Popular Argentine program returns with a bang

BUENOS AIRES — Long-running Argentine variety show “ShowMatch” returned April 14 with its hottest season opener in three years — using the same tried and true mix of celeb interviews, games and gossip that has made it a classic.

It fetched an average 33.8 rating points during the 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. slot on Artear-Canal 13, on par with the hottest pro-soccer matches and finales of hit dramas, according to ratings agency Ibope.

Hosted by Marcelo Tinelli, “ShowMatch” outshone Telefe’s people-trafficking drama “Vidas robadas” (Taking Lives) (12.1 rating points), Telefe’s investigative show “La liga” (The Team) (9.8 points) and America TV’s womanizer comedy “Lalola” (3.6).

The biggest draw of the program was “Bailando por un sueno” (Dancing for a Dream).

” ‘ShowMatch’ is an institution in Argentina,” says Martin Rodriguez, a TV industry specialist at Television.com.ar. “It has good portions of talent, cleverness, sensibility and professionalism. Average Argentines see a reflection of themselves in this.”

Telefe bowed the show in 1996 but rival Canal 13 poached it 10 years later.

The show has helped Canal 13 knock 15-year ratings champ Telefe off the top spot.

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