KCET is bringing Grand Hotel, dubbed the Spanish Downton Abbey, to broadcast telly. And it’s doing this in a way that Netflix didn’t with streaming the series.
Leave it to KCET to go one better than Netflix. Rather than edit down the episodes of Grand Hotel (Gran Hotel) like the streaming behemoth did, the largest independent public TV station in the US will be airing all 39 of them — the complete three seasons — in their original 70+ minute format.
(If you’ve streamed the series, then you already know that some of the edits were a bit awkward.)
For Grand Hotel newbies, this multiple-award-winning series is an epic romance period drama and mystery-crime thriller rolled into one.
It opens in 1905, with the working-class Julio Olmedo (Yon González, Cable Girls, El internado) en route to visit his sister Cristina at the luxurious Grand Hotel, where she works as a chambermaid. Only she isn’t there. No one has seen her in the month since she got sacked for theft. Julio, suspicious that Cristina’s mysterious disappearance indicates something sinister, proceeds to conduct his own investigation by assuming a different identity and getting a job as a waiter at the hotel.
Meanwhile, Alicia Alarcón (Morocco: Love in Times of War, Velvet), daughter of Doña Teresa Alarcón (Adriana Ozores, Velvet Collection, Paco’s Men), the stern and strict owner of Grand Hotel, has arrived at the hotel at her mother’s bidding. Only Alicia is in for a shock: her mum has promised her in marriage to Diego Murquía (Pedro Alonso, Money Heist, The Department of Time), the skeevy and manipulative new director of the hotel.
It is inevitable that Julio and Alicia meet under the same roof, and she ends up helping the amateur sleuth by becoming one herself — and not just with finding out what happened to Cristina, either — as they grow closer to both the truth and each other. This, as Detective Ayala (Pep Anton Muñoz, Seis hermanas) from the local police investigates the murder of a woman last seen by Javier Alarcón (Eloy Azorín, Apaches), Alicia’s cad of a brother.
Elsewhere in the hotel, Alicia’s sister and brother-in-law, Sofia (Luz Valdenebro, El internado) and Alfredo (Fele Martínez, Fugitives), begin plotting to get Diego removed from his position so that Alfredo can take what the couple deem to be his rightful place as the director of Grand Hotel. There are dramas happening with the residential servants, too…
And all of this is occurs in just the first half of Season 1! There’s more where this came from in Seasons 2 and 3!
Produced by Bambu Producciones for Antena 3, Grand Hotel features Llorenç González (Velvet), Marta Larralde (Fariña), Antonio Reyes (Lifeline), Iván Morales (Cuéntame), and Concha Velasco (Cable Girls).
As with many popular international programs, Grand Hotel is being developed as an American series, this one by Eva Longoria (Desperate Houswives) for ABC.
Grand Hotel makes its broadcast television debut in the US on Sunday, January 28, at 10 PM PT, on KCET, which serves the Los Angeles and Southern California viewing area. All episodes will air in Spanish with English subtitles, and an encore presentation will be shown directly after each new telecast.
Stateside satellite TV subscribers will also be able to watch the entire series on Link TV, the national network arm of KCETLink Media Group, beginning Monday, January 29, at 9 PM ET/PT, on Dish Network channel 9410 and DirecTV channel 375.
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