With the premier Wednesday night of Dale con Ganas, the new family weight loss competition show on Univision, Miami producer Emilio Estefan returns to a medium which he enjoys just as much as music.
To this day, a lot of people don’t realize that I’ve been working on television for 20 years, said the producer who made a stop at The Miami Herald studio this week.
Among his credits: the Spanish-language reality show Voices of America, a Christmas special, concert specials for his wife, Gloria Estefan, and other projects with Disney and HBO.
His latest endeavor airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday and is co-produced with Dave Broome, of NBC’s The Biggest Loser fame, in partnership with the top Spanish-language network. The show will be seen locally on Univision 23.
In Dale con Ganas, or Give it Your All, four overweight Hispanic families are challenged, which the help of physical trainers, to lose weight over a period of three months for a $100,000 grand prize. The families hail from Mexico, Colombia and Peru.
Win or lose, Estefan said, the show’s contestants will have a life-changing experience.
When I did Voices of America, I put the contestants on a diet and totally changed their image. That had an impact on the lives of those young people who still to this day call me to tell me how it changed them,” Estefan said.
So Estefan said when he learned the program would focus on breaking the cycle of obesity in Hispanics, he jumped at the chance to co-produce.
To have a successful reality show, it’s necessary to focus on the human aspect. In Dale con Ganas, how family members relate to each other and to food will be an integral part of the episodes, he said.
Estefan said he’s learned how personal problems “and family members” help develop bad eating habits. The show will touch on the role of many Hispanic grandmothers, who in their caring eagerness to feed their grandchildren lead them to a path of obesity.
In one family there is a mother who wants to save the life of a child, who weighs 400 pounds. In another family, there is a grandmother who now does not want her grandchildren to be obese like her, he said.
To show the family dynamics, the contestants will remain in their homes.
I want the viewers to have an idea of how a poor family lives, goes to work and has to learn to eat healthy and exercise. The interesting thing is how they come together to lose weight and try to win the prize money, he said.
The show is being shot in Los Angeles, where Estefan is spending time overseeing the launch. He said the show has also influenced the way he eats.
“Every time I think of eating a dessert, I count the calories and tell myself I have to run half and hour to work it off. So I say goodbye to it.”
Estefan and his wife are kicking off 2012 on a high note. Gloria’s latest single, Hotel Nacional, premiered during the holidays at #1 on Billboard’s Latin Songs. A video is in the works and Gloria is also preparing for her multi-episode appearance on Fox’s Glee, he said.
Source: Miami Herald