Spanish broadcaster follows TV movie trend

MADRID — Marking the beginning of a battle to tie down key talent in the Spanish TV-movie production sector, Mediaset broadcaster Telecinco has inked a three TV-movie deal with Catalan helmer Daniel Calparsoro.

Deal kicks off with psychological thriller “The Anger,” a co-production between Telecinco Cinema and Madrid-based production house New Atlantis, shooting from Monday in Madrid.

Calparsoro, who broke onto the Spanish film scene in the mid-90s with the violent, urban feature film melodrama “Leap into the Void,” turned successfully to TV movie direction last year with “The Punishment,” a drama set at a teen work-camp. Broadcast as a two-part miniseries by DeAPlaneta’s Antena 3 TV, “Punishment” snatched a winning primetime 27.2% share and 5.1 million viewers in December.

During the 2008/09 season, other miniseries have punched huge ratings, making TV movies one of the hottest TV formats in Spain.

Pubcaster RTVE’s La 1 won Spain’s primetime war two nights in a row last February thanks to “23-F. El dia mas dificil del Rey.” Dramatizing an infamous and bungled coup d’etat in 1981, it averaged a massive 35.5% share and 6.8 million viewers.

In January, A3TV drama “Days Without Light,” about the kidnapping and murder of a young girl, reached a 20% share and 3.3 million viewers, way above A3TV’s 15.6% monthly average.

Initially reluctant to put its money into TV movies as part of Spanish broadcasters’ obligation to invest 5% of their annual revenues in Spanish or European film production, Telecinco finally has surrendered to evidence of the format’s success.

The Calparsoro trilogy for Telecinco will continue with missing teenagers drama “The Shame” and “The Law of the Souls,” a story about crime investigations combined with supernatural events, inspired in a book by Galician journo Carlos Reigosa.

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