With all of the Spanish-language channels available, it’s difficult to imagine there was a time when none existed. Univision started in 1962 and Telemundo became a national TV channel in 1984.
Luis Gomez didn’t let that stop him in 1955 as he became a pioneer in Spanish-language television by launching “The Luis Gomez Show.” Although the locally produced weekly variety show aired on the Fresno English-language TV station KGPE (known as KJEO at that time), it was broadcast in Spanish.
The Sunday morning show ran until 1977.
Rene Gomez, son of the TV host, still gets asked about the program.
“He did this show without a Spanish network. Because all of the Hispanic families would watch his show, he had astronomical ratings,” Rene Gomez says. “People have fond memories of the show.”
He’s often asked if there are any taped copies of the show. Sadly, none exist. TV shows at that time were recorded on expensive videotape that was used repeatedly.
There’s no way to see those old shows, but Rene Gomez, who is also an entertainer and works under the name Rene Emilio, will launch a series on CMAC that will be a tribute to his father’s work. CMAC’s government, education and public access channels launched on Comcast and AT&T U-verse in 2012
The hour-long program – “The Luis Gomez Show” – will feature interviews and local performers. The show will be biligual – English and Spanish. Rene Gomez and Criss Palmer will co-host. Production is scheduled to start Monday, July 11. No date is set for the launch, but expect it in early August.
Rene Gomez named the show to honor his father, who died in 2008.
Fresnans have been popping up on a variety of reality TV programs.
Isaac Torres, the 12-year-old Fresno native who advanced to the top 15 of the Telemundo music competition series “La Voz Kids” (“The Voice Kids”), was eliminated when the show cut the field to the top six.
The music competition series is designed exactly like NBC’s “The Voice.” Eventually, one winner will be selected by the viewing audience and receive a recording contract with Universal Music, plus $50,000. The winner’s family gets a 2016 Nissan Rogue.
As of this writing, Fresno native Bridgette Dunning, 24, has survived in the CBS reality series “Big Brother.” Dunning is a traveling nurse who lives in Ventura. The winner of “Big Brother” takes home $500,000.
Dunning had a slight scare when she was put up for eviction in the first vote. But, She never got a single vote and lived to play another day.
Gavin Morales, an 11-year-old from Fresno, made it through the auditions round of the FOX reality competition series “So You Think You Can Dance” but didn’t make it to the top 10.
Dancers selected during auditions by judges Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo battled at “The Academy” in Los Angeles. The SYTYCD All Stars met the young dancers and decide which 10 contestants would earn spots to be their partners.
Turning up the heat
Time to get out your pots and pans. Casting for Season 6 of the FOX reality competition show “MasterChef Junior” will be held Saturday, July 9, in Los Angeles. Casting directors are looking for the best elementary-school-age home cooks. You must have turned 7 as of this coming Aug. 1.
Preregistration forms must be filled out by a parent or guardian. The child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the tryout.
This will be the closest auditions for the upcoming season before the team moves on to Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, New Orleans and New York.
Tryouts in Los Angeles will be held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, 1755 Highland Ave., Los Angeles. The auditions will run fro 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To make the audition process easier, young home cooks can preregister for the casting call and get more details at http://masterchefjuniorcasting.com.
If you cannot attend one of the casting calls, a video can be submitted. This must be done no later than midnight Friday, July 15.
Back to work
“Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” returns to the E! lineup at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.
The 20-year-old clairvoyant from Hanford will be doing readings this season with Kris Jenner, Tori Spelling, Melissa Joan Hart, Carole Radziwill, Moby, Kevin McHale, Jewel, Roselyn Sanchez, Austin Mahone, Retta, EJ Johnson, Rachel Hunter, Lil John, Whitney Port, Jennifer Esposito, Joely Fisher, Audrina Patridge, Kendra Wilkinson, Cory Feldman, Linda Blair, Mae Whitman, WWE Superstars’ Nikki and Brie Bella, Madison Beer, Evelyn Lozada and Shaniece Hairston.
Before the new season begins, Henry counts down his top 10 readings from the first season in “Hollywood Medium: Tyler’s Top Ten” airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Recognition: KSEE24 and CBS47 were presented with the “Spirit of Abraham Award” from the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno for their “objective and unbiased coverage of Central Valley issues including positive coverage of the Muslim community.” The honor was handed out June 10.
Might as well jump!: The 10 p.m. Sunday, July 19, episode of “Top Secret Swimming Holes” features Tule River Falls. While Sequoia National Forest is well known for its giant trees, not many people are aware that between those groves is a series of cliffs and waterfalls perfect for cliff jumping.