News Column

First-ever US TV series to be filmed entirely in Israel

November 13, 2013


Nov. 13--A US drama-suspense series, from a format created by Channel 2 franchisee Keshet, will be filmed next year in Jerusalem. The series "Dig," created by Gideon Raff and Tim Kring ("Heroes," "Touch"), will be broadcast on the cable network USA, and has been described as a murder mystery that takes place at an archaeological dig in Jerusalem.

"Dig" will be the first American series to be filmed entirely in Israel. To date, only single episodes of various TV shows have been filmed at locations around Israel.

The series, brainchild of Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir, will be aired in the US at the end of 2014, and will be comprised of 6 episodes. Nir will produce the series along with BermanBraun, the production company behind the show.

The Jerusalem Municipality will take part in the funding the project, along with the Ministry of Economy, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Tourism.

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." Nir thanked the creators, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and the Ministry of Economy.

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."

According to Barkat, "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."

Chief content officer for USA parent company, NBC Universal cable networks, Jeff Wachtel said: "We have begun a new chapter in our studios' work plans and we have been looking for a project that makes a statement. The show's creators managed to put together a smart, complicated and captivating story, which will hit the market with a big bang."


(c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)

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