MADRID — “Velvet Collection,” the first high-end Movistar + original series made available to clients, has broken records for the Telefonica Spanish pay TV operator, it announced late Wednesday, also confirming “Velvet Collection” had been renewed for a second season.
Movistar + has already announced at a San Sebastián Festival press conference on Sept. 29 that its flagship series, 1580 Seville-set “The Plague,” a historical crime drama, has also been re-upped for Season 2, though its first season will not play on Movistar + until next January.
Produced with Bambú Producciones and sold by Beta, “Velvet Collection,” a spin-off sequel to “Velvet,” has become the most-seen series ever to screen on the Movistar + platform, beating out “Games of Thrones,” according to a Movistar + statement.
That record is based on viewers for the first two of the series’ 10 episodes, aired on Sept. 22 and Oct. 1. Comparison against “Game of Thrones” will be made on the basis of all seasons. As further guidance, Movistar + said, however, that “in its first days,” “Velvet Collection” achieved “similar figures” to the bow of Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” on Movistar +.
Set in 1967, the series jumps from “Velvet’s” Madrid to Barcelona, exchanging the “Mad Men-ish” world of cinched waists for the Swinging ‘60s, as Ana returns from New York to Spain to open a new Gallerias Velvet store on Barcelona’s prestige Passeig de Gracia.
This is the year of the mini, and Ana presents Velvet’s first collection out of Barcelona – mini-skirts in burnt-amber, pink and mustard yellow, high-heeled boots, and models with bobs, beehives and head-bands – as she and Clara begin to battle for control of Velvet with a marauding entrepreneur Eduard Godó.
“Velvet Collection’s” viewer triumph can be read several ways. The series maintains its signature pop technicolor palette, composed framing, knock-out settings – such as scenes in the Catalan countryside – modern pop song score, vintage cars, and main stars, led by Marta Hazas as Clara, who will run Velvet as Ana (Paula Echeverría) returns again to New York.
Airing for four seasons on free-to-air TV network Atresmedia, and set in a a Madrid Galerías Velvet upscale fashion store, “Velvet” was never the highest-rating of recent Spanish series. But its stature has grown as it has sold around the world, proving hugely popular in Latin America, where it helped Atresmedia Internacional, the broadcast network’s three-channel international pay-TV bouquet, quadruple household reach to 50 million pay TV homes over 2013-2017.
Viewership for Spanish series, such as “Velvet,” on Netflix in Latin America, was also one reason persuading the U.S., streaming giant to invest in more high-end Spanish series.
In “Velvet,” Bambu Producciones’ Ramón Campos and Teresa Fernandez-Valdés have also created a woman’s melodrama which offer a modern alternative to audiences once fixated on long-running telenovelas or soaps. Audiences of “Velvet Collection” are to date 62% female, Movistar + said.
“Velvet Collection” also represents a triumph for VOD viewership in Spain. The first two episodes have been made available on a weekly basis on Movistar’s #0 channel, but also via catch-up VOD, which represents 62% of viewership.
Next up on Movistar + is “La Zona,” a family and detective drama set in a community devastated by a nuclear plant meltdown, co-created by Jorge and Alberto Sánchez-Cabezudo (“Crematorium”) and one of Movistar +’s two International Screenings, with “The Plague,” at mid-October’s Mipcom trade fair.