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Upfronts 2012: ABC star Sofia Vergara promotes Univision

May 15, 2012 | 10:36 am


Univision Communications kicked off its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York on Tuesday with an unlikely endorsement from one of ABC's biggest stars.

"I might work someplace else, but this is where I live," Sofia Vergara, wearing a skin-tight leopard-print dress, said at the start of Univision's high-octane show, which unfolded at the New Amsterdam Theatre. "Univision is my home."

The Colombian beauty, star of ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family," told the crowd that she got her start on Univision, co-hosting a show with Fernando Fiore, "Fuera de Serie" (Over the Top), in the late 1990s. The show gave Vergara, a former model, exposure in the U.S. media market. From the stage Tuesday she gave a shout-out to Fiore. 

Even now, Vergara said, she goes home at night to watch the telenovelas on Univision.

After Vergara introduced Univision Networks President Cesar Conde, the Spanish-language company unveiled its fall lineups for its three primary television networks: Univision, Telefutura and cable channel Galavision.  

Another Univision star -- William Levy -- has similarly spread his wings and taken flight on ABC. Levy also appeared at the Univision presentation Tuesday via satellite from the company's flagship station in Los Angeles, KMEX (Channel 34). These days, Levy has been quick-stepping and foxtrotting as a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

When Conde asked how his ABC gig was going, Levy responded: "I want to go back to novelas." 

Levy's and Vergara's appearances -- on the same day that ABC staged its presentation to advertisers -- demonstrated the growing alliance between the Walt Disney Co., owner of ABC, and Univision. Last week the two companies announced that they were forming a joint venture to create a 24-hour English-language cable news channel that is expected to launch next year.  

Conde described the collaboration with ABC News as "groundbreaking." And, for the sharp-elbowed TV industry, sharing big stars on upfront day was something of a groundbreaking achievement in itself. 


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-- Meg James and Yvonne Villarreal 

Photo: Sofia Vergara  Credit: Justin Lane / EPA