SBT picks up ‘Island’

Brazilian web tempted by Fox reality skein

RIO DE JANEIRO — Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV has sold “Temptation Island” to No. 2 Brazilian net SBT, marking the format’s first sale in Latin America.

Fox is negotiating to sell the reality skein in other countries, with Argentina the next one set to close, said Elie Wahba, Fox’s senior VP in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean.

He said the original U.S. production had been well received in the region on feevee Canal Fox.

Fox will handle production of “Temptation Island” for SBT, and has contracted Rio-based film producer Total Films and Argentina’s PromoFilms.

Drama experience

” ‘Temptation Island’ is more dramatic programming than (a) reality gameshow, so we opted to have someone (Total) with experience in dramatic production,” Wahba said.

The studio and Total already have a relationship via the co-production and distribution of Brazilian feature films.

Meanwhile, PromoFilms has worked on reality programs in its home market, Wahba said. “We are combining their know-how.”

A Fox production exec from the U.S. show will supervise pre-production and will be on hand during shooting. A pre-production team is scouting for locations, but Wahba doesn’t expect “Temptation Island” to bow before July.

Show will be presented by Brazilian TV host Bibi, who presents the Oscar ceremony for SBT.

Brazilian auds love reality formats, and for SBT, “Temptation Island” will be its fourth foray into that arena.

SBT is airing the second series of its own, “Casa dos Artistas,” which continues to perform well in the ratings. The show is the subject of litigation by No. 1 Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo and Endemol, who allege it is a ripoff of their series “Big Brother.”

SBT also is prepping the Brazilian version of “Popstar,” which will bow in late April/early May. It has hired RGB to co-produce the show. SBT expects up to 10,000 women at the first audition March 24 in Sao Paulo.

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