In 2020, Spanish fiction will see a bigger increase than ever in terms of quantity and variety, including a growing impact on both local and international platforms
With large content platforms like Netflix, Movistar, and Amazon taking over an increasing amount of production volume, the new year kicks off with some important season premiers on broadcast TV, which is starting to be seen more and more as an ally of SVOD operators in creating and launching new series.
Big Spanish production companies like The Mediapro Studio, Atresmedia Studios, and Mediterráneo Mediaset España Group are forming a growing number of alliances with the new players, which often go beyond the Spanish market. Faced with rising budgets, co-production is becoming an increasingly popular option for carrying out the projects. Take “3 Caminos” for example, a fictional Spanish-German co-production that has the support of Amazon Prime Video.
The adaptation of international series is also on the rise, providing a certain level of risk reduction since they have already been tested out, although this may take away opportunities from the local creative talent.
The unstoppable trickle of new projects is staying steady as well. In addition to those listed here, there will soon be new titles being added by operators like Starz, who just announced their international service in different areas, including Spain, where they will be joining in on the co-production of between three and five series.
Not counting the new seasons of series that will be coming back or productions that have not been finalized, here’s a selection of the most noteworthy releases for 2020:
Early premieres on broadcast TV
Some of the earliest premiers of the year will be on broadcast TV channels. Wednesday, January 15, TVE’s La 1 has premiered “Néboa”, a thriller produced by Voz Audiovisual that takes place at the Galician carnival. The same date, on Telecinco, owned by Mediaset España, was the premier of the comedy “El pueblo”, produced by Contubernio (“La que se avecina”), after joining the Amazon Prime Video lineup last year. “Perdida”, an emotional thriller filmed in Spain and Columbia by Big Bang Media (The Mediapro Studio), was launched the day before during the primetime slot on Antena 3.
Inés del Alma Mía, in co-production
The public broadcaster TVE has other fictional series lined up as well, like the drama “HIT”, produced by Grupo Ganga (“Remember When”) and the co-production “Inés of my Soul”del Alma Mía”, a TV adaptation of the novel written by Isabel Allende, produced together with Boomerang TV and Chilevisión, and with the participation of Amazon, filmed in Spain, Chile, and Peru.
Produced by Alea Media, a part of Mediterráneo Mediaset España Group, the medical drama “Mothers”adres”, with Belén Rueda leading the cast, is set to premier at some point during the season, as is the legal drama Caronte, a Big Bang Media production that will also be available on Amazon Prime Video. Plano a Plano, (“El Príncipe”), is producing the police drama “Desaparecidos” for Mediaset. In addition to this comes “Lejos de ti”, in collaboration with Mediaset Italia and Cross Productions, and “Los relojes del diablo”, co-produced by RAI Fiction and Pico Media.
Since the launch of Atresmedia Studios in early 2018, Atresmedia has been releasing their own fictional series on the group’s different media outlets while also producing content for third parties. Hence, in association with Boomerang TV, Atresmedia is producing the adaptation of the successful Turkish novel “Fatmagül”, and together with Plano a Plano, the comedy “Benidorm”. The drama “The Secret Hospital”, which is planned to be filmed in the United States, is one of the first co-productions from Beta Entertainment Spain, with participation from Atresmedia Studios and the production company Balance Media. “La Valla”, created by Daniel Écija (Good Mood) together with Globomedia (The Mediapro Studio), will also be premiering on Spanish TV in the upcoming days. And set for exclusive release on ATRESplayer Premium is the Atresmedia Studios production, in collaboration with Suma Latina and associate producer Apache Films, entitled “Veneno”, a series about the Spanish LGBTI icon.
Movistar Plus: Between 12 and 14 series a year
Since the release of their first original series in late 2017, Movistar Plus, the operator belonging to Telefónica, has been set on releasing between 12 and 14 series a year.
Among the new releases set for the first semester are “La unidad”, produced by Vaca Films and distributed internationally by Beta Film, and “La línea invisible”, a drama about the origins of the terrorist group ETA, produced by Sentido Films and Corte y Confección de Películas. “Los Espabilados” marks the return to television for the creator and writer Albert Espinosa, following the international success of “The Red Band Society”. Produced together with Dynamo Audiovisual, the series consists of seven episodes that tell the story of a group of young people who escape from a mental hospital.
Movistar’s fictional series include “Nasdrovia”, a comedy made up of six 25-minute episodes, produced by Globomedia starring Leonor Watling and Hugo Silva.
Globomedia is also the producer of “Paradise” Paraíso, a fictional series created by Fernando González Molina (“Palmtrees in the Snow” Palmeras en la nieve”) that combines teen drama, science fiction, and mystery.
For what is said to be filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar’s debut in directing TV fiction, Mod Producciones is producing an international miniseries for Movistar entitled El Tesoro del Cisne Negro, that is an adaptation of the comic novel with the same name, written by Paco Roca y Guillermo Corral.
“Dime quién soy”, produced by José Manuel Lorenzo (DLO Producciones) is an adaptation of Julia Navarro’s novel, filmed in Madrid and Budapest with Irene Escolar in the lead role, and according to Movistar, is “one of the most ambitious and complex audiovisual super-productions in Spain.”
The comedy “Supernormal” is Movistar Plus’ first collaboration with Secuoya. Created and written by Marta Sánchez and Olatz Arroyo (“Down There”), it’s directed by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (“Spanish Affair”).
Following the two seasons of “Gigantes”, the team led by Enrique Urbizu and LaZona is returning to production for Movistar, this time, on a story about bandits, currently untitled, set in Cádiz at the end of the 19th century.
There is also “Antidisturbios”, a thriller created by filmmaker Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“The Realm”), which is a co-production between The Lab and Caballo Films that’s going to be released by Movistar.
Álex Pina, Netflix two-timer
Netflix is planning to launch nine new Spanish series this year, the majority of which are thrillers, with a particular influence from Vancouver Media, the production company created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato (“La casa de papel”), who created “White Lines”, a co-production with Left Bank, and “Sky Rojo”.
There is also a lot of hype surrounding other titles like “Los Favoritos de Midas”, a six-episode series by Mateo Gil, produced by Nostromo Pictures, featuring Luis Tosar (“Celda 211”, “El niño”); “El desorden que dejas”, a psychological thriller from Vaca Films with Tamar Novas and Bárbara Lennie, and “Alguien tiene que morir”, from Mexican-native Manolo Caro (“La casa de las flores”), filmed in Spain with local talent.
Especially geared towards a younger audience, Netflix is preparing a supernatural series called “Alma”, by Sergio G. Sánchez (“The secret of Marrowbone”), produced by Belén Atienza (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Sandra Hermida (“Arde Madrid”) and Jesús de la Vega (“Intruders”); the animated series from Zeppelin TV called “Memorias de Idhun” and “Valeria”, produced by Plano a Plano.
The California-based platform will also be releasing “El inocente”, a co-production between Sospecha Films and Think Studio, the TV debut for Oriol Paulo, the Spanish filmmaker who had tremendous success recently in the Asian market with “The invisible guest” A contratiempo and “Mirage”.Detrás de la tormenta.
Period era series on Amazon Prime Video
Atresmedia Studios, together with Boomerang TV, is producing “La templanza”, an Amazon original series based on the novel with the same name written by María Dueñas, which will be released in more than 200 countries and regions on Amazon Prime Video. The project comes in the wake of “The time in between” El tiempo entre costuras, a series that helped create new avenues for Spanish fiction to expand internationally.
This year will also see the launch of the Amazon original series “El Cid”, with Jaime Lorente (“La casa de papel”) as El Cid Campeador, the main character that Charlton Heston portrayed in the 1961 movie. Produced by Zebra Producciones, it will be two seasons long, each one with six episodes, and will be take on the historical figure, as seen from a modern-day perspective.
Having created “Gran Hotel”, “Velvet” and “Fariña”, Bambú Producciones, led by Ramón Campos and Teresa Fernández-Valdés, boasts having one of the strongest client portfolios in the current TV landscape. For Amazon they are creating "Un asunto privado", an original fiction detective series set in the 1940s.
Also on Amazon Prime Video will be the release of “3 Caminos”, about the Camino de Santiago, produced by Ficción Producciones from Galicia and Ariane Krampe Filmproduktion, co-produced by Amazon and Beta.
Following the December launch of “Foodie Love”, by Isabel Coixet, their first original Spanish fiction project, HBO España will be releasing “Patria” this May, which is set to be their biggest project of the year in terms of original productions, created by Aitor Gabilondo and produced by Alea Media. Also to come is the horror series “30 monedas” by Álex de la Iglesia, and “Por H o por B”, a comedy by Globomedia and Lacoproductora.
The new year also brings with it the premier of the first original fiction series from Orange TV in Spain, the horror series “Caminantes”, produced by 100 Balas (The Mediapro Studio).