Tele 5 pumps prod’n

MADRID — Spanish commercial broadcaster Tele 5 has confirmed its position at the forefront of TV production in Spain by creating a studio and TV production complex, the Picasso Studios.

Over the next 12 months, Tele 5 will invest a minimum $63 million in TV productions at the studios, Tele 5’s director of production Mikel Lejarza declared at Midia 97, the Latin American TV Market that opened Monday in Madrid.

Tele 5’s upcoming TV slate includes 13 TV movies, a Cuban-set miniseries, two new longrunning series, “More Than Just Friends” and “Leaving College,” further installments of past series, and the Spanish episodes of the detective miniseries “Carvalho,” co-produced with France (Technisonor) and Italy (Solaris-RAI). The Picasso Studios will house eight studios covering a total of 10,000 square meters.

Tele 5’s commitment to TV fiction reflects the runaway success of sitcoms such as “Family Doctor,” the highest-rated fiction series of the decade in Spain, plus a decision not to enter into a bidding war for Spanish TV soccer rights. “While others buy soccer games, we will be making TV. We want to create, distances apart, a mini-Hollywood,” Lejarza said.

Tele 5’s acquisition of international programming has declined over the last three years, “and will continue to do so,” he added.

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