'El Chema' to Feature First-Ever Viritual Reality Experience on Spanish-Language TV

For the first time in the history of Spanish-language television, Telemundo announced today the launch of a 360-degree virtual reality experience to engage with viewers in advance of the launch of its upcoming telenovela El Chema. On the heels of its success in reaching the coveted Generation M – mobile, multicultural, millennials – with original content tailored to their modern cultural interests, Telemundo’s Marketing and Digital divisions teamed up to bring viewers "The Chema: A 360 Escape.” The experience gives fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in a dizzying journey, accompanied by El Chema Venegas (Mauricio Ochmann), as they undertake his daring tunnel escape from a high-security prison. Telemundo also partnered with Facebook and YouTube to release the experience across those social platforms to engage fans as a lead up to the highly-anticipated spin off’s premiere.

“Our marketing team is always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with our audience and engage them with our programming through cutting edge, entertaining experiences” said Aileen Angulo-Merciel, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Creative, Telemundo. “We are thrilled to bring viewers an unforgettable opportunity through our ground breaking virtual reality escape for El Chema.”

As part of the 360 experience, Telemundo activated a campaign to allow viewers to enjoy the virtual reality experience in person across multiple cities including Los Angeles, California at Stonewood Mall; Houston, Texas at Plaza Americas; Bronx, New York at the Mall at Bay Plaza; and Chicago, Illinois at the Gurnee Mills Mall.

“Our digital initiatives and partnerships allow viewers to stay connected during our shows and in between on-air episodes,” said Peter Blacker, Executive Vice President, Digital Media and Emerging Business, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “The campaign we are launching across multiple platforms provides our fans with yet another inventive experience and more exclusive content, which enables us to continue to connect with Generation M.”

In addition to the partnerships with Facebook and YouTube, the network also presented an exclusive online preview of the Super Series on Telemundo.com, VOD and the Telemundo Novelas app titled “capítulo cero” (chapter zero). The preview gives fans an exclusive look at El Chema’s backstory and what he has been doing between the character’s end on El Señor de los Cielos and the start of the new series.

El Chema, premiering Tuesday, December 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, is a spin-off of the wildly popular* series “El Señor de los Cielos.” Starring Mauricio Ochmann, Mariana Seoane, Julio Bracho, Itatí Cantoral, Carmen Aub, Alexandra de la Mora, Arcelia Ramírez and Sergio Basáñez with the special participation of Rafael Amaya, “El Chema” tells the story of how Chema Venegas (Ochmann) got his start in organized crime and rose through the ranks to become the head of the cartel he runs in “El Señor de los Cielos.”

El Chema is an original production of Telemundo, made by Argos Televisión directed by Danny Gavidia and Nicolás Di Blasi and produced by Mariana Iskandarani and Patricia Benítez.

*The season four finale for El Señor de los Cielos on July 18 ranked as the #1 most social primetime program in broadcast across all networks, regardless of language and reached 4.57 million viewers per Nielsen.

Today in Soap Opera History (December 8)

1953: VL's Helen dished with Jane about her new pilot friend.
1981: Days' Roman Brady first appeared. 1998: OLTL's Viki
was not happy with Clint's plan.  1988: GH's Alan was in jail.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1953: On Valiant Lady, Helen (Nancy Coleman) told Jane (Helen Wagner) about her experience with her new pilot friend, Capt. Chris Kendall. Said Jane: "That's a pilot for you...here today, gone today. But at least he was attentive while it lasted."

Today in Soap Opera History (December 7)

1979: EON's "Mrs. Corey" kept an eye on Deborah's condition.
1979: ATWT's Lisa & Bob danced while Bennett fumed.
1984: Days' Salem mourned Roman at his wake.
1998: GH's Alan found Tammy next to his dead drug dealer.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1941: On The Story of Mary Marlin, Davey's intended destination was exposed further. An NBC News bulletin, one of the first known casualty reports to come from Pearl Harbor, arrived just before the day's episode of this popular radio soap opera.

1941: On Vic & Sade, Vic (Art Van Harvey), Rush (Bill Idelson), and Uncle Fletcher (Clarence Hartzell) arrive home all at once...just in time to handle a peculiar storage problem.

1941: On One Man's Family, everyone was keeping their feelings about Irene Franklin to themselves.

1956: On The Edge of Night, Larry (Bill Zuckert) attempted to murder Mike Karr (John Larkin).

Today in Soap Opera History (December 6)

1977: For Richer, For Poorer premiered on NBC.
1979: A mystery person tried to enter The Willows on ATWT.
1989: Guiding Light's Phillip tried to get through to Beth.
1995: Y&R's Ryan pitched a new Jabot ad campaign for teens.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1966: On Dark Shadows, Burke Devlin (Mitchell Ryan) realized that Victoria Winters was still at Collinwood.

1974: On General Hospital, Phil Brewer (Martin West) was murdered with a geode paper weight.

Today in Soap Opera History (December 5)

1966: Dark Shadows' Matthew took Victoria hostage.
1985: OLTL's Tina tried to sell Viki's story to a tabloid.
1988: Brenda Epperson debuted as Ashley on Y&R.
2006: Hayden Panettiere debuted as Lizzie on Guiding Light.
"More and more, I tend to read history. I often find it more up to date than the daily newspapers."
― Joe Murray

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1957: On The Edge of Night, Ellie Fitzgibbons reluctantly agreed to see Willy Bryan (Edward Holmes).

1966: On Dark Shadows, Matthew Morgan (Thayer David) took Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) hostage at the Old House, and hid her in a secret room behind the drawing room bookcase.

Michael Roark Leaving 'The Young and the Restless'

Michael Roark
Michael Roark has already taped his last scenes on The Young and the Restless, which puts the departure of Travis, his on-screen alter-ego, from Genoa City in the next few weeks, reported Facebook group Soap Fans United (SFU) this week. While neither the network nor Roark have confirmed his exit, reliable sources at SFU tell us he's not long for the fictional soap opera town.

When Travis Crawford returned to Genoa City this summer, it looked like he was around to stay. Victoria had a tough time convincing him to come back, but when she did, he quickly became her beau once again. Soon after, Victor lured him into working for Newman Enterprises. All of this spelled to many viewers that Roark was on contract status.

Whether Roark was or wasn’t to become a regular fixture on Y&R, the head writer shake-ups behind the scenes may have played a part in his sudden departure. Charles Pratt, Jr. recently left Y&R to write for the Fox primetime series Star. Showrunners brought on soap-writing veteran Sally Sussman to replace Pratt. Sussman has said she has a decidedly different vision for the folks who call Genoa City home.

The end of Travis’ days in the thick of Newman Enterprises/Jabot corporate espionage, not to mention as Victoria’s number one paramour, could affect many Genoa City residents and storylines. Jill’s dreams could come true if a heartbroken Victoria turns to Billy for solace. These two might rekindle their supercouple romance as a result.

Phyllis, despite her attempts to repair her damaged relationship with Jack, has, since she began her affair with Billy, shown herself not above jealousy when Billy takes up with another woman. When it’s the woman who is arguably the love of his life, she may be fully consumed by that jealousy!

The handsome and talented Michael Roark is sure to land another gig in the very near future. We wish him well in all his future endeavors.