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Filmax Pau Freixas Dramedy ‘Welcome to the Family’ Breaks Records on TV3

TV series reunites 'The Red Band Society' team

BARCELONA  — Pau Freixas and Iván Mercadé’s dramedy series “Welcome to the Family” has scored the biggest ratings in years for Catalan pubcaster TV3.

Airing Jan. 22, the first episode scored a 25.8% share, meaning an average of 777,000 viewers. The second episode averaged 22.2% last Monday.

“We’re really happy; the figures mark the best bow a TV series for TV3 in more than ten years,” Carlos Fernández, CEO of Barcelona-based mini-major Filmax Group, told Variety.

“The series offers a first layer of comedy, but also many other elements, including suspense, as it shows the social emergence of new family models,” he added.

“After the social phenomenon that was ‘Red Band Society,’ Pau Freixas, Iván Mercadé and the rest of the team have done it again with ‘Welcome to the Family,’ ” Ivan Diaz told Variety, adding that ”after conquering the audience in Catalonia, we have no doubt that the original series will travel well internationally. Furthermore, we are sure that this property has a huge remake potential.”

Produced by Arca Audiovisual, the Filmax Group’s TV fiction division, the 13-hour TV series “Welcome to the Family” has gathered most of the same team behind Intl. Emmy-winning “Red Band Society.” Also an Arca production, the original, Catalan-language series, “Polseres vermelles,” bowed on TV3 in 2011, sparking a Spanish-dubbed version from Atresmedia (2013) and a U.S. reversion, produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and ABC, which ran for a season on Fox (2014), plus a highly successful remake in Italy, where RAI averaged 5.3 million viewers) and in Germany.

A French redo (“Les bracelets rouges”) is being aired at TF1, where the two first episodes got a 24% of market share averaging 5.5 million viewers.

“The Red Band Society” helped European broadcasters recoup a young audience, Díaz said.

Creator of the original idea, Freixas is executive-producing the series; his longtime writing partner Mercadé acts as showrunner. Series stars Melani Olivares, Miquel Fernández, Aina Clotet, Ivan Massagué, Yolanda Ramos and Simón Andreu.

Echoing “Modern Family” and ”Shameless,” and Frank Oz’s feature “Death at a Funeral,” “Welcome to the Family” was presented at last April’s MipTV. A comedic drama, with touches of dark humor, it turns on on single mom Angela’s struggle to take care of her family. As her house is foreclosed by a bank, due to her husband’s debts, she decides to visit her estranged father and beg him for help. But Angela’s father suddenly dies of a heart attack after a furious argument; Angela decides to hide the corpse and find his will before anybody else.

A leading producer of Spanish TV fiction Arca Audiovisual has produced shows such as thriller “I Know Who You Are,” also directed by Freixas, alongside Mediaset España, which was one of the Spain’s highest-rated shows last year. It is developing (also with Freixas) the drama “Four Sisters” and thriller “The Takeover.”

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