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Globoplay: ‘Harassment’ Sells, ‘Iron Island’ Renews (Twice) (EXCLUSIVE)

Globoplay also acquires BBC’s “The ABC Murders,” with John Malkovich, and “Ordeal by Innocence.”

Vítimas - Stela ( Adriana Esteves
Ramon Vasconcelos/Rede Globo

MIAMI  — Announcing at NATPE one of its first big new deals, Brazil’s Globo Studios has confirmed the sale of Globoplay exclusive series “Harassment” to Mega, Chile’s broadcast network audience leader.

The deal, clinched by Globo’s Raphael Correa, comes as “Harassment,” which was released by Globo streaming service Globoplay, has just been selected for the Berlin Festival’s prestigious Drama Series Days Market Screenings.

Both developments – the Mega sale; Berlin selection – will serve to highlight “Harassment,” a real life inspired story in the line of Globo’s social-issue limited series – think “Jailers,” “Under Pressure” –  portraying how a group of women band together to denounce a renowned physician’s sexual assaults.

“The story only happens because the leads are women with desires, vulnerabilities, and above all else, strength that is essentially feminine,” said lead writer Maria Camargo.

With Mega basing its ratings leadership in Chile on its drama series, both own productions and Turkish telenovelas such as “Madre,” a Mega pick-up is significant and often a bellwether deal for further trading and Latin American movies with export potential.

In further news, Globo reconfirmed at Natpe that “Iron Island,” another recent hit bow for Globo SVOD/catch-up service Globoplay, has been renewed for not only Season 2 but Season 3.

Showcased via excerpts at Globo’s Tuesday NATPE lineup presentation, “Iron Island” bowed in exclusivity on Globoplay on Nov. 14, with all 12 episodes being made available to paying SVOD clients.

An oil rig romantic action drama starring Cauã Reymond (“Brazil Avenue”), one of Globo’s biggest, VFX-laden plays,

Season 1 was seen by around 25% of Globoplay’s SVOD service, said Mesquita.

In further developments for Globoplay, the OTT service has commissioned two more exclusive series for the SVOD, catch-up service: “Aruanas” and “Shippados,” described by Globoplay head Joao Mesquita as “easy-going classic sitcom.”

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Fabio Rocha/Globo

Given that Globo mainly produces for its main channel, the moves confirm Globoplay as one of the fastest-growing forces in TV acquisitions in Brazil. At 2018’s LA Screenings, it bought 10 shows, including “A Million Little Things” and “Charmed,” both from CBS, Mesquita said.

It is also one of its most ambitious services when it comes to TV production.

Globoplay’s aim, as with almost any TV operator in the world, is to face off with Netflix, Amazon and new OTT giant to come. The challenge for Globoplay is one of “positioning,” says Mesquita.

It was launched in November 2015 as a catch-up service for Globo’s main broadcast network channel. From Nov. 2017, it has driven hard to build a distinctive SVOD service. Mesquita points to several ways in which Globo is moving to boost its OTT service.

First episodes of Globoplay exclusive series are aired on Globo, the main free-to-air channels to promote the service. “The Good Doctor” saw two episodes play on Globo before the series was aimed in exclusivity by Globoplay. With Globo watched by 100 million Brazilians every day, that promotion is “huge,” Mesquita says.

Globo is investing on Globoplay’s behalf in “a lot of edgy, trendy, you know young adult oriented kind of content,” said Mesquita. It has also loaded up on shows whose quality is hardly in question: “The Good Doctor,” “Killing Eve” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Babylon Berlin.”

also working YA Meccas, such as December’s Comic Con Experience in Sao Paulo, which screened trailer for “Aruanas.” production-distribution.

Its own Globoplay originals can hardly be dismissed as more of the same.

Starring Leandra Leal, Tais Araújo, Débora Falabella, Thainá Duarte and Camila Pitanga, “Aruanas,” for instance, turns on four women at an Amazon NGO battling am illegal gold mining racket, which spells environmental disaster.

An action drama – the narrative hardly rests before another incident or alarm kicks in –  “Iron Island” works on several levels, one as a study in identity: the macho masculinity of Dante (“Brazil Avenue’s” Cauã Reymond) is defined by his job: Production co-ordinator on PLT-137, a rig with a record for accidents.

Julia, his rival for promotion – a woman! – is equally kick-ass as Dante: “Anything you can do I can do better,” she tells him.

In a hyper sexualized environment – the initial credits picture near-naked bodies daubed in black oil, – the real question is how Dante and Julia can negotiate some kind of relationship, in a context of far more fluid gender politics, when they fall in love.

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Mauricio Fidalgo/Globo