The series, which is created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro, stars Wagner Moura as Escobar and Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal as the DEA agents on his trail and offers a dueling perspective of the drug trade business of the 1980s. Produced by Gaumont International Television, Season 1’s 10 episodes premiered Aug. 28 on Netflix. Exec producers are Jose Padilha, Eric Newman, Bancato, Miro and Bernard.
During Netflix’s Television Critics Association press day in July, Newman said they had originally considered doing the project as a movie but then decided a TV format would allow for more time to show the complexities of “not just the bad guys, but the good guys.”
Padilha elaborated, saying, “You got two teams running together through the narrative: One is the formation of the Medellín cartel, the story of small time criminals … who stumbled by luck, by chance, upon a product that you can call the perfect product,” but “how cocaine hit America and how it brought violence to America can only be narrated from the American perspective.”
In his review of the first season, Variety TV critic Brian Lowry said that the production’s use of first-person narration gave it a “Goodfellas” vibe.
“Detailing cocaine’s rise as a Colombian cash crop and its rapid spread into the U.S. in the late 1980s, the sparely told project weaves together a taut, gripping narrative, in stark contrast with the flatness of its characters and color scheme,” Lowry wrote. “All told, this Gaumont production is the kind of binge-worthy TV addiction that Netflix was born to import.”
Season 2 of “Narcos” will see Adam Fierro take over as showrunner and exec producer. Brancato, who had been serving as showrunner, left after signing an overall deal with ABC Studios.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the renewal.