Monday, June 1, 2009

Census Counts Part In Telemundo Novela

Telemundo, the NBC-owned Hispanic broadcast network, is following through on a pledge to help promote the 2010 Census by writing a Census Bureau employee into an ongoing telenovela, Mas Sabe el Diablo. The Wire colleague Laura Martinez wrote about this plan earlier but now more can be told.

The character is still being created, but she will be someone emerging from a difficult period in her life who lands a job at the bureau, according to Alfredo Richard, senior vice president of communications and talent development. She won't be counting heads -her character is scheduled to appear in the fourth quarter, and the novela will be over before the census taking starts next April. Instead, she'll be doing "field work, rallying support and getting the word out there," Richard said.

Telemundo produces its own telenovelas and has the flexibility to write in causes the network supports, such as the census or health issues such as diabetes or public policy on immigration. (It also write-in product placements, such as a female character driving a Chevy Malibu.)The census is important to Hispanics - and Hispanic networks - as it helps set funding priorities and election districts (and TV audience parameters).

Telemundo has a "Be Counted" campaign under way. "This is part of our mission as a Hispanic media company," Richard said.

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