International production powerhouse The Mediapro Studio, producer of “The Head” and the Oscar-shortlisted “The Good Boss,” is allying with top Turkish producer-distributor Medyapim – behind global hit series “Mother” and “A Woman Scorned” – to launch of a new joint venture company dedicated to Spanish-language content production.
The as-yet-to-be-named j.v. between two of international’s production pacemakers will see the partners making Spanish-language originals and adaptations of hit Turkish and other country dramas, as well as further content assets from Medyapim, for distribution in Spain, Latin America and the world.
Unveiled by the partners on Thursday, the joint venture announcement comes as Turkish sries are enjoying a remarkable run on broadcast-network TV in Spain as indeed around much of the weorld.
Dubbed into Spanish and entitled “Infiel,” Season 1 of Medyapim’s “A Woman Scorned” (“Sadakatziz”) has scored a 15% share in Sunday primetime on Antena 3, proving the most-watched TV drama of any nationality in Spain during the first quarter 2022.
The runner up is “Alba,” a Spanish remake of “Fatmagul,” another Turkish modern classic.
In Latin America, where Chile’s Mega first bowed a Turkish series in 2014, renamed “Las Mil y Una Noches,” Turkish series have seen fulsome sales and swept ratings at multiple broadcast networks across the region, including on Viacom-owned Telefe in Argentina.
Sold to more than 40 countries by early 2020, “Mother” won an award for most exported Turkish series of 2018 from Turkey’s Assn. of Service Exporters.
In a new late pandemic phenomenon, Spanish-language telenovelas are also scoring huge audiences on OTT platforms such as Netflix, Colombia’s 2021 “Café con aroma de mujer,” Season 1 ranking as the sixth most-watched non-English language TV series ever at the streamer.
“At a time when content knows no borders, the enormous global success of Medyapim’s’s productions is a recognition of their extraordinary level of quality. At The Mediapro Studio we consider this alliance an opportunity to combine the creative talent of both companies and develop high-value content not only for Spanish-speaking markets, but for the world over,” said Laura Fernández Espeso, CEO of The Mediapro Studio.
“While enhancing our global penetration through Turkish series, it is the right time to unite our power for the development and production of programs in the Spanish language with a right partner who has proven their global success and talent in the industry,” said Fatih Aksoy, chairman of the Medyapim Group.
“Excited to be partnering with The Mediapro Studio and go for new horizons together,” he added.
Still in full-on expansion mode, and producing content out of 24 offices around the world, The Mediapro Studio ’s j.v. with Medyapim forms part of the launch of a new business unit dedicated to daily soaps, other types of long-running series and TV movies. TMS has hired Tirso Calero (“Bandolera,” “Love in Difficult Times,”) and other writers experienced in the program types, Fernández Espeso told Variety.
The j.v. looks set to be based out of Spain and Turkey and will make content with Spanish cast and crew mixing creatives – writers, directors and producers – from both countries, The Mediapro Studio assimilating the hugely successful work methods of Medyapim, Fernández Espeso added.
“Medyapim has a highly specific production model, a way of telling stories which is very clear, efficient and highly structured. We will bring the model to Spain, and produce in a highly original way,” she explained.
“Above all, our goal at TMS is the content’s creativity. We will look to develop and renovate daily series and soap formats to create new stories with a renewed narrative value, based on very solid characters that give continuity to the stories,” said Fernández Espeso.
“We have a fantastic team of writers and we also want to take the opportunity to train writers and talent, both in Spain and in Latin America: We already have stories coming from there. We will set up the best writing high tables to create this innovative, high-quality content,” she added.
One key to Medyapim’s huge success has been to take shorter original dramas from other countries – the U.K.’s “Doctor Foster,” made up of two five episode seasons, for “A Woman Scorned,” for instance, as well as Nippon TV’s “Woman” and “Mother” – and create around 20-30 episode-a-season drama series.
Airing over two years on broadcast networks while they are still in production, the series are shot by two-to-three crews at 25-30 locations, forefront the palpable passions and constant crisis events of melodrama and are narrated with high production values.
Their secret, however, remains their characters which can resonate around the world, Aksoy told Variety.
Whether this adaptation method becomes one of the major strategies of the new j.v. remains to be seen.
Aksoy did say, however, that productions would target two markets: Broadcast networks and OTT platforms. Free to air TVs around the world may have difficulties producing their own shows. The Medyapim-TMS j.v. can fill that breach, Aksoy argued.
The partners would not attempt to make new Spanish-language redos of Medyapim’s greatest hits such as “Woman” and “A Woman Scorned,” given they are so well known, he added.