EXCLUSIVE: Keshet Studios, the recently launched LA-based subsidiary of Keshet International, has made its first acquisition. In a highly-competitive situation, the company, which oversees KI’s Stateside scripted programming activities, has taken rights to produce a domestic adaptation of six-part ensemble drama Chefs. The French series from CALT Production began airing on France 2 in February, garnering the best ratings for a scripted series for the network since January 2012 and averaging 4.4M viewers.
César winner Clovis Cornillac (The Story Of My Life) stars in the original (see French tralier below) as Le Chef, a monster of French gastronomy who saves a spot in his kitchen each year for an ex-con. Hugo Becker (Silent Witness, Gossip Girl) plays Romain, the 25-year-old locksmith whose sentence for fraud is reduced when his probation officer finds him a job at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Paris. Chefs follows Romain’s struggles to adapt to his demanding, competitive and adrenaline-filled new profession, and ultimately shows his meteoric rise as he discovers his passion for the art of food after a decidedly tricky start.
Arnaud Malherbe and Marion Festraëts created the original which won the Audience Prize for Best Series at the 2015 Luchon Festival. This is the latest acquisition of a French series for remake following such high-profile dramas as A&E’s The Returned and the in-development Engrenages which Endemol Shine Studios previously optioned.
Keshet Studios launched in July 2015, and recently entered into a first-look scripted programming deal with NBC Entertainment, which also includes a co-production pact with NBC’s sibling studios, Universal Television.