Netflix Orders First Original Series From Spain (EXCLUSIVE)

Teresa Fernandez and Ramon Campos
Courtesy of Bambu Producciones

Bambu Producciones produces drama, which reteams ‘Velvet’ and ‘Gran Hotel’ director, creators, producers

MADRID – “Velvet” and “Gran Hotel” director Carlos Sedes and producers Ramon Campos and Teresa Fernandez Valdes (pictured) at Bambu Producciones will reteam to make the first Netflix original series shot and produced in Spain.

With no official title for the moment, the 16-episode Spanish-language drama, set in the 1920s, centers on four women from different backgrounds hired as switchboard operators at Spain’s sole telephone company in central Madrid.

Co-created by Campos and Gema Neira, his long-term writing partner, and produced by Madrid-based Bambu Producciones, Spain’s first Netflix original series will start production in Madrid in 2016, debuting exclusively on Netflix around the globe in 2017.

Bambu founders Campos and Fernandez Valdes will serve as executive producers. Episodes will run an international standard 50 minutes, shorter than Spain’s norm.

After the 1905-set mystery-romance drama “Gran Hotel” and “Velvet,” a romantic drama set in a rambunctious and stylish high-fashion house in ’50s/’60s Spain, Bambu’s Netflix original series returns to history to tell the story of four women from all over Spain who come to work at the forefront of a communications revolution in the middle of Madrid – a place which represents progress and modernity. As in other Bambu Producciones dramas, emotions run a wide gamut. Jealousy, envy and betrayal mix with a hunger for success, with friendship and love but, above all, with dreams.

“It is incredibly exciting to have Netflix in Spain. We are enthusiastic fans of its original series, and it is a real honor for us to now be part of this project,” said Ramon Campos. “It is a joy to work with Netflix’s extremely talented team, which is revolutionizing the television industry worldwide,” added Teresa Fernandez Valdes, executive producer of the series.

“We’re delighted to be working with Bambu Producciones, director Carlos Sedes and co­-creator Gema Neira on our first original series filmed in Spain,” added Erik Barmack, vice president of international original series at Netflix. “We’re huge fans of their work on ‘Gran Hotel’ and ‘Velvet,’ epic romances that have been embraced by our members around the world. We’re certain that our members will love this unique and engaging drama created by some of the best storytellers in Spain.”

The Netflix-Bambu commission builds on a relationship, with Netflix having acquiring both “Gran Hotel” and “Velvet.” It is also marks further recognition for a group of TV creatives from Galicia, North-West Spain, which broke through mid-last decade with Sedes directing the Campos-created 2006 drama “Life Ahead,” about fishermen’s widows.

Influenced by the U.S. mid-last-decade drama boom, and moving to Madrid where Fernandez Valdes and Campos launched Bambu Producciones in 2007, their primetime series, though produced with free-to-air broadcasters, such as Atresmedia Group, have often pushed the envelope, bringing some neo-cable edge sense of something different to productions: 2006’s “Desaparecida,” produced by Madrid’s Ganga but created by Campos, brought a sense of serialized “Twin Peaks” intrigue to a lost-daughter thriller; “Velvet” is set in an (obviously) fictionalized Spain.

Toplining heartthrob Spanish TV stars, Bambu has produced surefire primetime TV hits in Spain, a country where local fiction has, since the launch of private networks in 1990, often blown U.S. drama out of the water.

Making series which Campos termed as melding “telenovela melodrama, a British look and an American pace,” Bambu has also, however, been at the forefront of Spain’s more recent TV revolution: its international export success.

“Gran Hotel” ran for three seasons on Atresmedia over 2011-13, punching a first season 18.5% audience share. Sold and co-produced by Beta Film, the Italian reversion aired on RAI primetime in Italy. Original has broadcast on major Gallic broadcaster M6, U.K.’s Sky Arts and, in the U.S. on VmeTV. Beta Film senior VP Christina Gockel described “Gran Hotel” as one of Beta’s “biggest sales hits and franchises of recent years.”

In a pioneering move, Bambu also teamed with Atresmedia and BBC Worldwide to produce the high-concept English-language sci-fi drama “The Refugees.”

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  1. Rose Mary Nauful says:

    I was hooked on Gran Hotel and now I’m addicted to Velvet….the only problem is the dvd’s available for purchase are not compatible wi the viewing equipment in the U.S. I watched both of these telenovelas on Netflix with English subtitles. I am very seriously interested in buying the four seasons of Velvet. I do not speak Spanish so I would need the DVD to have subtitles and the DVD would also need to compatible with the DVR equipment in the United States. I believe the U.S. is Region 1 and Spain is in Region 2. Do you know of a source who would have this for sale?

  2. Shane LeRoy says:

    I enjoyed the Spanish TV series ‘Grand Hotel’ very much.Since This was my first time to watch a Spanish language film with English subtitles.I congratulate all the authors if ‘Gran Hotel’ & esp. Ramon Campos.I like the main character,the owner of the hotel Dona Alcorn or Something. I think she is the only one among all other characters know ‘what it is to run a top class hotel & how to behave & so on.The way rest of the family members behave in their main restaurants or a dining room is a real shame. If you want to run a esp. a 5* establishment you can’t let anyone behave like that. It was good to see the the owner try to control her son’s wayward behaviour but the son Javier took no notice of her. The author should have added few lines Dona ordering her son out of the hotel And these things are necessary for the hotel’s other paying guests.I mean Ramon & his co authors have done good job with the book & production of the series but my background also happens to be ‘hospitality industry’ and these kind of things, though how trivial they may be but they bother me a lot.
    Angela the ‘House Keeper’ I don’t like her as a personality,or her character, Maybe they should taken someone a bit younger,better looking & taller.She doesn’t fit the role. I’m also curious as her duties as a ‘house keeper’. She was always acting way beyond her job as a ‘house keeper’. The way story is interwined I don’t think she in her role of a mere ‘house keeper’ challenge the owner Apart from being old she also looked like ‘one foot in the grave’.
    The former ‘Maitre D’ Don did’t seem like a right actor for that job. He’s too mean & ugly looking which suits his dark personality.
    I failed to see the absence of ‘Door Keeper’ & his team of ‘Porters’. For a hotel like that you got to have a porters carrying the the luggage to n’ fro. A couple times Sofia & her husband carrying their own suitcases & stacking them in the car seemed odd.
    The last ‘Maitre D’ Jesu was a very good choice. the actor has a splendid personality,poise & fitted his role perfectly.
    Diego, the manager with his full beard, his short stature didn’t quite fill the role of a ‘Manager’ for a class hotel. You didn’t have a bar as such where Diego would’ve fitted well.He’s also a lousy actor.
    Sofia was just perfect. always prim n proper in her role as Dona’s daughter & The guy ( I forget his name ) His wife, She was well presented ,always very dignified.
    Alicia. She’s okay ,pleasant,well spoken.
    Julio. He is a good choice. Rather good looking young man & played his part well. but as an author sometimes he was forgetting where he was,his actions, his outbursts were rather, uncalled for & they should have been written differently.
    But I’m not here to criticize only cos’ I enjoyed the film very much & the credit goes to you all.
    In regards to the points I’ve raised Ramon I’m available for your comments & would dearly love to have a discussion.

  3. miriam wells says:

    Loved loved Gran hotel, can’t wait for new drama. As a black hispanic would like to see more people of color, i mean we are everywhere. Thanks.

    • Leroy de Fama says:

      More black people would be nice, I would also like to see some characters of Asian descent and perhaps a character with a peanut allergy. A lesbian painter would make a good character, like Ralph Monroe from Green Acres. And how about the kid who played Urkel? He would be a nice addition, he’s beloved Worldwide. There are so many possibilities, I can’t wait to see what Ramon and Teresa dream up for us. Watching Manuela Velasco do the Urkel dance would make my day. Olé!

    • Breana says:

      What do you mean people of color? If you didn’t notice this is a Spanish show and will be set in Spain which is a European country. Spanish people are not people of color

  4. Lee S says:

    Loved Gran Hotel. The story and the chemistry btw the leads its perfect. It would be awesome if they starred in this new series.

  5. Berne says:

    I hope Julio and Alicia are the leads !

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