How’s your Portuguese? The US isn’t the only place that hit web series are getting called up to traditional TV, as Portugal’s hit web series Flatmates (T2 Para 3) gets the nod from RTP, the country’s leading public broadcast channel. BeActive, the indie Portuguese production studio behind Flatmates, is taking the web series into franchise territory, optioning the property to Ireland’s Campbell Ryan Productions, for a British version to premiere on Bebo in early 2009.
Flatmates follows the the story of three young college students, two girls and a boy, sharing an apartment together their first year away from home. Through Tomàs, Matilde and Patrìcia we get a little slice of real life ups and downs of these down to earth Euro teens, with what looks like a healthy dose of pop music and MTV-worthy moments of drama.
But the 170-episode web series struck a chord with Portuguese (and probably some Brazilian) viewers. Since its debut in January of 2008, Flatmates (T2 Para 3), has racked up over 5 Million views on the Portuguese site (Sapo Videos WEB TV service) not counting mobile phones through the TMN Mobile TV service. Sponsors for the series are pretty visible with Ford (Fiesta), Nestle and Harmony getting prime billing on the site.
BeActive has been pumping out some hot web properties lately, the most notable being Sofia’s Diary, which was launched as a fictional blog five years ago before mushrooming into a web franchise itself with worldwide distribution rights bought by Sony Pictures Television. Portugal’s RTP also picked up the series back in 2005 for TV broadcast while BeActive later spun off a UK version also produced by Campbell Ryan. Sofia’s Diary wrapped up its second season this fall on Bebo, netting over 16 million views so far on top of being the second highest rated show on UK TV channel FIVER.