'Los Serrano' off the air amid falling-out

Globomedia, Telecinco at odds

MADRID -- After five years at the top of Spain's weekly ratings, Spanish hit series "Los Serrano" will draw to a close Thursday amid a public falling-out between production house Globomedia and broadcaster Telecinco.

Globomedia chief Daniel Ecija spoke out this week about what he sees as Telecinco's irresponsible time changing of the family comedy series to shoot down its competition.

" 'Los Serrano' deserved to go out on the red carpet for all it has done for the channel," Ecija told Spanish daily El Mundo.

Telecinco announced earlier this week the successful series would air Thursday -- rather than last season's Tuesday slot, going head-to-head with Globomedia's newest high-budget series, "Lex," programmed on rival commercial channel Antena 3 for Thursday evenings at primetime.

But Telecinco denied counterprogramming the successful show.

"There was no change," a Telecinco spokesperson said. "Having paid for a product, Telecinco is completely within its rights to program a show when it deems it appropriate according to the laws of the market."

Telecinco will air seven final episodes of the hit, starting Thursday.

The scuffle started when Telecinco decided to end the show in seven episodes, rather than the 13-20 episodes of previous seasons.