Getting even more real

Non-fiction TV gains more momentum

BUENOS AIRES — Reality fever shows little sign of abating in Argentina, where five skeins are on the air and with plans for more to come.

Third-ranked broadcaster Azul Television has three unspooling. It began testing couples’ relationships in “Confianza Ciega” (Blind Faith) on Sept. 24.

Days later it bowed “Popstars,” about the creation of a girl band, and it introduced “Reality de las Estrellas” (Reality of the Stars), a celeb spin on “Big Brother” at the end of the month.

No. 4 broadcaster America TV is prepping a second version of “El Bar” (The Bar) to air in this week. The show, based on the Swedish format, follows 12 people trying to turn a fledgling bar into a moneymaking business. Local indie TV production house Cuatro Cabezas, is producing.

The first “El Bar” pulled in some of the best ratings ever for America TV, a spokesperson says, adding that the pay TV channel dedicated to “El Bar” on leading MSO Cablevision often scored five rating points at 2 a.m. — unheard of even for soccer matches. Fans can watch “El Bar II” ’round the clock on satcaster Sky.

Despite its popularity, the first series of “El Bar” was trounced in the ratings by market leader Telefe and its “Gran Hermano” (Big Brother).

“Gran Hermano” averaged 20 rating points during the first series, and Telefe bowed a second installment in August.

“Gran Hermano II” airs 11.5 hours each week and consistently beats the competition in its timeslots. The series wraps this month.

Meanwhile, Artear, Channel 13, the No. 2 broadcaster, is considering a third “Expedicion Robinson,” based on “Survivor.” Its first two series were smash hits for the channel.

Not to be outdone, Marcelo Tinelli, boss of production company Ideas del Sur Producciones, has brought back a second round of “Gran Cunado” (Big Brother-In-Law), a political spoof of the “Big Brother” format. He shows it as part of his popular variety program, “El Show de Videomatch,” on Telefe.

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