Borrowing television formats isn't new; some of our most successful franchises—"American Idol," "Survivor," "The Office," to name three—started in Europe. But with two shows hitting TV this year and another two in development, it's Israel that is fast becoming Hollywood's cheat sheet. "B'Tipul," a drama about a therapist and his demanding clientele, was adapted into HBO's critically acclaimed series "In Treatment." Premiering this fall on CBS is "The Ex List," which was adapted from the Israeli series "Mythological X." "List" is a romantic comedy about a woman who learns from a psychic that she has already dated—and broken up with—her soulmate, and if she can't narrow him down from her lengthy roster of suitors, she'll spend life as a spinster. It's no wonder Israel is such a close friend of the United States. To judge from their television shows, the Israelis are just as neurotic as we are.I guess there wouldn't be much of a market in the US for the kind of programming that Hamas is currently putting out.
...Israeli shows still have to be tweaked to appeal to Americans. "Israel's stuff, understandably, has a lot of darkness to it," says Jonathan Levin, executive producer of "The Ex List." "It's wonderfully entertaining and funny, but theirs is a society with a lot of stress, and that does manifest itself in their entertainment, even in the comedies."
Besides these 2 shows, there are more Israeli shows on the way:
Also forthcoming are adaptations of "Merhak Negia" ("A Touch Away"), a story of forbidden love between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Russian immigrant, and "Loaded," an "Entourage"-like comedy about a quartet of dotcom millionaires. And as long as Israeli television shows combine high quality with low price tags, it doesn't take a psychic to predict that more television executives will be making pilgrimages to the Holy Land.If they're interested, I have an idea for a show: "All In The Knesset"...
[Hat tip: Noah Pollak]
Technorati Tag: Israel.