Published On: Tue, Jul 1st, 2014

Keshet UK and Atlantique Prods. to Co-Produce Ron Leshem’s Series “Crater Lake”

The new series by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter will follow “Allegiance”, the US remake of Leshem’s hit Israeli series “The Gordin Cell”, which will debut on NBC later this year.

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Keshet UK, the British arm of the blooming Israeli production company behind the original “Homeland” and “Rising Star”, has signed a deal with Paris-based Atlantique Productions to co-produce “Crater Lake”, an eight-part drama series by Israeli Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Leshem.

The show, which is billed as a life-affirming, character-driven show about death, will be exec produced by Atlantique CEO Olivier Bibas and creative director Patrick Nebout, Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir, KI CEO Alon Shtruzman and Keshet UK head of scripted, Sara Johnson.

“Keshet, one of the most creative and dynamic partners in global scripted entertainment, will help us in our mission to bring to life the best new content for international audiences, ” said Olivier Bibas, CEO of Atlantique Productions.

The Israeli production company, which is co-producing eight series this year, is a driving force behind Israel’s strong TV industry. The country has reportedly become the top exporter of scripted formats to the US. The London-based Keshet UK was set up in 2012 as the Israeli group’s first international production outpost. “Crater Lake” will mark the division’s first European co-production.

The show will also mark the third collaboration between Keshet and Ron Leshem.

Leshem, an acclaimed author and screenwriter, who won the Sapir Prize for Literature – Israel’s top literary award – for his debut novel, “Beaufort”, and was nominated for an Oscar as co-screenwriter of the novel’s theatrical adaptation, is the creator and co-writer of Keshet International’s hit espionage drama “The Gordin Cell” (aka “M.I.C.E.”), which was recently acquired by NBC and is being remade for the U.S. market as “Allegiance”.

Leshem and Keshet CEO Avi Nir will serve as exec producers on the US adaptation, which follows a young, idealistic CIA analyst (Gavin Stenhouse), specializing in Russian affairs, who learns that his parents are former Soviet spies the Kremlin has re-activated as part of a terrorist plot against the United States. Scott Cohen and Hope Davis also star.

Ron Leshem is an Israeli journalist, TV executive, screenwriter and author, whose works have been translated into 20 languages worldwide.

Leshem spent 3 years as a reporter in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza. Later on, he was promoted as head of the news division at the most widely circulated newspaper in Israel, Yediot Ahronot, for which he also wrote as an analyst for military affairs. By the age of 26 he started serving as deputy chief editor for Ma’ariv, one of the three major newspapers in Israel. He additionally wrote short stories for the French Le Monde newspaper, as well as various columns in several European newspapers.
From 2006 until 2009 Leshem served as head of programming and content for Keshet Broadcasting.

As a novelist, he has won some of the top literary Israeli awards, among them the prestigious annual literary award, the Sapir Prize for Literature, for his debut novel “Beaufort”.

The film version of “Beaufort”, which Leshem co-wrote, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and won the Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Best Director.

Keshet Broadcasting is a media group and leading television program maker licensed in Israel. Keshet operates under the auspices of the Second Israeli Broadcasting Authority (SBA), and it is one of two operators that have run the main Israeli commercial television channel, Channel 2, since 1993.

It shows original drama series, news, entertainment and lifestyle shows, and foreign programs.

Under CEO Avi Nir’s leadership, Keshet’s TV shows and formats have been widely embraced by international markets. Many Keshet properties have been adapted, sold and produced in the US and Europe, such as NBC’s talent competition show “Phenomenon”, the International Emmy Award winning ‘buddy comedy “Traffic Light”, and the Golden Globe & Emmy winning hit show “Homeland”, based on the Israeli drama “Prisoners of War”, which has been sold to more than 20 territories internationally.

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