×

Netflix Orders First Original Series From Spain (EXCLUSIVE)

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.”

More TV

  • Justin Timberlake performs onstage during the

    Ad Time in Fox's Super Bowl Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn't

    Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV. But just this week. it found a little more. After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe'

    NBC Orders Drama Pilot 'Ordinary Joe' From 'House' Alums

    NBC has given out its fifth drama pilot order for the 2020-2021 season. The broadcaster has commissioned “Ordinary Joe.” It explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Dazzler, Tigra, Hit-Monkey, and M.O.D.O.K.

    'Howard the Duck,' 'Tigra & Dazzler' Animated Marvel Shows Not Moving Forward at Hulu

    Marvel Television’s remaining slate continues to dwindle. Variety has confirmed that the animated shows “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” — two of four animated Marvel projects set up at Hulu — are no longer in the works at the streamer. The other two shows, “M.O.D.O.K” and “Hit Monkey,” are currently still on track [...]

  • Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

    After 'Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi Delay, Is the Force Still Strong With Disney Plus?

    The issues on Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi series are either a minor stumble or a portent of trouble ahead, depending on who you ask. It was reported on Thursday that series writer Hossein Amini was no longer attached to the project as Disney wished to overhaul the scripts. The move led to pre-production in London [...]

  • The unboxing teaser

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'The Undoing' Teaser

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released a teaser for “The Undoing” and Showtime dropped a trailer for “The Trade” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS HBO released a teaser for its forthcoming limited series “The Undoing,“ which will premiere in May. The six-part series based on the novel “You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content