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TELEVISION & RADIO

Reality takes a novela turn

Nine unscripted series will fill prime time slots on Spanish-language TV, but the shows will have a soap opera twist.

July 12, 2004|Maria Elena Fernandez | Times Staff Writer

If "Newlyweds" and "Anna Nicole" are the models for the Marcos-Larios tell-all, "American Idol" is the clear inspiration behind TeleFutura's "Objetivo Fama" (Objective: Fame) and Telemundo's "Nuevas Voces de America" (New Voices of America). Music mogul and television and film producer Emilio Estefan created "Nuevas Voces" and will appear on camera as a mentor (his wife, singer Gloria Estefan, was a guest judge on last season's "American Idol").

"Spanish television is experiencing an incredible moment because this generation that was raised here has an educational and economic power and cultural strength that has never existed before," Estefan said. "Reality television has a lot of momentum and has a lot of potential in this market."

For the first five weeks, viewers will watch the contestants from all Latino backgrounds and musical genres work with voice coaches, stylists and image makers to hone their talent and skills. The audience also will be privy to the contestants' back stories and will learn about their families and friends. The last 10 weeks will involve the race for a $200,000 recording contract.

"Latinos like to see the sacrifices people make to succeed," said Estefan, who will produce the show in Miami. "They like that feeling of 'If they can do it, I can do it.' "

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

In the pipeline

New unscripted programming on Spanish-language networks for the 2004-05 season:

Univision

Apostando al Amor (Betting on Love): Beautiful bachelorette goes undercover as an ugly duckling to test her suitors, who are motivated by money to win her over.

Lo Veremos Todo de Niurka y Bobby (We Will See Everything About Niurka and Bobby): Follows the high-profile, scandalous marriage of soap opera stars Niurka Marcos and Bobby Larios.

Dia de Perros (Dog Day): Takes Ashton Kutcher's "Punk'd" one step further by challenging unwitting celebrities for a 24-hour period as they go through one crisis after another -- with such scenarios as being cut off in a parking lot and having to kiss someone with onion breath during an audition.

TeleFutura

En Busca de un Sueno (In Search of a Dream): A feel-good show in which viewers can nominate loved ones to have their dreams -- such as plastic surgery or family reunions -- come true.

El Veredicto del Pueblo (The People's Verdict): A courtroom reality show in which the jury is the star and viewers get to observe jurors as they make decisions on cases. Naughty jurors can get voted off and replaced.

Objetivo Fama (Objective: Fame): A musical talent competition in which 18 contestants live together and vie for a Univision recording contract.

Telemundo

Nuevas Voces de America (New Voices of America): A musical talent competition, with plenty of behind-the-scenes drama and flavor, from Miami Sound Machine founder Emilio Estefan.

El Principe Azul (Prince Charming): Twenty Latinas compete for the love of a bachelor with a big secret.

La Hacienda: Sixteen city slickers are placed on a farm to see who can become the best ranchero.

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