BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s Eyeworks Cuatro Cabezas is upping production of fiction series after the first season of a localized remake of detective tale “Hermanos y Detectives” (Brothers and Detectives) did well in Spain.
Madrid-based Telecinco has ordered a second, 13-episode season of “Brothers” to bow in April and Italy’s Mediaset has ordered an adaptation to hit the air as early as September on Canale 5 or Italia 1, Cuatro Cabezas CEO Diego Guebel told Variety.
Cuatro Cabezas will produce from its Madrid studio.
Argentina’s Telefe aired the original version of “Brothers” for one, 10-episode season to strong numbers in 2006. Produced by Telefe, it was penned and directed by Damian Szifron, who has made a name in Argentina with the crowd-pleasing private-eye series “Los Simuladores” (The Pretenders) and the feature film “Tiempo de valientes” (On Probation), an action comedy.
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The international remakes are part of the indie production company’s expansion into fiction, building on widely exported entertainment programs like satirical news roundup “Caiga quien caiga” fly-on-the-wall hospital program, “E24,” and investigative reporters show “La liga” (The Team).
Cuatro Cabezas is targeting foreign networks with fiction because of heavy competition at home. Telefe, for example, produces a lot of its own comedies and dramas inhouse and Artear-Canal 13 relies on fiction material from its associate producers Pol-ka and Ideas del Sur. America TV doesn’t have a big enough budget for the fictions Cuatro Cabezas wants to produce.
“It is better to go abroad,” Guebel says.
The company is opening an office in Sao Paulo, where it will produce a version of “Caiga” for Brazil’s TV Bandeirantes in March and offer other products.
It also plans this year to start offering English-language versions of its programs for the U.S., working with Eyeworks 3 Ball.
Cuatro Cabezas gathered experience with “Algo habran hecho” (Unwritten History), a docu-fiction series, the co-production of Marcelo Pineyro’s 2000 crime caper “Plata quemada” (Burnt Money) and Lucrecia Martel’s 2001 family drama “La cienega” (The Swamp).
In the pipeline is a TV version of a comic strip by Argentine Maitena Burundarena for Telecinco and an animated feature about lab rats, aimed at theatrical release in international markets. The latter will be co-produced by Argentina’s K&S Films, behind last year’s Cannes contender “Cronica de una fuga” (Buenos Aires 1977) and Szifron’s “On Probation,” for release in mid-2009 in Argentina.
“Now that we have learned how to produce the fiction we like, we are looking for what comes next,” Guebel says.