Weekend Studio to adapt ‘XRey’ podcast into scripted series

UK-based producer and distributor The Story Lab has struck a deal with Spanish prodco Weekend Studio to adapt its podcast XRey into TV drama series, as part of a wider strategy of bringing IP to the TV marketplace via audio platforms.

The podcast gained critical acclaim and national media attention in the Spanish market after launching on Spotify on 19 May. The 10-part weekly series follows the life story of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, whose sudden and unexplained abdication in 2014 after 50 years of rule, was the source of international intrigue.

XRey is being adapted for television in a deal with Madrid-based drama prodco Weekend Studio, which was behind Netflix’s 1960s crime thriller Hache and will now turn the podcast into a scripted series.

Further podcasts with international TV potential are being produced by The Story Lab for other audio platforms, with themes ranging from UK prime minister Winston Churchill’s diaries to the life of football agent, Jorge Mendes. The Story Lab has retained all rights and is negotiating similar deals for TV adaption, with further details to be announced.

Toni Garrido, producer of XRey, commented: “We are proud to be partnering with the great talent at Weekend Studio to bring XRey to screens around the world as a premium TV drama. The overnight success of the podcast series on Spotify has highlighted the powerful appeal of this incredible story, which is immersed in secrecy, scandal and tragedy.”

Michael Iskas, global president at The Story Lab, said: “Toni and his team at The Story Lab Spain have brought the XRey story to life in a brilliantly creative way to deliver a breakout hit on Spotify that has the pace of a political thriller.

‘With continuing rapid change across the industry, we are pursuing new ways to launch IP into the global marketplace, creating podcasts that build excitement around stories with terrific potential to cross over to TV drama and other genres.”

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