More ‘Stories’ for the small screen

World Brief

RIO DE JANEIRO — “Carandiru: Other Stories” is set to repeat on TV the bigscreen success of helmer Hector Babenco’s real-life jailhouse drama “Carandiru.”

The first of 10 episodes aired June 10 at 11 p.m. with average ratings of 29 points and a share of 52%, up from the slot’s usual 22 points and 41%.

As a warmup for the series, Globo aired “Carandiru” for the first time on TV a few days earlier. The prison drama, based on Drauzio Varella’s bestselling book, sold 4.6 million tickets in 2003 in Brazil, making it the most successful local feature in 15 years.

Babenco has directed two of the series episodes and exec produced the rest. Roberto Gervitz and Walter Carvalho each directed four segs.

Each 25-minute episode focuses on a different character in the film and features most of the pic’s cast: Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Maria Luisa Mendonca, Lazaro Ramos, Ailton Graça, Milton Gonçalves and Antonio Grassi.

The cost per episode was about 500,000 reals ($210,000).

“It was a challenge. We had just six days to shoot each episode, and the standards were very high,” Gervitz tells Variety.

Part of the lensing was done at the only remaining building of the Carandiru prison complex in Sao Paulo. Most of the largest inmate facility in Latin America was demolished in 2002.

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