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Israeli TV Formats’ Big U.S. Breakthrough

By | Monday January 16, 2012 @ 5:16pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

It was a big weekend for Israeli TV formats. First on Friday, a drama based on the Israeli series Pillars Of Smoke became the first in-cycle drama pilot picked up by NBC. And then on Sunday another Israeli drama adaptation, Showtime’s Homeland, became the the biggest TV winner at the Golden Globe Awards with two statuettes, for best drama series and best actress Claire Danes. That caps several years of a building momentum for formats from the Middle East country with strong ties to the U.S. and deep connections in Hollywood.

Exactly 3 years ago, the first of the current wave of U.S. adaptations of Israeli series, HBO’s In Treatment, landed 5 Golden Globe nominations, including best drama series, and won one, for best actor Gabriel Byrne. This year, Homeland converted 2 of its 3 nominations. How significant is the show’s best drama series win? Israeli formats got to the coveted top award after a four-year presence in Hollywood and a handful of series, In Treatment, CBS’ The Ex List and Fox’s Traffic Light leading to Homeland. For comparison, U.S. adaptations of British series have a long-standing tradition, spanning dozens of series over four decades. And yet, I could only think of one American series based on an U.K. format that has landed a best series Golden Globe, the CBS classic All In The Family. (NBC’s The Office won … Read More »

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TV Teaser: New Showtime Drama ‘Homeland’

By | Tuesday April 12, 2011 @ 11:11am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A week after picking up drama pilot Homeland to series, Showtime has released its first advance peek at the series, which starts production in the summer. The thriller, based on Gideon Raff’s Israeli series Prisoners of War, was written by former 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, Raff and Alex Gansa. It tells the story of Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Scott Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed deal for nine years, was a setup and may be connected to an Al-Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil. Mandy Patinkin plays Saul, a veteran CIA Division Chief who is Carrie’s boss and mentor.

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Showtime Picks Up ‘Homeland’ & ‘House Of Lies’ To Series

Nellie Andreeva

New Showtime entertainment president David Nevins is going 2-for-2 in his first development season at the pay cable network, picking up both pilots he ordered — drama Homeland and comedy House of Lies — to series. Both have received 12-episode orders and will start production in the summer. Thriller Homeland, from 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Emmy and Mandy Patinkin, while management consulting comedy House of Lies is toplined by Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. “Homeland and House of Lies are audacious in both their concept and their casting,” Nevins said. “They build upon the network’s successful pedigree and expand the definition of what a Showtime series can be. Read More »

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David Nevins On The Move At Showtime: Picks Up Thriller From Howard Gordon

Nellie Andreeva

In its first major development decision since taking the programming reins at Showtime as entertainment president, David Nevins is close to greenlighting his first pilot, a psychological thriller, from former 24 executive producer/showrunner Howard Gordon. Ben Affleck, hot off the No.1 opening of his crime caper The Town, is circling to direct. He has read the script and is very interested contingent on availability. If dates could be worked out, this would mark Affleck’s TV directorial debut. Read More »

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