It marks the third term for the deal between the NBCU studio and the LA-based production arm of the Israeli media giant.
As part of the deal, the two companies are developing a TV adaptation of sci-fi comedy feature Save Yourselves! The film, which premiered at Sundance last year, comes from writer-directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson.
It follows Jack, played by Search Party’s John Reynolds, and Su, played by Glow’s Sunita Mani, a hip Brooklyn couple who like many of their friends find themselves dependent on technology and unable to put down their phones. Fearing their mindless scrolling may impact their connection with each other, they seize the chance to head to an isolated cabin in the woods, vowing to unplug from the outside world for a week. Sheltered from texts and push notifications, they are blissfully unaware when aliens attack the Earth. As strange events unfold, the couple must figure out a way back to civilization — or what’s left of it. Ben Sinclair also stars.
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The extension of the deal, which was first signed in 2014, comes as the pair are in development with two projects at NBC.
Arika Mittman (Paradise Lost) is writing an adaptation of The A Word, known in Israel as Yellow Peppers, a character drama that explores a family’s emotional journey of raising their young son with autism.
Deirdre Shaw (Bluff City Law) is writing Ties That Bind, which is based on Elizabeth Coleman’s Secret Bridesmaids’ Business stage play and book that was adapted into an Australian miniseries of the same name. The project is an elevated soapy thriller in which three women make a promise to one another that leads them to embark on dangerous secrets that threaten to implode their lives. Facing dire consequences, they must rely on the power of their friendship to survive.
Universal Television and Keshet Studios are also currently producing David Applebaum’s La Brea for NBC, a high-concept drama about a family torn apart when a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens in L.A. The show, which was originally a 2020 pilot, recently received a series order from the network with Natalie Zea, Zyra Gorecki and Chiké Okonkwo starring.
Keshet is also the company behind NBC’s Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector and CBS’ Wisdom of the Crowd. On the international front, its latest Israeli drama Line In The Sand (left), is performing well locally and is expected to be the next hot foreign drama on the market.
Deadline understands that the company is in talks with global streamers to pick up the crime drama, which was co-created by Fauda’s Rotem Shamir and Yuval Yefet and is set on Israel’s golden coast. A sale would mark the latest multi-million dollar deal for an Israel series following the likes of spy thriller Tehran being picked up by Apple TV+ and renewed for a second season.
Universal Television President Erin Underhill said, “We’ve had an incredibly fruitful relationship with Keshet Studios since 2014 and are excited to continue our collaboration. They have a keen eye for distinct and commercial material and terrific talent relationships, and we look forward to creating emotionally resonant and successful projects together in the years ahead.”
Peter Traugott, President of Keshet Studios, added, “We are thrilled to be extending our formal programming partnership for a third time with UTV. Pearlena, Erin and the entire Universal team have been the perfect creative and collaborative partner right from the get- go. Together we have brought some fantastic adaptations of Israeli shows, shows from all over the world and original ideas to screen. It’s exciting to be busy working on a slate of projects for a variety of networks and streamers, including The A Word, Ties That Bind and La Brea for NBC.”
Alon Struzman, CEO of Keshet International, said, “This production pact renewal is a fantastic way for us to follow a year where our scripted teams around the globe have made significant headway despite a very challenging climate. Congratulations to the teams at Keshet Studios and Universal Television for the great partnership and thriving creativity.”
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