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'The Riveras' on being the only Latino family on American reality TV



A lot of people compare the Rivera family to the Kardashians. The two are on popular reality TV shows on a Comcast-NBCUniversal network and have a lot of drama, but that's as far as the similarities go, according to Mike Rivera, the eldest of the two Rivera boys.

"Aside from being a big family—and being kind of crazy—that's kind of where the comparisons end," said Mike.

I also wish that there were more [English-language reality TV shows about Latino families], you know what I mean.
Chiquis Rivera

What the Riveras are doing that the Kardashians are not is this: making history as the first English-language reality TV show about a Hispanic family in the United States.

(Left to right) Johnny, Jacqie, Chiquis, Jenicka and Mike are representing Latino families on NBC Universo's "The Riveras."

“It’s kind of awesome, but in a way, I also wish that there were more, you know what I mean?" said Chiquis Rivera, the eldest of the five siblings. "I think that our culture [has] a lot to give, and a lot to show the world, you know? But it’s awesome that we get to be the first.”

"The Riveras" follows the lives of late singer Jenni Rivera's kids as they build their own careers. Jenni Rivera died in a plane crash in 2012 during what was arguably the peak of her career. People referred to her as the "Diana Ross of Mexican music," and Rivera became the first Latin artist to sell out the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, according to Billboard.

"Having lost our mom and our parents, you know—you have to stay tight-knit with your siblings because you need that group of people to lift you up and be there for you," said Johnny Lopez Rivera, the youngest of the siblings.

The third season of the show premieres March 11 on NBC Universo and promises to give viewers a lot of drama. Chiquis falls in love, Jacqie falls out of it, Mike grapples with being a single dad to an autistic daughter, Jenicka tries to become a model and Johnny comes out of the closet. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"It's been such a fast process, but I've gotten so much support. I wasn't expecting so much support," said Johnny.

The Riveras are no strangers to the cameras. Their first reality show, "I Love Jenni," centered on their mom's life and premiered 7 years ago. They seem to be experts at these press junkets, where they sneak in quick meals between back-to-back 10-minute interviews. Having a very public video diary in the years before and after their mom's death has proved therapeutic to some extent.

"Being put out there, you want to be better," said Jenicka, the youngest of the girls. "You want to do things good. And you want to just give people a message that will change them.”

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