BBC Worldwide Inks Spanish Co-Production Deal

The U.K. public broadcaster's commercial arm pacts with Spain Atresmedia to co-produce an original English-language sci-fi drama, "The Refugees."

LONDON – BBC Worldwide, the U.K. public broadcaster's commercial arm, has linked with Spain's Atresmedia to co-produce original English-language sci-fi drama The Refugees.

Set to begin filming this summer before premiering on Spanish channel laSexta in Spain next fall, The Refugees explores the impact on a small rural community after millions of refugees from the future travel back in time to seek shelter in the present.

The pact signals the first original co-production for BBC Worldwide with a European broadcaster and is the first show that Atresmedia has commissioned for laSexta.

BBC Worldwide will act as co-producer, commissioner for international channels and global distributor.

STORY: Spain's Atresmedia Creates New Division 

The Refugees (Refugiadoshas been created by Ramon Campos, Gema R. Neira, Cristobal Garrido and Adolfo Valor and will be produced by Bambu Producciones, producer of Grand Hotel, which airs in the U.K. on Sky Arts.

BBC Worldwide executive producer for international drama Ben Donald said the appeal of using British talent while growing Worldwide's content pipeline by sourcing it from a new European partner "really spoke to us."

The project will be an English-speaking drama with a yet-to-be-confirmed British cast and writer, and made in Spain.

"This is part of an emerging trend for some European networks to move into English language drama; we are now exploring this model to deliver cost-effective, high-quality output," Donald said. "And combined with Atresmedia’s ambition and such an intriguing original story, this was a collaboration too good to shy away from."

Atresmedia Television's output includes Grand Hotel (Gran Hotel), Moon (Luna), The Boarding School (El internado) and The Secret of Puente Viejo (El secreto de Puente Viejo), among others.