'Hermano II' bows as most-watched program of the night

BUENOS AIRES — Reality has hit Argentina in a big way. It is just a year since the first of the genre, “Expedicion Robinson,” a local “Survivor,” was a smash for Grupo Clarin’s Artear-Canal 13. Now all the webs are in on the craze.

After a whopping success with “Gran Hermano,” the local “Big Brother,” broadcaster Telefe is betting the second series will bolster its market lead as rivals prep new formats and reality shows.

The Aug. 4 preem of “Gran Hermano II” scored a 23.1 rating, making it the most watched show that night. “Sabado Bus,” No. 2 broadcaster Artear-Canal 13’s celebrity gamer, came in second, according to ratings agency Ibope.

Doing ‘Gran’

The first “Gran Hermano” averaged a 20 rating during its run, spiking up to a 42 for the June 30 finale. Telefe has programmed the second series through October.

P&P Endemol, the local production arm of Holland’s Endemol, is working on the show with Telefe. Both are owned by Spain’s Telefonica.

Fourth-ranked America TV, controlled by local sports tycoon Carlos Avila, is prepping a second series of “El Bar” (The Bar).

Meanwhile No. 3 broadcaster Azul TV, jointly owned by Telefonica and Australia’s Prime, plans to air two new formats later this year. RGB Entertainment, a local production firm, is developing “Popstars” for Azul.

The producers have hired a Buenos Aires soccer stadium for a mass audition for youngsters desperate to prove they’re talented enough to become pop stars. The Aug. 11 event was being hyped as the biggest tryout to date for the Pearson format.

In September, Azul will bow an adaptation of “Temptation Island,” locally christened “Confianza Ciega” (Blind Faith). P&P Endemol is producing the series for Azul at a resort in Portugal.

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