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‘Entourage’ lifts Spain’s La Sexta

Newbie inches up ratings chart

MADRID — Adrian Grenier and his band of Hollywood wannabes helped thrust young Spanish web La Sexta forward in the fall.

“Entourage” punched a latenight 10.9% last Tuesday, following a flying start last month that helped lift the web’s audience share to 4.9%, 0.4% up on its October average.

Main ratings driver for the Imagina/Televisa-owned web, which launched March 2006, has been Saturday night soccer, featuring top-draw teams more often than in the past, and lively celeb magazine satire “I Know What You Did….”

Delving into the absurdities of Spain’s celeb culture, “I Know” punched 7%-plus shares in an after-lunch secondary primetime window. That drops to a still solid 5% when the reality show was promoted to peak primetime.

Nearing 5%, La Sexta is no longer a marginal frosh broadcaster.

Cuatro, Spain’s other new free-to-air analog station, also built share last month, adding 0.4% for 7.8% — despite the absence of fresh episodes of “House,” its watercooler skein.

With November dusted, the jury’s in on the fall season.

Some things stay the same.

The Mediaset-owned Telecinco dominated November ratings by a large head, notching up a 20.5% share, its 23rd month in a row at the top.

Of Spain’s other two main nationwide broadcasters, TVE 1, pubcaster RTVE’s flagship channel, notched up 17.2% for November against 16.9% at Antena 3 TV, controlled by DeAPlaneta.

Of original Spanish series bows this fall, only three frosh skeins bettered channel share: “Desaparecida,” a standout missing daughter thriller, which last month took 17.3% on TVE 1; and “Gominolas” (11%), an acid kids’ band revival spoof, and “Cuestion de sexo” (10.2%), a dysfunctional couples comedy, both on Cuatro.

Other bows, such as TVE’s Tuesday night “Herederos,” have played O.K. (16.3%), but not spectacularly. The “CSI”-ish “RIS,” reworking an Italian format, took a lowly 14.9%.

Spain’s rough-and-ready TV turf wars hardly encourage newbies. “Many series need a second season to develop. But bows these days aren’t given the chance. And they’re targeted by rivals,” said Corporacion Multimedia prexy Eduardo Garcia Matilla.

“What you can see this fall is an attempt to do something slightly different,” said “Desaparecida” producer Ramon Campos.

“’Herederos’ is one of Spain’s first family sagas; ‘Gominolas’ is a comedy meller. ‘RIS’ tried to go down an American route. In the past, any innovative series was assumed to be a failure. That no longer applies,” he added.

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