Jan Motjo’s Beta Films has found new broadcast homes for the Movistar Plus original series “Arde Madrid,” which won the Rose d’Or-Award for Best Comedy or Drama this past Sunday in London. The Virginia-based MHz Networks will broadcast the series in the U.S., France Televisions in France, HBO in Brazil and Teleclub in Switzerland.
According to Beta, negotiations are ongoing with broadcast partners in Russia, Eastern Europe, Portugal and Greece.
Co-created and co-written by Anna R. Costa and Paco Léon,who also stars in the show, “Arde Madrid” was an immediate hit in Spain for Telefonica’s Movistar Plus, quickly becoming the service’s most binged series ever after its November 2018 release. Since then it has hauled in a raft of prizes including best comedy at Spain’s Feroz Awards, the country’s Golden Globes, best miniseries or TV-series at the Platino Awards; and Sunday’s Rose d’Or. The show also featured as part of a showcase of recent Spanish series at last year’s Berlin Drama Series Days.
“Arde Madrid” turns on Ana Mari, a right-wing governess sourpuss who is ordered by Francisco Franco’s dictatorship to spy on famous Hollywood actress Ava Gardner, played by American actress Debi Mazar (“Entourage”), during her wild stay in Madrid in the early ‘60s. To do so, Ana Mari must pretend to be married to fellow spy Manolo – played by Léon – who poses as Gardner’s chauffeur.
One of the biggest gambles from Movistar’s first wave of original series, “‘Arde Madrid’ diverges from the norm. It is black and white series but high-end, with scenes of elaborate cinematography. It’s highly exceptional,” said Christian Gockel, Beta Film EVP international operations when Variety announced that Beta had acquired the series outside Spain and Latin America in January.
Although it was originally renewed for a second season, Costa and Léon decided against continuing the series beyond its first season.
Beta Films holds a multi-year distribution-production alliance with Movistar Plus, is selling its Canneseries winner “Perfect Life” and has previously handled world sales outside Latin America on Movistar+’s murder mystery thriller “La Zona,” period melodrama “Velvet Collection” and women’s mystery-drama, “The Pier.”