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CULTURE | 21-04-2018 16:10

Netflix renews La Casa de Papel for third run

Spanish-language series – most-watched non-English show on plaform – will return for another new season in 2019.

The Spanish-language TV series that has stormed the online streaming world will return next year for a new run.

La Casa de Papel (“Money Heist” in its English-language title), the smash-hit series that has seized the attention of viewers in Argentina and the wider world, becoming a massive crossover hit in the process, has been licensed by streaming giant Netflix for a third season.

The show is about a gang of people who are recruiting to carry out an ambitious plan to rob the Royal Mint of Spain and print 2.4 billion euros to steal. In order to do this, they need 11 days of seclusion, during which they will have to deal with 67 hostages – and Spain’s security services.

Netflix announced this week that it had secured a deal to produce the show with creator Álex Pina and Vancouver Media for a third season which will air exclusively on its streaming platform. An agreement to licence the show, which stars Úrsula Corberó, Itziar Ituño, Paco Tous and Alba Flores among others, was agreed with Spanish network Atresmedia.

The Spanish-language crime thriller is the most watched non-English show and series on Netflix, the online streaming giant confirmed this week in its announcement.

It gave little away about the third season, saying only the show’s mysterious catalyst, El Profesor, would “will plan new heists, revealed in 2019.” Most of the current cast are expected to return.

Netflix’s Latin American social media channels shared a video this week titled “Este es un mensaje para resistencia,” featuring current cast members stating that the biggest robbery isn’t over yet.

La Casa de Papel débuted in May, 2017, and averaged just over two million viewers during its first and only season broadcast on Spain’s Antena 3 channel. But it soared to global popularity after it was picked up by Netflix and given a worldwide release in December later that year.

Re-editing the show into tighter, shorter episodes (from nine 70-minute shows to 13 installments of between 40 and 50 minutes in the first season, for example) paid off for the streaming gian. A second season arrived online in early April this year, airing as nine episodes instead of six, and again winning plaudits.

The show has won a ‘bingeworthy’ reputation and is known to have a particularly strong audience in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile.

STAGGERING GROWTH

The announcement comes off the back of another year of staggering growth for Netflix, which now has 125 million subscribers worldwide. The platform, which lives off subscriptions paid by users, has 68.3 million outside the United States.

The firm, announcing its plans for the next year, said it is preparing 55 new original productions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including its début show in Arabic.

“We are investing in original productions around the world, but especially in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Erik Barmack, vice-president for international content at Netflix, at a press conference in Rome unveiling the platform’s new shows. “We are working on 55 productions, in series, films and documentaries because we have excellent stories in those regions.” – TIMES/AFP

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