HomeEntertainmentContent Americas Highlights Spain’s ‘Dreams of Freedom,’ ‘Detective Touré,’ ‘Fentanyl,’ as Spanish...

Content Americas Highlights Spain’s ‘Dreams of Freedom,’ ‘Detective Touré,’ ‘Fentanyl,’ as Spanish TV Embraces Daily Series, Docs, Diversity


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Atresmedia TV’s “Dreams of Freedom,” RTVE’s “Detective Touré” and Mediterráneo’s “Fentanyl: A Deadly Epidemic,” feature in Spain Content Goldmine: In Demand Like Never Before, a showcase of new and upcoming Spanish series unspooling Jan. 23 on the first day of Content Americas.

The title’s no hype. Since “Money Heist” became Netflix’s first true-blue global non-English blockbuster in 2018, Spain has consistently seen its top shows and movies rank high in global streamer charts, or sell worldwide, such as The Mediapro Studio’s “The Head.” 

In 2022, in Europe, most fiction titles commissioned by global streamers were produced in Spain (34) and the U.K. (32), according to the European Audiovisual Observatory. 

In 2023, film and TV titles from Spain have ranked No. 1 on Netflix’s global non-English Top 10 charts for more weeks – 13 – than those from any other country in the world, apart from South Korea. This month, after dropping on Netflix on Jan. 4 to the U.S. streaming giant’s second-biggest bow ever for a non-English language movie in hours watched, Spaniard J.A. Bayona’s “Society of the Snow” is tracking to become one of Netflix’s biggest non-English movies ever, hitting its Top 10 of most popular titles in just 11 days.

Spain Content Goldmine captures not only some early year highlights but also shows some directions into which the Spanish TV industry is trending – into novelas,  diversity and documentaries.  

Teaming with seasoned TV scribe Carlos Vila (“The Mysteries of Laura”), in “Detective Touré,” David Pérez Sañudo shows the skill of “Ane is Missing,” his acclaimed feature debut, to straddle multiple genres – film noir, comedy, social drama and crime thriller in a lighter-toned procedural. It’s also the first Spanish series with a Black protagonist, Touré, played winningly by Malcolm Treviño-Sitté.  

Atresmedia TV’ presents “Dreams of Freedom” as its afternoon primetime daily series “Amar es para simper” concludes an 11-year run and a single daily series can help lift a free-to-air broadcaster’s annual ratings – as happened with Bambu-Studiocanal’s “The Vow” for RTVE in 2023. 

Mediterráneo hits Content Americas with its return to novelas, ““Revenge is Mine,” plus a doc, “Fentanyl: A Deadly Epidemic,” part of Mediaset España’s “Out of Range” doc series, which won Alejandra Andrade a Premio Ondas in 2019.  

In industry terms, split rights deals abound. “Detective Touré” is co-produced with Tornasol Media, DeAPlaneta and EITB. 

A classic social drama inspired by true events, “The Law of the Sea” sees RTVE sharing production costs with Valencia state TV A Punt, which bowed the series on Jan. 15, 6 days before the nationwide pubcaster aired all three episodes back-back on Jan. 21 in Sunday primetime.

Profiles of some of the shows at Spain Content Goldmine: 

“Detective Touré,” (RTVE, Detective Touré AIE, Tornasol Media, DeAPlaneta, EITB)

Based on the book saga by Jon Arretxe, and impactfully located in Bilbao – from its San Francisco multicultural barrio to its docks and chic new high rises, the tale of a cheery, attractive but paperless Guinea immigrant with acute skills of deduction hired to get photos of a husband with his lover. The smartest sleuth in Bilbao still stumbles on something far more sinister, a Nigerian drug cartel. Selected for 2022’s Series Mania Co-Pro Pitching Sessions, an achievement in itself, and a sneak peak hit at last October Iberseries, now sparking early sales interest in French-speaking territories. Also featuring “Money Heist” and “Intimacy” star Itziar Ituño. 

“Dreams of Freedom,” (“Sueños de Libertad,” Atresmedia TV) 

One of the big fiction swings of 2024 from the broadcaster behind “Money Heist,” “Locked Up” and “Velvet,” a daily series set in 1958 Spain as Begoña Montes, trapped in a toxic marriage, longs for freedom as the country begins its long modernisation. Produced by Banijay’s Diagonal TV, a specialist in long running period soaps, such as “Amar para Siempre,” aired over 2013-2024. A passionate story with surprising script twists, universal themes – family, secrets, love, rivalry, friendship, and, despite being set in the ‘60s, highly contemporary issues such as machista violence, psychological abuse, feminine fortitude and solidarity,” says Montse García Atresmedia TV fiction director.

Dreams of Freedom
Credit: Jose Alberto Puertas

“Fentanyl: A Deadly Epidemic,” (“Fentanilo: Una epidemia mortal,” Mediaset España, Producciones Imposibles, Onza Producciones, Mediterráneo Mediaset Group) 

Directed by Alejandra Andrade and already sold to Portugal, France and the Netherlands, this new doc feature – and Content Americas premiere – shows the current situation in the U.S., focusing on Los Angeles and San Francisco as the epicenters of the epidemic caused by the titular drug. Andrade delves into Skid Row, one of the most dangerous areas of Los Angeles, where more than 40,000 addicts fill the streets. “We have managed to interview dealers, victims and put face and heart to the figures of this pandemic,” she says. “The shoot has been extremely hard: we have seen how people die in the streets, ambulances that can’t cope with overdose cases and thousands of addicts abandoned by the administration.”

“Heartless,” (“Perverso,” Onza)

First seen in “Parot,” Haro, a refined, Machiavellian aristocrat serving a sentence for rape and murder, agrees to cooperate in the investigation of the kidnappings, in order to exact revenge on the judge who sentenced him. Created by Alonso Laporta (“Parot,” “The Department of Time”), “Heartless” merges thriller with melodrama boldly,” he says. “The subtle manipulation among its characters, where nothing is as it seems and everyone harbors ulterior motives, raises a profound reflection on justice, loyalty, and revenge in a universe filled with nuances and secrets,” he adds.  

Credit: Pablo Sanz Garcia

“The Law of the Sea,” (“La Ley de la Mar,” Studio 60, RTVE, À Punt) 

José Dura, skipper of Francisco y Catalina, a Spanish trawler, rescues 51 immigrants adrift in a boat in mid-Mediterranean. If he hadn’t, its occupants would have died. Arriving in Malta, the Francisco y Catalina is barred entry into the port of Valletta. But Dura refuses to back down, sparking an E.U. diplomatic crisis. A straight-arrow social drama, Luis Tosar (“Take My Eyes”), one of the finest actors of his generation, embodies Dura’s matter-of-fact nobility. If he’s not asking for money, why were they rescued, one of the immigrants asks. “You needed help. It’s the law of the sea,” Dura answers. Created by Enrique “Flipy” Pérez Vergara, at Studio 60 co-creator of VIS-The Mediapro Studio’s Nickelodeon show “Noobees,” and concept creator of HBO Max Latin America’s “Las Bravas,”

The Law of the Sea

“Revenge is Mine,” (“Mia es la Venganza,” Mediterráneo)

A young mother, pursued by her husband, drives her car off a cliff into a lake. The little daughter of her best friend dies, drowned. Cut to 20 years later, and the mother is the owner of a select sports club. But Mario, a young man whose life was ruined by the accident, plans revenge. Created by Aurora Guerra (“El Secreto de Puente Viejo”) and showrun by Aitor Gabilondo ( (“Wrong Side of the Tracks,” “Unauthorized Living”), “Revenge is Mine” has “all the necessary ingredients to be a successful daily series: countless and inexplicable secrets, a slow-cooked revenge and an impossible love story,” says Mediterráneo’s Silvia Cotino. The best thing: the show’s ever impressive star Lydia Bosch (“Motivos Personales”). 

Revenge is Mine

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