Israeli TV Show Grabs Golden Globe Attention

January 15, 2013 12:01 am 0 comments

Cast and crew shooting Homeland in Israel. Photo: Screenshot.

For the second consecutive year,  the American TV drama “Homeland” has won the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Series. Based on Israel’s Keshet TV series, Hatufim or Prisoners of War, created by Israeli television director and screenwriter Gideon Raff, Homeland has received universal acclaim and high ratings. The show is internationally broadcast across Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom, where it is particularly popular.

Bestowed by 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Golden Globe Award recognizes excellence in television and film, since the awards ceremony was first instituted in 1944.

During the 70th Golden Globes ceremony held this past Sunday night, Howard Gordon, the co-creator of Homeland, who had previously developed shows like X-Files and 24, thanked his agent, Rick Rosen for bringing Gideon Raff and Israel’s CEO of Keshet Broadcasting, Avi Nir to his attention. In his acceptance speech, Gordon acknowledged the Israeli producers, stating that the American version was created thanks to “the Israeli-inspired version of this show.”

Raff and Nir, who are the executive producers of “Homeland” were also on stage during the award ceremony. The Israelity blog reported that Nir pointed out that because of Homeland, Hollywood had opened its doors to other Israeli productions.

“Thank you to [Gideon] Raff and the Keshet crew for paving the way and allowing an entry visa to Hollywood to other Israeli creators,” said Nir.  Two other Israeli shows have been introduced to the US television market including the psychiatric drama, “In Treatment” or “Betipul” in Israel and “Traffic Light” known as “Ramzor.” But “Hatufim”, which was the highest rated drama in Israel, has been the most successful Israeli show in the form of “Homeland” in the United States.

Even US President Barack Obama has described Homeland as one of his favorite TV shows.

The Israeli-inspired “Homeland” deals with the impact of post-September 11 terrorism on the United States and centers on a CIA operative played by Claire Danes and a recently returned American POW, played by British actor, Damian Lewis. Both Lewis and Danes received Golden Globes awards for their acting, with Lewis winning the award for Best Actor in a TV Drama and Danes wining Best Actress in a TV Drama.

In addition to Gordon, Alex Gansa is the other co-creator of Homeland. He told the New York Times back in September, that parts of “Homeland” were filmed in Israel in May 2012 “using the same crew that had done the Israeli version.”

While much of “Homeland” is shot in Charlotte, North Carolina, Gansa said that Israel was chosen for some scene locations during both seasons because “there was a chaos and energy and feeling that anything could happen at any moment, which you are not going to get shooting in Charlotte.”

America’s Showtime network has confirmed that “Homeland” which is produced by Fox 21, has been renewed for a 12-episode third season, with production to take place in the spring.

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