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Drama Team, ITV Studios, HOT Start Production on ‘Jerusalem’ – NATPE Roundup

Jamie Lang
·4-min read

Catching up on news from and beyond NATPE Miami, ITV Studios and HOT begin shooting on “Jerusalem,” while Disney Plus starts production on its first originals in Spain and Argentina, Newen ropes its French production companies together as Newen France, Beyond Rights sells 250 hours of content in Spain and Portugal and Onza Distribution gets the global rights to new Spanish game show “The Celebrity Challenge.”

PRODUCTION

Drama Team, in association with ITV Studios and HOT, have kicked off shooting on their new thriller series “Jerusalem,” created by “Blank Bullet’s” David Ackerman.

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Inspired by Ackerman’s previous career in national security and the multicultural nature of the city, “Jerusalem” unspools in the lead up to the Jewish fast of Tisha Be’av and the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha. It turns on Superintendent Amir, a well educated and culturally literate lawman who too often puts his work ahead of his own family, especially as he and his officers’ race to prevent a devastating event which threatens the Old City.

Ilan Abudi (“Stockholm”) directs with Chaim Sharir (“Hostages”) and Mosh Danon (“What Happened in Oslo”) producing. The series’ all-star cast is headlined by Doron Ben David (“Fauda”) and Rotem Sela (“The Chef”).

*****

Disney Plus has kicked off production on its first original series in Argentina and Spain. In Spain, Disney’s Star is teaming with Mediaset España on the COVID-confinement romantic comedy miniseries “Besos al aire,” starring Paco León and Leonor Watling. It will be the first series launched exclusively on Star when it premieres in March and is produced by Aitor Gabilondo, showrunner on HBO Europe hit “Patria,” and written by Darío Madrona and directed by Iñaki Mercero.

YA series “Entrelazados” is currently filming in Argentina and Disney Plus Latin America’s first original series in the country. Produced by Pampa Films, the series turns on a young girl who wants to be famous in the worlds of music and comedy, like her grandma before her.

PRODUCTION

Newen, the Paris-based international production and distribution company owned by French TV network TF1 Group, is bringing together its French production banners under a new umbrella, Newen France.

Newen France will regroup Telfrance (“Plus belle la vie”), Capa (“Versailles”) and 17 Juin, all owned by Newen.

The management team of Newen France will be headed by Vincent Meslet, producer of the hit daily soaps “Demain nous appartient” and “Ici tout commence.” Appointed CEO of Newen France, Meslet will work closely with Guillaume Thouret, who will act as managing director. Thouret was previously managing director of Capa Group and deputy managing director of Newen in charge of non-scripted programs.

Meslet will also collaborate with Benoît Thevenet, who currently runs 17 Juin and will also now be heading Capa Presse.

Philippe Levasseur, the current managing director of Capa Presse, has been tapped head of international for Newen France. These executives will all report to Romain Bessi, Newen’s managing director.

Newen has a footprint in seven countries and boasts a library of more than 5,500 hours of TV programming and 1,000 films spanning different genres. – Elsa Keslassy

SALES

Beyond Rights has licensed 250 hours of content in Iberia in a major volume deal with AMC Networks in Spain and SIC in Portugal.

AMC Networks picked up nearly 100 hours of unscripted programming for its Odisea network including the likes of Arrow Media’s “World’s Most Extreme,” Greenstone TV’s “Puppy School” and six seasons Cordell Jigsaw Productions’ Australian lifeguard series “Bondi Rescue.”

SIC scored 152 hours of unscripted including Beyond’s “Pooch Perfect,” Gobstopper TV’s “Filthy House SOS,” and several seasons of Big Coat Producitons’ “Love It Or List It,” plus 34 extra hours of content from the franchise.

*****

Onza Distribution is selling “The Celebrity Challenge” after the company secured a deal with producers 7 y Acción for the international sales rights to the popular Spanish gameshow, a spinoff of the one of the country’s most successful nightly programs “El Hormiguero.”

Each week, eight celebs face physical and mental challenges in an elimination competition which sees the eventual winner earn money for the charity of their choice. Having debuted earlier this month on major Spanish TV cahnnel Antena 3, the show jumped into the lead for its timeslot, pulling a 22.4% audience share of nearly 3.4 million viewers.

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