×

Natpe: Javier Olivares, Showrunner at Globomedia, Pays Tribute to BBC Drama, Spanish Film-TV Classics (EXCLUSIVE)

'Isabel,' 'The Department of Time' creator inks an exclusive deal with Mediapro's TV fiction house

One of Spain’s best-known TV showrunners, Javier Olivares has kicked-off a new stage in his professional career, inking an exclusive deal with TV giant Mediapro’s production house Globomedia to develop new TV fiction projects.

Olivares was the showrunner on pubcaster RTVE’s La 1 TV drama “Isabel,” one of the biggest Spanish fiction hits in recent times, in terms of both local TV audiences and international sales, and co-created with his late brother Pablo “The Department of Time,” a cult sci-fi series produced for RTVE, whose third season was co-financed by Netflix.

At the Mediapro Group, Olivares is joining a creative team which has been strongly reinforced, encompassing “Homeland”-creator Ran Telem as head of international development and Burman Office’s Daniel Burman, the creator, among other, of “Edha,” Netflix’s first Argentine original TV drama.

“Both my brother Pablo [who died in 2014] and I have worked on very popular series, think ‘The Serranos and ‘Paco’s Men,’ but we have always tended to do auteur series. Creating ‘Infidels’ for Catalan pubcaster TV3 or ‘Isabel’ and ‘The Department of Time’ for RTVE, we tried to make a kind of public TV that reminded us of the BBC,” Olivares said.

“There is a division between free-to-air TV and pay TV dramas, but BBC makes a midway product, which would be considered as pay TV in the U.S., but in the U.K., as the Nordic Noir in the Danish and Swedish TV, it is perceived as free-to-air TV product. This marks a model to follow,” he said.

Olivares added: “My obligation is to comply with my way of doing series, following the creative line of the series that I’ve made. I try to make series as entertaining as possible, targeting an intelligent TV audience. For example, BBC dramas talk about societal problems but at the same time they entertain to the fullest.”

However, fiction has different features in every country. “In the case of Spain ,we can not forget our cinema and TV roots: In film, the movies from Luis García Berlanga and the films of the ’50s; on TV, the golden age of TVE fiction, with series like ‘Historias para no dormir,’ ‘Curro Jiménez’ and ‘Los gozos y las sombras,’ …mystery, adventure, drama… we have models and it’s time to remember our origins with pride when competing with what is produced outside.”

Olivares returns to a TV production house he knows well, having worked there for years as writer. The bar has been put high: Globomedia is responsible for recent or current primetime hits at top Spanish free-to-air TV broadcasters, including Atresmedia’s “Locked Up”, RTVE’s “I Am Alive” and Mediaset España’s “The Accident.”

In terms of Spanish TV fiction trends, Olivares enthuses about the potential for observes for fantastic genre and thinks that Spain has still to treat issues not addressed to date, such as political stories. He also believes there’s a large potential for comedies.

“Comedy is a genre which is undervalued. I really want to do comedy. In that sense, ‘The Department of Time’ had many episodes of pure comedy. Actually if it weren’t bittersweet, comedy would not be modern right now. All today’s comedies need an acid touch in order to succeed.”

Holding a degree in History and a Master’s degree in Art Theory and also a novelist, Olivares has often channelled his academic background into TV fiction creation. Before Globomedia, he previously worked at Cliffhanger, “The Department of Time” production house.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content