Keshet International strikes multi-territory deals for 'prisoners of war'

May 30, 2013 Finished tape sold to Norway, Spain and Germany Format optioned in Turkey

Keshet International, the worldwide distribution and production arm of Israel’s Keshet Media Group, has struck a raft of new deals for its successful drama series Prisoners of War in Europe and Canada.

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has acquired the series, which is expected to air on June 13th with Norwegian subtitles.

In Spain, distributor LUK International has acquired broadcast, DVD and VOD distribution rights for Spanish and Portuguese territories, while Universal Pictures Germany has struck a VOD and DVD deal for the series.

In Canada, Video Services Corp (VSC) has acquired the broadcast, DVD and VOD rights for the series. Both seasons will appear on iTunes Canada and DVD and on Super Channel later in 2013.

Finally, in formats news, production company Medyapim has optioned the format and will adapt the series for the Turkish market. Medyapim is the leading format producer in Turkey and has re-versioned Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy as well as Private Practice for the local market.

The latest deals follows Pomodoro Stories acquiring remake rights for Colombia and Mexico. International networks which have picked up or aired Prisoners of War to date include Sky Arts in the UK; Franco-German network Arte for Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland; SBS Australia and Netflix Scandinavia. Russia’s Weit Media has also optioned the format while SBS Australia has signed a DVD agreement for season 2 after licensing both seasons.

Prisoners of War, is the format that Homeland is based on and follows two soldiers as they attempt to re-adjust to their lives after returning home from captivity for 17 years. In addition to their personal struggles, it becomes clear that there is a profound secret that the two are keeping from everyone. The first season was the highest rated drama of the year in Israel, achieving a 37% share, while season 2 scored a 40% average share, making it the most viewed drama in Israel in 2012.

In late 2009, Keshet and writer Gideon Raff sold the format rights for Prisoners of War to Twentieth Century Fox. Raff partnered with Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, creators and producers of hit US show 24, to write and develop the American adaptation. Homeland debuted on Showtime in 2011, breaking viewership marks for Showtime as the best drama series debut for the network in eight years and went on to win multiple Golden Globes® and Emmy Awards®.

© Keshet International