Fifth Annual RTVE Showcase Puts Emphasis on International Co-Production

Spanish public broadcaster RTVE held its fifth annual RTVE Showcase late last week in Madrid. Eight of the network’s top shows were profiled for international buyers, and several panels debated the current state of affairs in Spain’s TV production industry.

Professionals from around the world tuned into this year’s Showcase, which had the overriding theme of international co-production. Guest speakers from across Europe attended and shared details about their recent experiences working with RTVE and what future collaborations are in the works.

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According to Rodolfo Domínguez, RTVE commercial director, more than 200 attendees tuned in to this year’s Showcase, including 70 international buyers from more than 30 territories. Of them, 50% were from Europe, 30% from the Americas, and the other 20% from Asia and the Middle East.

Below, we reflect on two of this year’s most internationally relevant panels and briefly break down RTVE’s original programming lineup featured during the Showcase.

International Co-Production

RTVE has significantly bolstered its international co-production efforts in recent years, a success story that was underscored during a panel moderated by Rafael Bardem, deputy director of program sales and licenses at RTVE. Joining him were Aleksandra Martinovic, director of the multimedia division at Telekom Srbija in Serbia; Susanne Frank, drama director at ZDF Studios in Germany; Patricia Motilla, a tax lawyer from Spain’s Andersen Tax; and Plano a Plano general director Emilio Amaré.

The discussion delved into the pressing issue of shared productions, a strategy gaining significance in the face of mounting competition from streaming platforms. Panelists aimed to equip the audience with a deeper understanding of the evolving industry landscape.

Spain’s first-ever co-production with Serbia, “Scar” (“Cicartiz”), was a major talking point during the panel. The thriller tells the story of a tech entrepreneur’s tumultuous online encounter with a young woman set on ruining his life. Martinovic said production has been a breeze and explained, “It’s the best possible beginning for this collaboration,” teasing future alliances.

RTVE is teaming up with fellow European giant ZDF, Galicia-based Portocabo, and Germany’s Nadcon on the Canary Island-set crime drama “Weiss & Morales.” According to Frank, the partnership is paying off commercially and creatively. The Canary Islands are a favorite getaway for German tourists, making the cross-border story entirely natural. The Islands’ extraordinary tax rebates similarly make it a favorable shooting location.

RTVE will likely continue to seek out new international partners soon, and the Showcase’s existence alone suggests as much.

Trends in Spanish Fiction

Moderated by RTVE director of film and fiction José Pastor, this panel featured an incredible lineup of leading Spanish creators and executives, including Daniel Écija (CEO of  The Good Mood), José Manuel Lorenzo  (CEO of  DLO Producciones), Ramón Campos (CEO of  Bambú Producciones), Pilar Blasco  (CEO of  Banijay Iberia), José María Irisarri (executive producer at Onza Partners) and Ángeles González Sinde (writer-director and former Spanish minister of culture).

Although the conversation focused on Spanish trends, many of the topics debated on the day are applicable around the world. Streaming platforms have rocked the distribution landscape in Spain, like many other countries.

According to González, “It’s difficult to know what trends will work overtime, especially with the way platforms change so frequently. There are too many conditions to consider when analyzing current trends.”

Campos suggested the best way to deal with shifting tastes is to avoid fleeting fads and instead focus on content that will endure for years to come, much like his company’s “Cable Girls,” Netflix’s first Spanish original, has done.

Écija agreed, adding that Spanish producers should look for stories grounded in current, relatable experiences rather than chasing trends that have worked elsewhere but could be out of favor by the time a show is ready to air.

The Shows

“La Ley del Mar”

One of RTVE’s most alluring original series stars local superstar Luis Tosar in a show about the differences between the laws of land and sea. In the show, which is based on a true story, the fishing boat Francisco and Catalina encounters a ship of 50 migrants, including two women and a two-year-old girl, who have been drifting for days. RTVE produced the show in collaboration with Studio60.

“Detective Touré”

Co-produced by RTVE, Detective Touré AIE, Tornasol Media, DeAPlaneta and EITB, “Detective Touré” is the first Spanish series to feature a Black lead character, a shocking fact in 2024. RTVE executive producer Nieves Fernández says the show “opens new possibilities to break glass ceilings” in Spain.

“Las Abogadas”

Produced by RTVE and MOD Producciones, “Las Abogadas” is based on the life and work of lawyers Lola González, Cristina Almeida, Paca Sauquillo and Manuela Carmena (who later became mayor of Madrid), a group of friends and colleagues who worked together until 1977 Atocha massacre. One of the darkest days in Spain’s transition to democracy, the attack occurred when right-wing extremists with connections to Adolfo Suárez’s government broke into a socialist law firm and murdered five and severely injured four more.


Another book-based title, “Scars” is the first ever Spain-Serbia co-production and an excellent example of the benefits of cross-border collaboration. Spanish producers include Plano a Plano and Dopamine, as well as collaborators Asacha Media Group and Adrenalina in association with RTVE, Prime Video España and Telekom Srbija.

“La Moderna”

RTVE and Boomerang TV produce this classic telenovela, which is adapted from Luis Carnés’ novel “Tea Rooms.” Clocking in at 120 hour-long episodes, the 1930s-set show could do well in territories where long-form content is popular, such as Turkey, Korea, or Latin America.


This period series is a dramatized revisiting of the life of Queen Victoria Eugenia, who served from the time of her marriage to King Alfonso XIII in 1906 until the declaration of the Spanish Second Republic in 1931. Based on the popular historical novel of the same name, “Ena” is co-produced by RTVE with Ena La Serie AIE, La Cometa TV, and Zona App.

“Asuntos Internos”

Set in the late 1970s, this Madrid-based cop drama tells het story of Clara, one of Spain’s first woman police officers who goes undercover to expose corruption linked to the heroin trade in the Spanish capital. RTVE, Mediacrest and Mediacrest El Clásico AIE co-produce.

“Comerse el Mundo”

The lone non-fiction title showcased by RTVE was “Comers eel Mundo,” which features Valladolid-based chef Javier Peña traveling the world and trying local delicacies. Each episode ends with a brief cooking lesson based on the chef’s experiences. The show is produced by RTVE and Onza TV.

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