Keshet International, the global sales arm of the Israeli producer and broadcaster, is to shop BBC One drama The Trial of Christine Keeler around the world after striking a deal with Fleming producer Ecosse Films.
The deal is the largest third party pick-up for the firm that originated Homeland and comes as it steps up its focus on external productions. It marks the first investment since the launch of its Keshet International Fund, which it announced in March during the In-TV conference in Jerusalem.
The six-part drama, which is expected to air in 2019, takes a look at the infamous Profumo Affair, which involved 19-year old Christine Keeler, who was involved in a relationship with John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government. He initially lied to the House of Commons about the affair and the incident became a global scandal after it emerged that Keeler may have simultaneously been involved with a Soviet naval attaché.
The drama is written by Apple Tree Yard writer Amanda Coe and exec produced by Coe, Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae and Kate Triggs and Lucy Richer for the BBC. It will be filmed on location in and around Bristol.
The deal was struck between Ecosse Films and Keshet International by the latter’s Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Anke Stoll.
“We are committed to invest in outstanding, high-quality English-language dramas from prolific independent producers,” said Sebastian Burkhardt, SVP acquisition and digital for KI. “With the captivating story of The Trial of Christine Keeler from the UK’s Ecosse Films, which is renowned for producing first-rate and critically acclaimed content, this is testament to our intention of bringing high-profile series to our global distribution pipeline.”
Triggs added, “There has never been a better time to bring a fresh lens to these events. To put the young Christine Keeler at the heart of the story and explore how her sexuality is a currency for rich and powerful men resonates into the world we’re living in today. I am so thrilled to be working with Amanda Coe again and to have her remarkable work brought to a worldwide audience through our new relationship with Keshet International.”