With its highest-rated night ever, HOMELAND‘s season two finale delivered 2.7 million viewers for the night, surpassing last week’s total (2.6 million) as the best total night delivery ever for the series and up 31 percent from its season 2 premiere night (vs. 2.1 million). At 10 p.m. the finale garnered 2.3 million viewers, up 32 percent versus the season two premiere (vs. 1.7 million). Season-to-date, the second season of HOMELAND is averaging 5.9 million total weekly viewers across platforms, up 37 percent above its freshman season and now ranks as the network’s second highest rated series.
Source: Broadway World
With the massive success of “Homeland” and “In Treatment” in the United States, both adaptations of popular Israeli TV series, New Regency signed a deal back in February with Israel’s ADD to export Israeli content to the US. The first project to be born of this relationship was just confirmed.
Yoram Kanuik’s novel, “Kesem Al Yam Kinneret” (“Magic on Lake Kinneret”) has been optioned.
“Kesem Al Yam Kinneret” was published in 1994 and, according to Deadline.com, is “considered Kanuik’s most extreme work” and has been described by critics as “the closest to Tarantino an Israeli creation has ever gotten.”
New Regency plans to adapt the book, following a young woman’s spontaneous decision to “live life on her own terms,” into a half-hour satirical black comedy.
“The opportunity to develop shows from IP that provide this type of unique spin and distinct voice is exactly why we are in business with ADD,” said Andrew Plotkin, New Regency’s new EVP Television.
“With the recent success in the industry of adapting Israeli content for American audiences, most notably Showtime’s ‘Homeland,’ we are looking forward to adapting Kanuik’s unique vision for American television.”
Three densely printed pages, held together with a staple, some with boldfaced headings, are lying on the outsized desk of Avi Nir, head of Channel 2 franchisee Keshet. It is a list of messages formulated by Nir (which he terms “thoughts I wrote down for myself”) – points that he wishes to convey. His careful preparation for a mere newspaper interview comes as a surprise, particularly considering the present-day status of the organization he leads.
Last month, the American drama series “Homeland” garnered four Emmy awards (for screenplay and best drama, and two more for the lead actors). The series, whose second season is now being aired both here and in the United States, is based on the Israeli series “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War”), which recently began its own second season on Keshet. Nir, Ran Telem (the company’s VP for programming) and “Hatufim” creator Gideon Raff all receive executive producer credits for the U.S. version.
Despite this, Keshet will finish the year in the red, and it was learned a few weeks ago that the company is planning salary cutbacks and even dismissals. Keshet is also attacked by critics for being one of the primary sources for the dissemination and domination of what is locally called the “ratings culture,” which supposedly places popularity and profit above all other considerations. Also this year the broadcaster found itself on the receiving end of much criticism in relation to the prescription of psychiatric medications to contestants on its show “Big Brother.”
Speaking with Haaretz in his first in-depth media interview in years, Avi Nir explains that he views the decision to place dramas at the heart of Keshet’s new lineup as a milestone in the company’s development. For years, drama series were considered onerous, expensive to produce and unprofitable, and owed their continued existence to regulatory constraints and other commitments. This was the case, Nir says, until the production of “Mesudarim” in 2007.
“That was a moment of understanding [when we realized that] if we devoted all the resources at our disposal to a drama, and if did it at the same level of commitment, then we could succeed, big-time,” says Nir. “We decided to move ahead with it, and invest, and also to take a good look at the rest of the world. In that respect, ‘Homeland’ constitutes the climax.”
The distinction goes to Keshet Broadcasting’s Prisoners Of War (Hatufim), which was written and directed by Gideon Raff and became the country’s highest-rated TV drama. The story line will be familiar to fans of Showtime’s Homeland– it was based on the Israeli series. It’s about two soldiers trying to reintegrate with society, and reconnect with their families, after 17 years in an enemy prison. A military psychologist becomes suspicious when it turns out that their accounts of their captivity don’t match. Secret service agents launch an investigation to determine who they really are and what they’re hiding. The 10-part series stars Yael Abecassis, Mili Avital, Yoram Tolledano, Assi Cohen and Ishai Golan. It premieres on Hulu and Hulu Plus this Saturday, July 14.
The aging playboy Hugh Hefner is not giving up on the Israeli market: After attempting to get the attention of Israel’s consumers with a lingerie line and a TV channel, the porn giant Playboy is set to launch its line of condoms in the Jewish state.
The product’s distributor in Israel is Captain Dalia Mishaeli, who retired from the IDF four years ago after 25 year in service.
Mishaeli was first introduced to the product during its launch in Venezuela, where her brother, businessman Simo Mishaeli, conducts business. The two partnered to form a company that makes and markets hair products and cosmetics called Purissima de Venezuela.
Sami and Playboy’s management examined a partnership wherein Purissima would manufacture Playboy’s line of lubricants, a move that led to the idea of marketing Playboy condoms in Israel. Dalia, who is the CEO of Purissima Israel, received the license to sell Playboy condoms in Israel.
The product is scheduled to be launched in July and the event will feature Playboy bunnies from Hefner’s mansion in the US and will be attended by Playboy senior executives.
Currently, negotiations for distribution agreements are underway with Israel’s major drugstore chains and several distribution companies.
Story originally published by Calcalist
Clara Khoury, the daughter of veteran Arab Israeli film & stage actor Makram Khoury, is best known internationally for her lead in the 2005 film “The Syrian Bride”, and has also appeared in Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies” in 2008, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and fellow Israeli Alon Aboutboul. In Israel she is most notably known for her comedic role on the successful prime time sitcom “Arab Labor (Avoda Aravit)”.
The 38yo Jonah Lotan has been living and working as an actor in the US for over a decade now, having made appearance on “24″, “CSI: NY” and HBO’s “Generation Kill”. Meanwhile the unknown newcomer 26yo Gal Amitay is a student at Yoram Levinstein School of Acting, which is the same place to generate such Israeli stars on the Hollywood horizon Ayelet Zurer and latest arrival Oz Zehavi, who is also rumored to guest on “Homeland”.
The news comes following another award winning weekend for creators Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff who all won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for the pilot episode of the series, which originally aired last fall. Next up on the crew’s social calendar is a special event to be held upon their arrival in Israel by Keshet Broadcasting, which produced the original “Prisoner of War” series three years ago. No Word if die-hard-fan president Barack Obama will be in attendance.