EXCLUSIVE: Fox has bought Hard Up, a single-camera comedy project executive produced by John Wells. Based on the Israeli series Asfur created by Hanan Savyon and Guy Amir, Hard Up is a comedy about four twentysomething, cash-strapped close friends willing to do anything for each other — especially if it means breaking the rules as they fight against the odds to keep their home in a gentrifying neighborhood. The Fox version, which has received a script commitment, will be written by Etan Frankel (Shameless). The original series, produced by Sumayoko, airs on Israeli network HOT with Shameless. Because of the two shows’ compatibility on HOT, CAA — which reps ADD, the company that has foreign distribution rights to Asfur — took the format to Wells, who co-created the U.S. version of Shameless, and the series’ writer Frankel. Wells and Frankel will executive produce Hard Up with Savyon & Amir, Mark Mylod (pilot only) and Andrew Stearn, with HOT production executive Mirit Toovi also involved in the adaptation. John Wells Prods and Warner Bros TV are producing. Savyon and Amir are repped by ADD’s Hadas Mozes.
Israeli formats’ popularity among U.S. TV networks has grown exponentially over the past few years. It has resulted in four series — including HBO’s In Treatment and Showtime’s Homeland. Last year, two projects based on Israeli series reached pilot stage: NBC’s Midnight Sun and the CW’s Joey Dakota. Israeli concepts are getting a jump on the new development cycle with two early sales, Hard Up and drama M.I.C.E. at NBC, which has Film 44 producing.