Spanish fiction tries to make jump to TV internationally

Madrid, Mar 24 (EFE).- Classic Spanish television series like "Los Serrano," or current ones like "Gran Hotel" and "Cuentame" are seen across half the planet, but the country's fiction television producers want to make a qualitative leap with international coproduction seeking bigger budgets and new markets.

Mediaset España will put this idea into practice with "Alatriste," a 13-part series it will produce along with Germany's Beta Films to present the adventures of the famous Spanish ex-soldier and mercenary of the 17th century who stars in the novels of Arturo Perez Reverte.

Beta Films will pay for a third of the cost of "Alatriste," for which shooting locations and a European cast are presently being sought, with an eye toward crafting a "more complex and sophisticated" product," Mediaset España chief Paolo Vasile said.

Meanwhile, Jaume Banacolocha, the advisor for Diagonal TV, told Efe that his production is also seeking "international coproduction" for a possible third season of "Isabel," last year's great TV success with eight Iris Award nominations for television programming, among them Best Series.

"Isabel" is currently filming its second season in which Christopher Columbus will attempt to "sell" his planned voyage to the Indies - which resulted in the discovery of the Americas - to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, a tale that, Banacolocha said, interests viewers in Latin America "greatly."