In a move meant to introduce U.S. subscribers to the the scope of its original international series programming, HBO will be showcasing a total of six international series from three key regions across its streaming and VOD platforms. Beginning in December and launching under the banner of “Best of HBO International,” the cable giant will host two series each from Latin America, Europe and Asia via HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO’s linear VOD platforms.
December’s launch of “Best of HBO International” will mark the first time HBO has put together an international programming slate targeted specifically for American viewers. The premium cable network has stepped up its investment in local-language productions, confident that the increased quality of storylines and production will make these series accessible to viewers globally.
“Working with talented local writers, directors and producers, our international networks are creating programming that live up to the high quality storytelling that is expected of the HBO brand. This programming regularly outperforms even ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘ record audience numbers in their respective markets.” – HBO CEO Richard Plepler
From HBO Europe: Wasteland from the Czech Republic; and drama The Pact from Poland:
When Hana Sikorova, mayor of a northern Bohemian village, stands up to a large coal mining concern that offers villagers large compensation in exchange for abandoning their houses built on land containing brown coal deposits, her fourteen year old daughter Misha disappears. The search for her daughter makes Hana suspicious of the whole community, after years of peaceful coexistence. Under the pressure of unfolding events, the community starts to fall apart and show its true face. Solving the mystery divides the story into several interweaving narratives that ultimately connect in unexpected ways.
A newspaper journalist is drawn into a web of lies and betrayal when he exposes evidence of a fraud in a multinational company involving his own brother. This ruins his career, family relations, and entraps him in a following mystery.
From HBO Asia: Taiwan’s The Teenage Psychic; and fantasy drama Halfworlds from Indonesia and Thailand:
Xiao Zhen is a 16-year-old teenager with psychic abilities. Although she is told that it is her destiny, Xiao Zhen does not believe her powers truly help others and longs to be a normal teenager like her peers. Her life becomes more complicated when she develops a crush on new student, Ah Le.
For hundreds of centuries, ghosts coexist with humans. Well hidden under the supervision of a family who has incredible power, up to a supernatural event known as “The Gift” can reveal this hidden world to the surface. The closer to the appearance of “The Gift”, a street artist, Sarah, accidentally trapped in two between the human world and ghosts.
From HBO Latin America: El Hipnotizador; and new Brazilian entry La Vida Secreta de las Parejas:
This is the story of Arenas, a hypnotist who can put people into a trance and make them reveal their innermost secrets. He is a man of mystery, lonely and isolated, who suffers from perpetual insomnia, behind which lies a great secret. Arenas finds it easier to deal with other people’s problems than his own, In order to get to sleep he has to meet with Darek, a hypnotist who has given him insomnia. In the battle between the two, each has his own allies. Arenas has Salinero and Anita, Darek has Castor, a watch repairer, who dreams of founding a major institute of hypnotherapy. The eight episode series, the Hypnotist, is based on a comic book history by Argentine Pablo de Santis, illustrated by Juan Sáenz Valiente.
Sofia divides her time between running a center for alternative couples therapy, specializing in techniques for a fuller sex life, and writing her second book, “The Secret Life of Couples.”