TV Series ‘Dig’ First to be Filmed Entirely in Israel
by Joshua Levitt
The first U.S. television series ever to be filmed entirely in Israel will be broadcast on the USA Network at the end of next year, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Thursday.
The six-episode series is to be called ‘Dig’ and was created by Tim Kring and Gideon Raff, the creator of ‘Hatufim,’ which was adapted into the award-winning Showtime series ‘Homeland.’
‘Dig’ is a murder mystery that takes place at an archaeological dig in Jerusalem, and was based on a format created by Israel’s Keshet, which has become a source for American television networks. Last month, two other Israeli television programs were acquired to be reproduced for U.S. audiences, including another from Keshet.
The new series will be produced by Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir, along with BermanBraun, the production company behind the show. Funding for the series has been offered by many sources, including the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Tourism.
Avi Nir said, “This is an accomplishment for the entire industry. ‘Dig’ will be the first American television series filmed in Israel. This decision recognizes the capabilities of the Israeli TV industry’s people. I am extremely hopeful that this project will be a first step on our path.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, “Jerusalem’s amazing history attracts television shows and movies that tell big stories. As mayor of Jerusalem, it was clear to me that we would succeed in connecting between Hollywood’s great success and Jerusalem’s huge potential. The result will captivate and thrill hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.”
“When I visited Los Angeles, we forged a strong bond with the senior executives in Hollywood, and when I brought them to Jerusalem, the City of David, the place where it all began, I revealed the cinematic potential of this important and fascinating city to them,” Barakat said. “The film industry in Jerusalem is ten times more developed today than it was in the past, in terms of cinematic activity. It is very important to the Americans to hire local teams, in Jerusalem, for the production of the series, and in so doing, to support Jerusalem.”
Jeff Wachtel, chief content officer for USA Network’s parent company, NBC Universal, said, “The show’s creators managed to put together a smart, complicated and captivating story, which will hit the market with a big bang.”