Jennifer Lopez makes her debut as cable TV executive

June 12, 2013

Jennifer Lopez: Fly Girl, singer, movie star, “American Idol” judge and now. . . television executive.

A flurry of smartphone cameras flashed as tabloid diva arrived at the 2013 Cable Show at the Convention Center on Wednesday. J-Lo was in D.C. to promote the NUVOtv channel as the the newly-appointed chief creative officer and add some Hollywood glitz to the final day of the cable convention.


Lopez at the Cable Show. (Courtesy of NCTA)

Lopez (shiny gold top, black pencil skirt, stilettos) cheerfully shared that the English-language, Latino-focused network approached her thinking she’d just be the face of the network, reports our colleague Emily Yahr. But J-Lo convinced the suits she had a lot of good ideas, so now she’ll be involved with the creative aspects, including marketing and program development aimed at the Latino audience.

“It’s a big job, but for me it’s really important. . . it represents something for this community that has been underserved for so long,” she said. As a kid in the the Bronx, she said she never really identified with people on TV, save for the annual broadcast of “West Side Story.”

Though her fading career re-ignited with the judging stint on “American Idol,” Lopez is making the time honored jump for performers of a certain age — from bombshell star to behind-the-scenes producer. But it’s not easy to come up with a winning concept. (See also: Eva Longoria. Her reality show “Ready to Love” lasted three episodes; she tries again next week as executive producer of Lifetime’s “Devious Maids.”) And it’s even harder to build a network, no matter no popular you are. (See: Oprah and ratings-challenged OWN.)

Lopez admitted it can take “years and years” to find the right formula but hopes getting into scripted shows can help as NUVOtv officially re-launches its programming slate in July. “I feel like one show can launch a network. . . and we’re constantly on the lookout for that.” When asked where the cable channel ranks in terms of her own legacy, J-Lo winced at the term. “I just want to have fun creating these shows,” she laughed, adding “at the end of the day, we’ve literally changed the face of programming.” Lopez was less forthcoming about a possible return to “Idol.” “That’s just a rumor,” she said. “I don’t have any announcement to make on that right now.”

Then she left, blowing kisses to the crowd. A few minutes later, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took the stage to noticeably subdued applause. “I always love following Jennifer Lopez,” Duncan said dryly. “I’m going to talk to you about some really sexy topics, like academic learning standards.”

More Reliable Source: George H. W. Bush; Susan Lucci; Kanye West; Castro twins; Miss America; Oprah; David Shuster; Ed Markey; Ryan Zimmerman; Catherine Zeta-Jones

 

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Amy Argetsinger · June 12, 2013