Upfronts 2014: Simon Cowell, Univision team on new singing competition

In perhaps one of the most unexpected partnerships to come out of the Upfronts, it was announced that Simon Cowell is teaming with Univision to find the next-generation Latino boy band. En serio.

Univision capped its presentation to media buyers on Tuesday with news of its forthcoming singing competition series “La Banda” (The Band).

After Cowell’s “The X Factor” got voted off of Fox’s prime-time schedule earlier this year, the reality competition bigwig is setting his sights on the Spanish market.

“La Banda” will scour the U.S. and Latin America to find the next Latino boy band. Think: Menudo 2.0 (yet again) -- or, for the younger generation, a more apt description might be: a One Direction for the Latino crowd.

Cowell -- sporting his signature tight, white T-shirt, jeans and boots -- took the stage Tuesday, promising the series would be a “very, very special event.” He even practiced his Spanish -- letting out a “de nada” and a “muchas gracias.”

The reality series will debut on Univision in 2015. Contestants will compete for a place in the band, as well as a recording contract with Cowell’s Syco Music, the recording label for big-selling boy band One Direction.


“Univision’s collaboration with Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment is part of our commitment to innovation and to raising the bar in entertainment for our audience and partners,” said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision Communications Inc., in a news release issued on the project. “‘La Banda’ will tap into Hispanic America’s passion for music unlike any other program on television and will bring millions of fans the next international musical sensation.”