No one at Telemundo would likely ’fess up to this, but it sure does look like the network is trying to siphon attendees away from rival Univision's upfront presentation Monday night.
What's the bait? Pitbull. The TV Blog last laid eyes on the charismatic, chrome-domed entertainer when he provided the closing entertainment at Nickelodeon's upfront in March 2017.
He put on a great show. And now, Telemundo has booked him for an event on the first night of this year's Upfront Week (Monday, May 13) that the network has titled “Telemundo Celebration” at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street.
Scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., this event featuring Pitbull -- which may or may not be an upfront presentation (the invitation doesn't say) -- coincides with Univision's upfront. The Univision event starts at 6 p.m. at an event space at 415 Fifth Avenue, just blocks away from this Telemundo celebration.
The Telemundo event seems to have been especially scheduled to distract attention from Univision's upfront, since Telemundo will have already had at least some of its shows, sports and personalities showcased at the NBC Universal Upfront earlier on Monday at Radio City Music Hall.
The coincidence of Telemundo holding an event for the advertising community opposite Univision's upfront is a very rare occurrence of upfront overlap. Somehow, Upfront Week has gone for years and years without any overlap of network events.
For the most part, this year's schedule does not deviate significantly from previous years -- NBCU Monday morning, Fox Monday afternoon, ABC/Disney on Tuesday, WarnerMedia and CBS on Wednesday and the CW on Thursday.
There are some differences, however: Univision used to have its event on Tuesday of upfront week, right after ESPN's. This year, not only has Univision moved to Monday evening, but ESPN's upfront presentation is being folded into the ABC/Disney event on Tuesday afternoon.
Nor will the presentations seem much different from previous years either. The major networks will all announce a handful of new shows for next fall, some of which will fail and some not. One of them is pictured in the photo above -- a show called “Council of Dads” on NBC.
Disney's presentation might make some news as the trade press focuses on how the company will be positioning itself in the wake of its purchase of various Fox assets such as FX and National Geographic. Both of those networks will get some upfront time at the Disney event, along with ESPN, Freeform and ABC.
It is an approach that has already been taken for several years by NBCU, which presents its entire portfolio of networks on one stage in its upfront presentation -- NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, E! and Telemundo.
Of even more interest are the two events scheduled for Wednesday. The WarnerMedia Upfront in the morning will be the first such event under the company's new AT&T ownership, and featuring new management.
The CBS event Wednesday afternoon at Carnegie Hall will be the first upfront of the post-Leslie Moonves era. Has CBS changed in its approach to content development and scheduling? Observers will be watching for signs of that.
Look for the likes of Jimmy Kimmel to entertain at the Disney Upfront, Conan O'Brien to do the same at the WarnerMedia event and Stephen Colbert to headline a song-and-dance number at CBS.
Can any of those three measure up to the entertainment excellence of Pitbull? The obvious answer: No.