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Univision, Telemundo Battle Over Competing Music Biopics

Why the two leading Latin TV networks are going head-to-head with shows about the same music stars airing at the same time.

Late in 2016, Mark Burnett was asked to produce the official life story of reclusive Mexican superstar Luis Miguel. During 30 hours of interviews, Miguel related a tale so rich in detail that Burnett shopped the project to rival Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo, with the latter winning a bidding war to air it.

Not to be deterred, Univision then asked Miguel's longtime video director, Pedro Torres, to do a bio series of its own to compete against Telemundo's production.

Now, Miguel's story is the latest battleground in the decades-old rivalry between Univision and Telemundo, long the No. 1 and No. 2 Spanish-language networks in the United States, respectively, as they fight for viewers. And increasingly, that competition has focused on biographical series about the biggest music stars in the Latin world.

In 2015, Telemundo first realized the opportunity in musical bio projects when it aired Celia, a series based on the life of the late Celia Cruz. Its success led Telemundo to pursue the U.S. rights to Hasta Que Te Conocí, a series based on the life of Juan Gabriel, which debuted the following year to an average of 2.9 million viewers and became the highest-rated weekend scripted series ever on Spanish-language TV, pushing Telemundo above Univision in the ratings for 11 straight weeks, according to Nielsen.

In January, Univision entered the game, premiering Su Nombre Era Dolores, a series about the life of the late Jenni Rivera, while Telemundo was in the midst of producing an official family-authorized Rivera series, set to air later this year. (Competing projects from both networks about Selena are also on the way.)

"The challenge is, how do I tell you something the other series hasn't?" says Dhana Media CEO Mari Urdaneta, who co-produced Su Nombre Era Dolores for Univision.

The Rivera family was in conversations with Telemundo when Urdaneta went to Rivera's former manager, Pete Salgado, and shopped a competing project to Univision. While Rivera's family unsuccessfully sued to block the series -- and is currently seeking $10 million in damages -- Dolores became a hit: Its premiere episode averaged 2.1 million viewers.

"In a very competitive market, both networks are trying to acquire and develop their own intellectual property and we often encounter the same project," says Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser. "For us, getting the authorized version with access and support has been fundamental."

On the other side, "Univision has been a key platform for these artists," says Univision president of entertainment Lourdes Diaz. "We've had access to them through interviews, award shows, exclusive footage."

The competition boils down to the authorized series' insight versus an unauthorized version's "ability to tell a no-holds-barred story," says James Sammataro, a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. "Reality is paramount," Urdaneta adds. "For these [series’] to work, you have to truly bare yourself."

So will the notoriously private Miguel bare his soul?

"The one word that sums what I learned about him is ‘vulnerability,’" says Burnett. "We will show that and put the audience in the shoes of Luis Miguel."

This article originally appeared on Billboard

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Chris Brown Suggests He Was Hacked After Karrueche IG Drama

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"People going out they way. Leave them people alone and stop creating unnecessary drama," Brown wrote on his Instagram Stories on Friday (June 14).  "Whoever's been DM my followers or commenting as me lame asf."

As you may have heard, Brown – or someone posing as the R&B crooner – commented under several photos of Kae and Cruz, advising the model and actress to "upgrade" her new boyfriend. "Upgrade him sis. I'll take him around to style him," one of the comments read.

Well, if Brown really was hacked, that is, indeed, lame as hell. See Chris' message below.

 

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#ChrisBrown says he was hacked and not responsible for yesterday’s comments!!

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:04am PDT

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Missy Elliott Inducted Into Songwriters Hall Of Fame: "I Am Thankful"

Missy Elliott has officially been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The creative mastermind was inducted by Queen Latifah on Thursday (June 13), making her the first female hip-hop artist to achieve such a high honor.

Queen Latifah and former First Lady Michelle Obama both spoke very highly of Missy during her induction ceremony in New York City. "Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways," Obama said in a taped video that aired during the event. "Thank you not for just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there, especially young girls who are still figuring out how to make their voices heard."

After a glowing tribute from Lizzo and Da Brat –  who performed Missdemeanor's 90s hit, Sock It 2 Me" – the rapper took the stage to give a heartfelt speech.

"I am thankful," she said before breaking down in tears. "Every time I come up to a podium ... even with all the work that I've done, I don't know, and I'm assuming it's just God, I don't know why I am here."

She continued: "I want to say one thing to the writers, to the upcoming writers, 'Do not give up.' We all go through writer's block. Sometimes you just have to walk away from a record and come back to it. But don't give up because I'm standing here. And this is big for hip-hop, too."

Missy joins an elite group of songwriters.  Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri were both inducted in 2017 and 2018, respectively. While Elliott has written hit after hit for her own music catalog, the rapper has also penned a number of classics for Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and more.

https://twitter.com/MissyElliott/status/1139500710276554753

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50 Cents Claims Bow Wow Took Money From Club That Was Meant For Strippers

50 Cent has found his latest victim.

The rapper took to Instagram on Wednesday (June 12), to accuse Bow Wow of taking money home from the strip club that was originally meant for the exotic dancers. "Oh sh*t, this little N***a BOW WOW took the Money home with him. @antthaladiesman get him before I kill EM," said 50 in an IG caption. The caption was attached to a video of Bow Wow counting wads of cash.

Fif then followed with another clip of Bow Wow partying alongside DC Young Fly with several single dollar bills stuffed into his pants. "We came there like this, Bow wow stealing ones 🤦‍♂️why the fuck you ain’t throw that to the dancers," he continued. "You better get me my fucking money by Monday."

It didn't stop there either. The rapper kept going, posting photos of Bow Wow and even tagging Jermaine Dupri in some of them. "@jermainedupri what kinda shit is this, 🤷🏽‍♂️you brought this nigga around man," he added.

He kept trolling until finally, Bow Wow responded with a video of him counting up his money. Fif had the last word, however, referencing Bow Wow's previous relationship with Ciara.

50 Cent's antics are undoubtedly exhausting, but if you have time, check out all of the back and forth below.

 

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😳oh shit, 🤨this little Nigga BOW WOW took the Money home with him. @antthaladiesman get him before I kill EM #lecheminduroi #bransoncognac

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Jun 12, 2019 at 3:03pm PDT

 

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We came there like this, 🤨Bow wow stealing ones 🤦‍♂️why the fuck you ain’t throw that to the dancers.😤you better get me my fucking money by Monday. #lecheminduroi #bransoncognac

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Jun 12, 2019 at 3:45pm PDT

 

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🤨@jermainedupri what kinda shit is this, 🤷🏽‍♂️you brought this nigga around man. He stealing the one’s 😤 @dcyoungfly you wasn’t n on this shit was ya 🤔

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Jun 12, 2019 at 4:32pm PDT

 

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Yo @50cent 😂😂😂 💰💰 #aintnocappnovahere #bigdawgtalk #beendoingthissinceababy Call @antthaladiesman #GUHHATL

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😆Movie money before him, Tv money before him, bitches before him 🤔did he just call @Ciara a bitch. 😟she’s not gonna like this, but give @antthaladiesman the money,😠and don’t be ever doing shit behind my back again.#lecheminduroi #bransoncognac

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:50pm PDT

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