Series will air from the fall in primetime

MADRID — Spanish broadcaster Cuatro has pounced on free-to-air rights on ABC’s upcoming sci-fi drama “Flash Forward.”

One of the most talked-about skeins at May’s L.A. Screenings, “Flash” was sold to Cuatro by Disney-ABC-ESPN.

Series will air in Spain from the fall in primetime. ABC will launch “Flash Forward” Stateside Sept. 24.

“Our plan is to premiere the series in Spain as close as possible to the U.S. launch to avoid the effects of the show’s unauthorized online downloads,” said a Cuatro spokesperson.

“Flash’s” acquisition is a further step in close collaboration between Cuatro and Disney-ABC.

In May, Cuatro announced a multi-year, first-option deal with the U.S. studio for TV dramas and feature films.

This followed a March move that saw Cuatro taking all six seasons of “Lost” from Spanish pubcaster RTVE, after the studio worked with both RTVE and Cuatro to find a broadcaster with younger demos for the sci-fi suspenser.

Launched November 2005 by Spanish media giant Prisa, Cuatro rapidly became one of the main destinations for fans of U.S. fiction, driven by the success of “House.”

From July 13, Cuatro will broadcast “Lost’s” second and third seasons in an afternoon timeslot. Next fall, it will air the fourth and fifth seasons in primetime. “Lost’s” final season will begin on Cuatro very close to the ABC launch, skedded for January.

Like ABC, Cuatro hopes “Flash Forward” serves as a genre replacement for “Lost’s” Spanish fans.

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