BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is poised for a resurgence in fiction after a year dominated by “Big Brother.”
Telefe, the leading broadcaster, brought “Brother” back this year after a four-year drought in reality programming in the country. It found a new audience and soared in the ratings, spawning a celebrity version and a third season. Trying to keep pace, rival Artear-Canal 13 spruced up primetime variety program “ShowMatch” with ice-skating and dance competitions.
These developments crowded most fiction out of primetime, forcing producers to turn to cable and foreign markets. Pol-ka, for one, is producing versions of “Desperate Housewives” in Latin America and teaming with Colombia’s RCN on a novela even though Pol-ka is behind the year’s hottest daily fiction, family comedy “Son de Fierro.”
But with the third season of “Brother” sliding in the ratings, fiction is making a greater comeback. Telenovela “Lalola” has gained a strong following on fourth-ranked America TV. Artear has remade the 1969 thriller “El hombre que volvio de la muerte” (The Man Who Came Back From Death) and Telefe is prepping a miniseries with Damian Szifron of the runaway hit “Los simuladores” (The Pretenders).
“It’s a matter of cycles,” says Marcos Carnevale, director of content and the development of new projects at Pol-ka. “Fiction will always come back. It is a strength of Argentina.”
1. ShowMatch (Artear-Canal 13)
2. Big Brother (Telefe)
3. Son de Fierro (Artear-Canal 13)