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France’s TF1 Proves Potential of Filmax’s ‘Red Band Society’

Season 2 of “Les Bracelets Rouges,” the French adaptation of Filmax’s children’s hospital drama “The Red Band Society,” has become a big audience hit for broadcaster TF1.

This confirms “The Red Band’s” status as one of the biggest Spanish TV formats of all time.

Aired from March 11 to April 1 on TF1 over Monday’s primetime, the eight episodes of “Les Bracelets’” S2 averaged powerful figures: 23% audience share and 5.1 million eyeballs. Every week, TF1 broadcast back-to-back two segments of the Vema-produced TV remake.

Results build on series Season 1, which already marked a huge success in France off its premiere on February 2018, averaging 6.4 million viewers and a 25% share. Each episode added one million views on TF1’s catch-up service.

“TF1 is trying new things. Four years ago, they used to rely on big American scripted series. Now, there’s more investment in adaptation,” said Avril Blondelot, head of content insight at Eurodata TV.

TF1 has already announced the production of the series’ third season.

The strong performance of “The Red Band Society” redo in France follows further achievements by the Filmax format in other big European TV markets.

Broadcast in Italy by pubcaster RAI, “Braccialetti Rossi,” a Palomar production, averaged 22.6% share in Season 1; Season 2 scored 23.8% and S3, 16.5%.

In Germany, “Club der roten Bänder,” produced by Bantry Bay for RTL’s Vox, snagged 2,5 million viewers in S1, and around 3 million in S2.

“We believe the series still has a good commercial run ahead of it. Right now, we are trying to enter the Asian market, which is a very complicated one for Spanish fiction. We expect that we will be able to announce a Chinese adaptation soon,” said Filmax International head, Iván Díaz.

He added: “We are also trying to get it adapted in Brazil and still hope for a big Latin adaptation, in Spanish, focused on both Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic markets. We think the series has a great value for said territories.”

The format was also been sold to the U.S., adapted for Fox by Amblin TV and ABC Studios, though pulled after one season; Russia and Ukraine (Channel One) and Chile (TVN) are among other redo territories.

“Polseres Vermelles,” the title of the original series, was produced by Filmax’s Arca Audiovisual and first bowed on Catalan pubcaster TV3 in 2011.

Written by Albert Espinosa and helmed by Pau Freixas, the hospital-set teen friendship drama won an Intl. Emmy Kids Awards for best series in 2015.

ACE Entertainment, the series distributor in France, holds the format rights for the French-speaking territories.

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