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HBO Europe has ordered a 10-part half-hour Spanish comedy series with the working title Whatever (Por H o Por B).
The original show has just begun production in Madrid. It is produced by Lacoproductora and Globomedia, a company of The Mediapro Studio, for HBO Europe.
The series (Whatever is the working title in English) is written and directed by Manuela Burlo Moreno based on her own Goya-nominated short film Pipas. Burlo Moreno’s credits also include features Rumbos and Como sobrevivir a una despedida.
Marta Martin (Verguenza) and Saida Benzal (Seis Hermanas) reprise their starring roles in Pipas as childhood friends Hache and Belen who are reunited as adult roommates in Madrid’s hipster downtown neighborhood Malasaña.
The girls are from the outskirts of the city, and the cultural shock of their new environment leads to a series of hilarious and awkward encounters. Brays Efe (Paquita Salas), Itziar Castro (Vis a Vis), Javier Bodalo (Matadero) and Fernando Albizu (Love in Difficult Times) co-star.
The series adds to HBO’s growing slate of Spanish content, which also includes in-production series Foodie Love from director Isabel Coixet, Alex de la Iglesia’s 30 Coins, Basque drama Patria, which is based on Fernando Aramburu’s best-selling novel, and non-fiction series The Pioneer.
Jorge Pezzi, of the newly launched production house Lacoproductora, and Javier Pons are executive producers. Executive producers for HBO Europe are Miguel Salvat, Steve Matthews and Antony Root. The series will premiere simultaneously across all HBO Europe territories.
“Por H o Por B shows the reality of that extra layer we all wear to try to fulfill our sense of belonging, although we all know that the best thing is to be our true selves,” Burlo Moreno said. “The series is about the search and need to belong, and the thin line between what’s cool and what’s not. All this through the main character’s eyes, two girls from Parla who will do their best to survive in the most hipster neighborhood of the capital.”
Miguel Salvat, commissioning editor of original programming of HBO España, said: “In Por H o por B we’re diving into the culture of appearances, ephemeral trends and things that confound us daily that we don’t dare to question. It’s a story of two fish out of water, culture clashes, being awkward — or not caring about being awkward — about identity and the need to belong. Manuela has lived many of the situations we will see. She knows what she’s talking about and how to tell this story. There are many Malasañas around the world. Por H o por B is universal and local at the same time. A fresh new voice is arriving to HBO.”
Antony Root, executive vp programming and production at HBO Europe, added: “We’re excited to have Manuela bring her original perspective and vision for this series to HBO Europe. In Por H o por B she’s created a comedy and characters that will be recognizable and relatable for our audiences both in Spain and beyond. It’s the perfect addition to our burgeoning Spanish originals slate, which boasts an incredible range of local voices and a broad mix of genres — we’re confident audiences of all tastes will have a favorite amongst them.”
HBO Europe currently has several projects in production across other of European territories, including Gösta and Beartown in Sweden, Beforeigners in Norway, The Sleepers in the Czech Republic, Umbre in Romania and Wataha in Poland.
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