La casa de Papel is an Spanish series that was first aired in 2 parts of 9 and 6 episodes.

Part 1 is now available on Netflix but split in 13 episodes as explained in the wikipedia page :

instead of retaining the original number of 9 episodes and the 70 minute run time of each episode in the season, it was cut into 13 different untitled episodes.

Why did they make this choice? Is it only Netflix choice or did the show runners wanted it like that?

  • One assumes it fits more neatly in packages of 1 hour programming. " Each of the episodes had been limited to 40-50 minutes in length"
    – Paulie_D
    Jan 28, 2018 at 17:03
  • 1
    @Paulie_D Nzetflix doesn't care about that, their own show Godless for instance has episodes that vary in length from 50 to 75 minutes. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the decision of a distribution firm.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 28, 2018 at 17:07

3 Answers 3


In the Spanish TV series, the episodes generally last 70 minutes. In the USA and other countries, the episodes of the TV series last 40 minutes. Netflix adapted "La casa de papel" to the international market. Netflix has shortened the episodes and has transform the nine epidodes into thirteen epidodes.


Aunque la ficción española está experimentando avances tanto a nivel visual como narrativo, todavía es reacia a prescindir de los 70 minutos de duración por episodio.

Salvo excepciones como la aún inédita 'La catedral del mar' (Antena 3) y las series producidas por plataformas de pago, es inusual encontrar producciones en nuestro país que apuesten por capítulos de 40-50 minutos. Todo lo contrario ocurre en el extranjero, donde es norma habitual.

Esta diferencia ha obligado a Netflix a tomar una medida con respecto a 'La casa de papel', emitida por Antena 3 y que la plataforma de streaming incluye en su catálogo nacional e internacional. En España los capítulos siguen teniendo su duración original, pero si accedemos desde otro país veremos que no es así.

Como recoge Sensacine, Netflix ha acortado la duración de los primeros 9 capítulos hasta los 40 minutos. Por lo tanto, la primera tanda cuenta así con 13 entregas y no con las 9 que se vieron originalmente por la cadena de Atresmedia.

Con la segunda y última tanda prevista para abril, esta medida pretende adaptar la serie al mercado internacional. Además, la historia no se ve afectada, pues la duración conjunta de todos los capítulos es la misma dentro y fuera de nuestras fronteras.


Curiosamente, aquellos que vean la serie fuera de España la encontrarán algo diferentes a lo que se emitió en Antena 3. Aquí tenemos cierta tendencia a hacer episodios de más de una hora, mientras que lo habitual en países extranjeros es que no lleguen a los 50 minutos. Por eso, la plataforma de 'streaming' los ha acortado, dejándolos en una duración de 40 minutos, y ha convertido los 9 primeros capítulos en 13.

  • 1
    But why would Netflix care? Their own series often have wildly different episode lengths: Godless for instance has episodes as short as 40 minutes while one is about twice as long, and their current hit The Haunting Of Hill House also has episodes that differ in length from 40-odd minutes to 70+ minutes.
    – BCdotWEB
    Oct 25, 2018 at 14:24

Like Mary said, episodes in Spain have an expected run-time and outside Spain have another. According to Vertele (I'm linking the same article, but translated), Netflix adapted the series to the international market, and if you stream from within Spain, you will get the original 9 70m episodes.

Apart from exceptions like "La catedral del mar" and series produced by paid stations, it's unusual to find productions in Spain with episodes of 40-50 minutes. The opposite happens in foreign countries, where such is the norm.

This difference has made Netflix take measures with regards to "La casa de papel" from Antena 3 and which the streaming platform includes in its national and international catalog. In Spain, the episodes remain with the same duration, but if we stream from other countries, such is not the case.

As stated by Sensacine, Netflix shortened the duration of the first 9 chapters to 40 minutes. So, the first season now has 13 episodes, not the original 9 from Atresmedia.

With the second season scheduled for April, this measure has the goal of adapting the series to the international marked. Furthermore, the plot is not affected, since the joined duration of all episodes remains the same in and our of Spain.

As to why Netflix cares for this specific show and not others, I believe it's simply because other shows (namely american shows) are ready for international markets from the get-go. Being english, producers choose their run-time and it's their creative decision. "La casa de papel" already struggles with the language barrier, and Netflix most likely tries to bridge the gap by standardizing episode lengths.


I have to say there is something wrong about this information.

Netflix didn't make a shorter version of La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). Part of the team of the series said very clearly they made the new adaption of the show for Netflix. They cut the scenes in a new order to make them more watchable for the 50 minutes run time but trying to keep in order the coherence of the plot.

  • 2
    Hi there. That's interesting info, which is coherent with what the other answers said; though if you have a new piece of interview to provide, editing it in would make for a better answer.
    – Jenayah
    Feb 23, 2019 at 19:25

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