A Jenni Rivera miniseries, Robert Rodriguez’ El Rey Network debuts
Victor Barreiro

It’s been a year since the tragic and untimely passing of musician/actress Jenni Rivera. Spanish-language network Estrella TV is currently honoring her memory with a 10-episode miniseries, Jenni: La Vida de Una Diva, on the life and career of the multi-talented performer. It made its U.S. broadcast debut on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. to rave reviews. The highly anticipated series explores Jenni’s rise to superstardom while overcoming adversity. This miniseries chronicles the extraordinary life of a woman who was loved by millions and will be remembered as the legend she proved herself to be.

Jacqueline Alcalá stars as the late Jenni, along with actors Damian Alcazar, Julio Mannino, Rodrigo Murray and Andrés Palacios, and those are just to name a few. The miniseries takes the audience on an emotional and dramatic journey as Jenni follows in the footsteps of her family’s musical heritage and tries her luck in the male-dominated world of regional Mexican music. With the support of L.A. radio programmer Pepe Garza of the Que Buena radio station in Los Angeles, Jenni’s never-ending faith, determination and incredible talent is what helps jumpstart her music career and eventually helps make her a household name.

All the scandals and triumphs Jenni faced in her personal life and in her career are touched upon. She overcame her struggles while trying to be the best mom she could be, all the while becoming an international superstar and entrepreneur. Jenni “La Diva de La Banda’s” life was cut short when she lost her life in a tragic plane crash on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico. The miniseries can be seen Monday through Friday at 7 p.m.


Robert Rodriguez/FactoryMade Venture cable network’s El Rey Network debuts this month. Originally geared towards English-speaking Latinos, executives decided that they would expand their target market to include a number of demographics.

El Rey was one of the minority-owned networks that were guaranteed a national carriage deal on Comcast Corp. as part of the FCC’s conditions for approving the 2011 buyout of NBCUniversal. Earlier this year Univision announced that they had teamed up with the network by making an investment in the new venture. “Our partnership in El Rey Network is a testament to Univision’s culture of innovation, the power of our brand to live in both languages and our constant quest to ensure we remain the ultimate for all Hispanics’ tastes and preferences,“ said Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc.

Rodriguez was excited about the possibilities and partnerships involved in El Rey Network. At the Univision upfronts earlier this year he told the audience, “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Univision on this groundbreaking initiative to deliver high-quality original programming to our community and the wider, mainstream audiences. El Rey Network will serve as a launching pad to satisfy the tastes of young adults looking for exciting, cinematic, action-packed content.”

FactoryMade welcomed Univision’s investment, which will end up benefiting all involved. They know the partnership will only strengthen El Rey’s strategy and potential by bringing programming that is relatable to their young audience.

Programming for El Rey will consist of a mix of reality, scripted action and animated series, movies, music and sports programming, with the first original series From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, which is based on the 1996 film by the same name. Wilmer Valderrama, Robert Patrick, Jesse Garcia, JD Cotrona, Zane Holtz, Eiza Gonzalez, Jacob Fuller, Madison Davenport, Don Johnson and Brandon Soo Hoo will star on the show. The TV series is currently shooting in Rodriguez’s hometown of Austin, Texas.

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series is a supernatural crime saga revolving around two brothers (originally played by Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney), bank robbers chased by the FBI and Texas Rangers played by Don Johnson and Jesse Garcia.  The brothers, being the unpredictable bad guys that they are, take their former minister (Patrick) and his family as hostages, and the wild chase is on. Aztec mythology and new characters not in the original movie help make this series one to watch, as Rodriguez is known for his twist in plots.

In addition to the production of its From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series, El Rey has a co-financing deal with Georgeville Television for two other original scripted shows, still unannounced. Georgeville currently has four TV series in a number of stages of production. One really stands out—The After, a survival story about eight strangers written and directed by Emmy-nominee Chris Carter (The X-Files), which sounds like a perfect fit for El Rey’s target audience. It also has several Latino actors attached to the project. Georgeville is said to be co-producing scripted programming for El Rey thanks to a $250 million deal.

Acquired programming is said to include a slate of movies and TV shows selected by Rodriguez.

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