Producer Sergio Aguero, scribe Margaret Nagle adapt series about hospitalized teenagers
Project is a darkly comic coming-of-age drama about a group of six teenagers with serious medical conditions who work to save themselves from boredom while in the hospital (where red wrist bands signal the severity of their conditions). The original series, “Polseres Vermelles,” has been a big hit in Spain on TV3.
“Red Band” was previously developed two years ago at ABC with “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman, but it never moved to the pilot stage. Fox had been a contender for the project at that time and kept after Amblin and ABC to take another shot. ABC Studios recently renewed its option on the U.S. rights with Spain’s Filmax. After meeting with several writers, Nagle was the natural choice, Aguero said.
“We need a voice to deliver a show that is distinct and bold and creatively daring,” Aguero said. “Margaret just hit it on the head.”
Aguero, a feature producer known for work on such pics as “Y tu mama tambien” and “No Reservations,” brought the format to WME weeks after the show, created by Albert Espinosa, premiered on TV3 in 2011.
“I was blown away by the humanity and the humor of the show — how realistic and life-inspiring it was,” Aguero said.
The second season aired earlier this year to higher ratings and wider distribution across Spain. An Italian adaptation of the series is under way at RAI. The fact that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV is shepherding the U.S. adaptation is a point of pride — and selling point in other territories — for execs at Filmax and TV3, Aguero noted.
“Red Band” blends traditional hospital-drama elements with the teens’ misadventures as they try to keep themselves amused while stuck in the hospital. “It’s funny but it’s realistic,” Aguero said.
Aguero at present is also working on an adaptation of a Chilean drama, “Gen Mishima,” with showrunner Ken Sanzel for Universal TV. On the film side, he’s producing on a comedy, “Aztec Warrior,” toplined by Mexican star Eugenio Derbez, set for release next year by Pantelion Films.
Nagle is a drama vet who recently spent two seasons on “Boardwalk Empire” and has fielded pilot scripts for Fox and CBS in recent years. She also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Reese Witherspoon drama “The Good Lie.”
Aguero, Nagle and Amblin TV chiefs Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank are exec producing “Red Band.” Filmax’s Carlos Fernandez and Julio Fernandez are co-exec producing.
Aguero and Amblin are repped by WME; Nagle is with UTA.