Bravo Holding Up Mirror to Reality TV

09/02/2003 AT 03:36 PM EDT

Not content to corner a niche of the reality market with its "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Boy Meets Boy," the Bravo cable network will now present, starting Sept. 8, "The Reality of Reality" – a five-part series examining the phenomenon of reality TV.

The series hopes to cover the fact and fiction of reality shows, how they are made, the history of the genre and the 15 minutes of fame awaiting those who appear on such series as "Survivor," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette" and "Joe Millionaire."

Earlier this summer, reports PEOPLE, Bravo's cameras were rolling throughout a 90-minute "reality-show roundtable" dinner that Mike "Boogie" Malin (a "Big Brother" grad) shared with seven other reality TV vets as they discussed their varied video experiences over champagne, pumpkin ravioli, duck prosciutto and radicchio risotto at Malin's Los Angeles restaurant, Dolce Entoteca.

What exactly was said? According to Malin: "It was kind of like game-show reality people vs. relationship-show reality people. Everyone always lumps all reality shows together, but really the shows are very different when there's money on the line."

He added that everyone got along for the most part until someone from MTV's "The Real World" accused him of using his reality-show fame to make it in Hollywood.

Malin, who also co-owns the L.A. bar Belly, went from his stint on "Big Brother" to convincing such Hollywood hipsters as Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderrama to invest in his Italian eatery.

Rather than thinking Bravo is cannibalizing itself by having a reality show look at a reality show, Malin thinks such an idea is a sensible one.

"Reality TV has changed the landscape of television and it's time to take a closer look," he says, adding that he doesn't think reality TV is destined to be around forever. "It's cyclical, like every other aspect of the entertainment business."

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