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KESHET INTERNATIONAL SELLS ACCLAIMED SHOW ‘PRISONERS OF WAR’ TO FRANCO-GERMAN NETWORK ARTE & SBS IN AUSTRALIA

December 12 2012
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The hit Israeli show on which Showtime’s record-breaking and Emmy® Award-winning Homeland is based continues to sell worldwide

Keshet International, the worldwide distribution arm of Israel’s Keshet Media Group, has struck two new deals for its successful drama Prisoners of War, continuing an impressive streak of international format licensing and broadcast deals for the show.

Franco-German network ARTE purchased DVD and VOD rights for both seasons of Prisoners of War, building on a previous deal with Keshet International for broadcast rights in 6 territories: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The show is slated to air in 2013 in all territories.

Australian channel SBS purchased DVD and VOD rights for the first season, having previously licensed both seasons for broadcast with English subtitles, set to air in 2013.

Prisoners of War has been broadcast on Sky Arts in the UK and was released on the US online streaming service Hulu in August 2012. The series was also sold to UK’s Arrow, and Finland’s YLE will air the series in 2013 with Finnish subtitles. WeiT Media, Endemol’s Russian operation o, optioned the format rights for the show and is currently in advanced negotiations with an undisclosed broadcaster to produce a local version of Prisoners of War.

Prisoners of War 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 (HH). Season 2 launched on Keshet Channel 2 on October 15th of this year, and so far the season has scored a 40% average share, maintaining its position as 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®.

These deals for Prisoners of War follow the recent announcement that US network FX has ordered the series pilot for Tyrant, a new drama from Gordon and Raff as well as Emmy®-nominated writer/producer Craig Wright (Six Feet Under). Gordon, Raff and Wright are executive producers on the show in association with Keshet Broadcasting.

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