Spanish broadcaster succeeds with Yank drama

MADRID — Spanish terrestrial broadcaster Cuatro continues to put its faith in U.S. series, inking with Lionsgate, Paramount, CBS, Universal, HBO and Buena Vista Intl. for a raft of skeins.

The 14-month-old web has signed with Lionsgate for Nicolas Cage-produced drama “The Dresden Files,” supernatural thriller skein “The Lost Room,” family drama “Hidden Palms” and Showtime drama “Weeds.”

Cuatro, which is owned by pay TV giant Sogecable, has bought all seasons of sci-fi drama “The 4400″ from Paramount and CBS’ surgeons’ drama “3 lbs.” From Universal, it picked up psychic thriller “Psych,” which on Jan 10 scored a record primetime debut share for a series on Cuatro, notching up 9.5%.

From BVI, Cuatro has purchased ABC Family hit series “Kyle XY” and the Mick Jagger-exec produced comedy “Knights of Prosperity.” These follow recently announced pickups on “Ugly Betty,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Six Degrees” and “Day Break.”

Cuatro also will air the second season of HBO’s “Rome” and the BBC’s “Doctor Who” spinoff “Torchwood.”

Cuatro has seen considerable success with its U.S. dramas, led by “House,” which this fall doubled Cuatro’s channel share, scoring 17%-19.5%.

“Let’s face it, U.S. series are the best around. They’re 50 years ahead of Spanish series production,” said Fernando Jerez, Cuatro programming director.

Cuatro also has picked up miniseries such as Blighty’s “The Flood,” from Power; Ridley Scott-produced “The Company,” from Tandem Communications; and the BBC dinosaur fiction “Primeval.”

From French channel France, it has closed on paranormal drama “Next Premonition.” It also is betting on high-profile docs such as National Geographic’s “In the Womb: Animals” and BBC’s “Deep Ocean,” “If the Oil Runs Out” and “2057.”

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