El Continental

El Continental is a Spanish drama television series about organised crime set in 1920s Spain. Created, written and directed by Frank Ariza, it aired from September to November 2018 on La 1. Harshly criticised during its pre-screening at the FesTVal and with dismal ratings during its free-to-air broadcasting run, the series was described as "the biggest fiasco of national (Spanish) fiction in recent times".[1]

El Continental
Created byFrank Ariza [es]
Screenplay byFrank Ariza
Directed byFrank Ariza
Country of originSpain
Original languageSpanish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Running time70 min (approx.)
Production companiesRTVE
Gossip Events
Original networkLa 1
Original release17 September (2018-09-17) –
20 November 2018 (2018-11-20)


The series, set in the 1920s Madrid, is titled after a fictional club in which illegal businesses take place.[2] The fiction tracks both the struggle over clandestine businesses in the city and the relationship between Andrea Abascal (Michelle Jenner) and Ricardo León (Álex García).[2]


With the special collaboration of

Production and releaseEdit

Created, written and directed by Frank Ariza,[6] El Continental was produced by RTVE in collaboration with Gossip Events.[4] Consisting of 10 episodes with a running time of around 70 minutes,[2] the series was shot in a film set in San Sebastián de los Reyes and in the Príncipe Pío train station in Madrid.[7]

Derided in social media already since the release of the first images as a knock-off of Peaky Blinders, the series also received harsh reviews by professional critics after its pre-screening at the FesTVal in Vitoria.[8] It premiered on La 1 on 17 September 2018 with a "correct" 10.4% audience share in prime time, only to sink down to a 2.8% audience share in the season finale aired on 20 November 2018, when the series had been already moved to the late night slot.[8] At the time of its closure, the series was described as "the biggest fiasco of national (Spanish) fiction in recent times".[1]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally airedViewersShare (%)Ref.
First airedLast airedNetwork
11017 September 2018 (2018-09-17)20 November 2018 (2018-11-20)tve507,0004.6[9]
This is a caption
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byViewersOriginal air dateShare (%)
1"O pagas o cobras"Frank Ariza [es]Frank Ariza1,523,00017 September 2018 (2018-09-17)10.4
2"Primer paso aprender, segundo superar"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza793,00024 September 2018 (2018-09-24)5.7
3"Y ¿por qué?... Por todo"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza906,0001 October 2018 (2018-10-01)5.8
4"Por todo... O por nada"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza778,0008 October 2018 (2018-10-08)4.9
5"Magia"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza174,00016 October 2018 (2018-10-16)3.5
6"Matar al mensajero"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza164,00023 October 2018 (2018-10-23)3.0
7"Réquiem... mami"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza153,00030 October 2018 (2018-10-30)3.0
8"Truco o trato"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza224,0006 November 2018 (2018-11-06)3.5
9"Pactos de sangre"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza171,00013 November 2018 (2018-11-13)3.4
10"La guerra por una doncella"Frank ArizaFrank Ariza189,00020 November 2018 (2018-11-20)2.8


  1. ^ a b Zárate, Pedro (20 November 2018). "Se cerró "El Continental", el mayor fiasco de ficción nacional de los últimos tiempos". Vertele!. eldiario.es.
  2. ^ a b c ""El Continental", de TVE, amor entre gángsters en el Madrid de los años 20". La Vanguardia. 3 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "'El Continental' abre sus puertas con Michelle Jenner". Diario de Sevilla. 4 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "'El Continental' – estreno 17 de septiembre en La 1". Audiovisual451. 14 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "'El Continental', con Michelle Jenner y Alex García, abre sus puertas en La 1 este lunes". RTVE. 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ Onieva, Álvaro (17 September 2018). "Álex García sobre 'El Continental': Frank Ariza a la hora de escribir se pasa las normas por el forro". Fotogramas.
  7. ^ Granados, Candela (17 September 2018). "El Continental, el cabaret español que se viste de Peaky Blinders". El Mundo.
  8. ^ a b "'El Continental' cierra sus puertas convertido en el mayor fracaso de la última década". 21 November 2018.
  9. ^ Palenzuela, Fernando S. (21 November 2018). "'El Continental' se despide por la puerta de atrás con un pésimo 4,6% de media". FormulaTV.