to close at the end of the year, is expected to value the company at less than $10 billion.

Davis exited Viacom when it merged with CBS last December, emerging soon thereafter as the leader of the Univision bid. The deal, announced last February, was initially expected to close over the summer.

Univision has been run since 2018 by CEO Vince Sadusky. The local television and Hispanic media veteran replaced predecessor Randy Falco after the longtime former NBC exec made a series of out-of-the-box investments in English-language websites and ill-fated cable network venture Fusion. Sadusky has implemented a “back-to-basics,” Spanish-language refocus in an effort to help the flagship broadcast network regain ground it had lost to U.S. rival Telemundo in some pockets of the schedule.

Eiza González Signs with William Morris Endeavor (WME)

Eiza González has new representation…

The 30-year-old Mexican actress/singer has signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME) for representation in all areas.

Eiza González

González rose to acclaim after her roles in El Rey’s series From Dusk till Dawn, in which she collaborated with Robert Rodriguez. She further increased her star power in the United States after appearing in Edgar Wright’s 2017 summer blockbuster Baby Driveras Darling, the heist girlfriend to Jon Hamm’s Buddy, in the $227M grossing movie.

González has scored roles in notable movies, including Nyssiana in the Rodriguez-directed 20th Century Fox sci-fi movie Alita: Battle Angel($404.8M WW), Madame M opposite Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in Hobbs & Shaw($759M WW), and the upcoming Legendary/Warner Bros. sequel Godzilla vs. Kongdue out on May 21, 2021.

She most recently starred in Sony PicturesBloodshotopposite Vin Diesel and Guy Pearce, which earned her an Imagen Award nomination for Best Actress in a Feature Film.

González will next be seen opposite Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage in I Care A Lot, which will premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Mexico City native studied at the American School Foundation, the Edron Academy, M&M Studio and Televisa’s Centro de Educación Artística.’

Her breakthrough came in the teenage telenovela Lola: Érase una vezin 2007. González also starred in numerous additional series in Mexico. She signed with Universal Music, and recorded five albums.

Her other feature credits include Robert ZemeckisWelcome to Marwen, and voiceover credits in DreamWorksThe Croods and 20th Century Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks and Horton Hears A Who!

Carolina Rivera Signs Deals with Verve and Netflix

Carolina Rivera has a new deal…

The Mexican screenwriter and producer has signed with Verve and entered an overall deal at Netflix.

Carolina Rivera

Under the Netflix agreement, Rivera will serve as the executive producer of the television series Madre Solo Hay Dos, which she created.

Rivera is the co-executive producer of the CW’s sci-fi drama Roswell: New Mexicowhich recently wrapped. 

She also worked on Jane the Virgin

Marc Cherry’s production company purchased Rivera’s “Ellas son… la alegría del hogar,”which was originally created for Televisa. The series was the basis for Cherry’s Lifetime series Devious Maids, starring Roselyn Sanchez.

Rivera studied screenwriting at the UCLA Extension Writers Program and wrote her first feature Cilantro y Perejil, which went on to win three Ariel Awards— Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscars— for Best Original ScreenplayBest Story and Best Original SongCilantro y Perejil made history in the Mexican film industry as the first Mexican title to be screened at commercial movie theaters throughout the country.

Her writing credits include more than 15 feature films. In 2005, Rivera received the Motion Picture Association Award for Best Hispanic Screenplay for her screenplay Enemigos Íntimos.

In addition, she worked as head writer for the serial telenovela Lucho en Familia and worked on Amor Cautivo. She headed the children’s television development team at Channel 11, Latin America’s largest public television network. While there, she created and served as head writer for Bizbirije and El Divan de Valentina.She has also served as an International Emmy AwardsJuror for Dramatic Series and TV movies.

Zuleyka Rivera to Perform at This Year’s Grammy Awards

Zuleyka Rivera is ready for music’s biggest night…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Miss Universe will perform at this year’s Grammy Awards, which will take place on Sunday, January 28.

Zuleyka Rivera

Rivera is featured in the music video for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s global smash, “Despacito.”

After completing her commitment as Miss Universe, Rivera studied acting in New York. Eventually, she snagged parts on a whole slew of Televisa soap operas in Mexico, including playing the part of the main villain in 2014’s Cosita LindaCurrently, she’s based in Miami where she’s a special guest/host on Latin shows such as Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Dia and Univision’s Despierta America.

Rivera joins a roster of performers that includes Alessia Cara, Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Childish Gambino, Daddy Yankee, DJ Khaled with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, Luis FonsiLady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 pm EST.

MGM Developing TV Series Based on the Life of Luis Miguel

He’s known as El Sol de México, but Luis Miguel’s light could soon shine beyond the Mexican border.

MGM is developing a television series based on the life of the 46-year-old Mexican superstar, an icon in Latin America.

Luis Miguel

The project hails from a Spanish-language joint production venture MGM set with Mexican entrepreneurs Miguel Aleman and Antonio Cue.

Aleman and Cue’s Gato Grande Productions aims to develop content for the worldwide market. Expanding into Spanish-language production has been a goal of Mark Burnett, president of MGM Television and Digital.

“We see the value of premium content for the Spanish-speaking market throughout the world, and we look forward to many additional projects across all platforms that we can now develop with Antonio, Miguel and Gato Grande. This is only the beginning,” Burnett said.

A native of Puerto Rico, Miguel got his start in music as a teenager in the early 1980s, winning a Grammy in 1985 at the age of 14 for his duet with Sheena Easton, “Me Gustas Tal Como Eres.” He has collected another four Grammys to date and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

“It has taken me a long time to want to tell my story and I have been looking for the right team to tell it the way it should be told,” Miguel said.

Aleman is a radio and TV entrepreneur and former Televisa executive. Cue is the grandson of a founder of the Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo and is a former owner of the Major League Soccer team Chivas USA.

“Antonio and I have been looking to get into the content business for some time and after forming a deep personal relationship with Mark, we knew that the timing and opportunity were just right.” said Aleman. “To be able to launch our company Gato Grande with the story of Luis Miguel, one of the most important, legendary talents in music, is very exciting,” added Cue.

Carla Gonzalez Vargas, an author and filmmaker who helmed the 2015 documentary Alivio, will oversee the Miguel series in her role as Gato Grande’s head of development.

Chaparro’s “No Manches Frida” Opens Solidly at the U.S. Box Office

Omar Chaparro has a hit on his hands…

Lionsgate/Pantelion Films’ Spanish-language film No Manches Frida, starring the 41-year-old Mexican actor, had a solid start over the Labor Day weekend.

Omar Chaparro in No Manches Frida

The comedy opened in 362 locations grossing $3.65 million Friday to Sunday.

The comedy, from Lionsgate and Televisa’s Pantelion Films label, grossed $3.65 million in 362 locations from Friday to Sunday, with an estimated $4.65 million for the entire Labor Day weekend.

Starring Chaparro, Martha Higareda and Mónica Dionne had a three-day per theater average of $10,083, the highest of any film in national release and second-highest for the weekend overall.

It’s Pantelion’s second most successful opening weekend ever, behind only Instructions Not Included, which grossed over $7.84 million in its debut weekend in late August 2013 in 348 theaters ($22,547 average), going on to cume over $44.4M.

No Manches Frida

No Manches Frida outgrossed the label’s 2015 Labor Day weekend release Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos, which bowed in 395 locations, taking over $3.42 million ($8,670 PTA). It went on to cume over $9 million.

“Labor Day weekend has historically been very positive for us,” said Pantelion’s Paul Presburger Sunday morning. “We’ve been at the marketing of the movie for over a month using social media as well as Spanish-language television and radio…We knew we had something strong that would resonate with audiences.”

Pantelion’s Edward Allen, who helped spearhead the project, noted that the film has generated social media attention among younger English-speaking audiences in the run-up to this weekend.

“It’s resonating with fans that may not typically go to our movies,” said Allen.

No Manches Frida is a re-make of 2013 German film Fack ju Göhte. It’s the story of Zequi, a recently released bank robber who goes to recover stolen money buried by his ditzy accomplice before going to jail. They return to the site only to find that Frida Kahlo High has built a gymnasium over the loot. To get the money, he poses as a substitute teacher for a school that can’t seem to keep any teachers around. He meets the sweet and earnest Lucy, as well as an unruly classroom. Lucy and her fellow teachers have no control over the students, and Zequi comes in ready to lay down the law- but he quickly finds out that life on the inside may have been easier to deal with than a school full of wild and rebellious teenagers.

The film will open in Mexico in two weeks.

Added Presburger: “We’ll be supporting the movie this week with additional media, while talent will be down in Mexico to support the movie there.” No Manches Frida will expand next week, but specifics will be decided after the holiday weekend.

Longoria Engaged to Televisa President Jose Antonio Baston

(Wedding) bells will be ringing for Eva Longoria

The 40-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star took to Twitter to announce her engagement to Televisa president, Jose Antonio Baston, on Sunday morning.

Eva Longoria & Jose Antonio Baston

Longoria announced the news while sharing photo of her flashing her new ring while kissing her new fiance in Dubai.

“Ummmm so this happened….#Engaged #Dubai #Happiness,” tweeted Longoria, who currently stars on NBC’s new comedy series Telenovela.

Eva Longoria & Jose Antonio Baston

The couple has been dating since 2013, according to E! Online.

Longoria and Baston traveled to Dubai to attend the Global Gift Gala, which occurred on Saturday at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Longoria was previously married to Christopher Tyler and NBA player Tony Parker.

In addition to starring on Telenovela, Longoria also serves as the executive producer on Lifetime’s Devious Maids.

Televisa’s “En Familia” to End Its 47-Year Run in December

It’s the end of the road for Mexico’s longest-running television show…

Televisa has announced that En familia would wrap end its run on December 20 after a run of over 47 years on the air.

En familia con Chabelo

Xavier Lopez has hosted the children’s variety show since it started in January 1968. He has always worn children’s overalls and speaks in a childish voice, even though he is now 81.

Lopez, better known by his stage name, “Chabelo,” confirmed the end of the program and said he might start another, unspecified project.

The announcement comes almost a year after the death of Mexico’s other big proponent of “adults-dressed-as-children” humor, Roberto Gomez Bolanos, who was widely known as “Chespirito.”

Chabelo’s program was not as famous in Latin America as Gomez Bolanos’ El Chavo del Ocho.

Derbez to Star in Sony Pictures’ “Miracles From Heaven”

Eugenio Derbez has landed a miracle role…

The 53-year-old Mexican actor and director has joined the cast of Sony PicturesMiracles From Heaven, which will be released via TriStar Pictures.

Eugenio Derbez

The film, starring Jennifer Garner, Martin Hendersen and Queen Latifah, will be directed by fellow Mexico compatriot Patricia Riggen.

Written by Randy Brown, adapting Cristy Beam’s same-titled book, the faith-based Miracles From Heaven centers on a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder who is miraculously cured after suffering a terrible accident.

Derbez will play an eminent but simpatico U.S.-based Mexican gastroenterologist-pediatrician, who plays games with his child patients to lighten their experience of hospital treatment.

Derbez’s character is inspired by Boston Children’s Hospital specialist Dr. Samuel Nurko, he said.

Derbez joins the Miracles From Heaven Atlanta shoot next week.

Miracles From Heaven reunites Riggen and Derbez, who co-starred in Riggen’s 2008 U.S. breakthrough Under the Same Moon, which grossed $12.6 million for the Weinstein Company.

This is a relatively rare drama outing for Derbez, who has carved out a career in comedy, breaking through with comedy-drama Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever in North America, with a $44.5 million box office trawl. It went on to become the biggest Mexican hit ever in Mexico, punching $46.1 million.

Derbez is currently advancing on three projects at his production label 3pas Studios, which has a first-look deal with Pantelion Films, the LionsgateTelevisa joint U.S. distribution venture.

“The projects have a lot to do with my personality,” Derbez said.

Derbez is set to direct and star in a remake of Argentine hit Chinese Take-Out, a cross-the-cultural-tracks buddy movie about a cantankerous Argentine hardware store owner and an adrift Chinese immigrant. Derbez regular co-scribe Eduardo Cisneros is writing the screenplay. The Argentine would become an American.

3pas Studios is also developing an English-language remake of 2006 French comedy Le Valet. Derbez’s next actor-director gig looks like one of these two projects. “Le Valet” is also at screenplay stage.

A third 3pas Studios project is an Untitled Latin Lover Project, from an original screenplay by Chris Spain and Jon Zack, about an aging Latin lover suddenly thrown out by his wife and forced to get a real job.

Derbez runs 3pas Studios with former Pantelion Films production chief Ben Odell.

Machado to Pen Book About Her Negative Experiences with Donald Trump

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado is ready to write the world’s wrongs…

The 38-year-old former-beauty-queen-turned-actress/singer is planning to write a book about the “abuses of power” and “racism” she suffered at the hands of Donald Trump in the mid-‘90s during her reign.

Alicia Machado

Machado was crowned Miss Universe in 1996, the fourth woman from Venezuela to win title, and soon after made headlines for concerns about her increasing weight.

When Machado was crowned she weighed 118 pounds, and eventually the 5-foot-9 beauty queen reached 160 pounds. Pageant officials apparently found the weight unacceptable and threatened to revoke her crown if she didn’t trim down.

Months before the 1997 Miss Universe pageant, in which Machado was due to hand the crown over to her successor, Donald Trump — who partly owns the Miss Universe Organization — called in fitness expert Edward Jackowski to help Machado lose weight through a rigorous diet and exercise program, all of which was documented by photographers and camera crews.

Trump told People magazine back in 1997, “We want her to stay as Miss Universe and she is working on her problem. When you win a beauty pageant, people don’t think you’re going to go from 118 to 160 in less than a year, and you really have an obligation to stay in a perfect physical state.” The real estate mogul also reportedly called Machado “an eating machine” during an interview on the Howard Stern show.

Machado, then 20 years old, told People at the time, “Before Miss Universe I was a normal girl, but my life has had big changes. I travel to many countries, eat different foods.”

The beauty queen has since been very vocal about her experience with Trump, calling him “a detestable being” as recently as June to Mexican newspaper La Reforma.

In a formal statement issued earlier this week, Machado’s reps declare that she “will share all the details, abuses of power, arrogance, and racism on Donald Trump’s part that she suffered in the flesh, issues that Alicia will share for the first time and at the appropriate time so that the whole world can see who this person really is, someone who has gained even more notoriety recently for his attacks on the Mexican people.”

Machado currently stars in Televisa’s new Spanish telenovela Lo Imperdonable. The statement mentioned that after her contractual duties with the soap opera are over, Machado will announce more details about the book. Until then, “she won’t be saying anything else on the matter.”