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Fox Networks Group España to Produce Its First Fiction Series in Spain

Variety logo Variety 7/6/2017 John Hopewell

MADRID – Moving into local fiction production in Spain, Fox Networks Group España will team with TV drama producer Globomedia, part of Spain’s Mediapro Group, to produce Season 3 of “Vis a Vis” (“Locked Up”).

Seasons 1 and 2 of “Vis a Vis,” a women’s prison drama-thriller, aired on Antena 3, the flagship channel of Atresmedia, one of Spain’s two biggest free-to-air TV networks, along with Mediaset España.

Fox Networks Group, which operates the two basic-cable channels Fox and Fox Life in Spain, will bow Season 3 in 2018, FNG España, Atresmedia and Globomedia announced Thursday.

Though Fox has produced local lifestyle shows in Spain such as “Fit Life,” “Vis a Vis” marks its first TV drama there.

Daniel Perez, FNG España director general, said in a statement that FNG had “reiterated on repeated occasions” that it wanted to produce fiction in Spain and had now found the show.

“The step that we’re taking with ‘Vis a Vis’ is a strategic move for our operation in the Iberian Peninsula to reinforce our position of leadership in pay-TV entertainment in Spain,” said Vera Pereira, executive vice president of FNG Iberia. She said that “Vis a Vis” would give Fox “larger visibility and relevance in the local market.”

Debuting in April 2015 on Antena 3, “Vis a Vis” turns on Macarena Ferreiro (Maggie Civantos), a young woman framed by her lover-boss for corporate fraud. She ends up in Spain’s notorious Cruz del Sur penitentiary, surrounded by ruthless convicts.

After her cellmate ends up brutally killed, Macarena becomes part of a multimillion-dollar holdup in a desperate attempt to turn her life around.

The first season of “Vis a Vis” garnered excellent reviews in Spain – “a small step for man, a large step for Spanish television,” one read –  and punched a spectacular average 19.9% and 3.5 million viewers on Antena 3, nearly seven percentage points above channel average.

But, in a growing trend for second seasons on free-to-air TV in Spain, ratings for last year’s season 2 slumped to between 2.85 million and 2.2 million viewers per episode.

Observers pointed out from the beginning that “Vis a Vis” had the biggest cable-edge of any free-to-air series in Spain. Unlike other multi-platform tie-ups on Atresmedia series, such as upcoming historical epic “The Cathedral of the Sea,” which will screen on Atresmedia and then Netflix, Atresmedia has no plans to air “Vis a Vis’” Season 3 after Fox.

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