Israel’s leading multi-channel platform Yes TV and its production-distribution arm Yes Studios will be launching a record 43 series and documentaries in 2022. The lineup includes several new shows in post production, notably “Fire Dance” and “Bloody Murray,” and some series in development such as “Alef.”
Yes Studios — which is behind two of Israel’s biggest scripted hits in recent history, “Fauda” and “Shtisel” — is co-developing “Aleph,” a six-part series that’s being co-created by Odelia Karmon based on her book “Confidante” about the behind-the-scenes happenings of Israel’s political leadership. Karmon worked for more than 25 years as press adviser for Israel’s top political figures, from Benjamin Netanyahu to Ariel Sharon and former president Moshe Katsav. Karmon accused Katsav of rape during his term as tourism minister, and her key testimony led to his resignation in 2007. He was convicted on two counts of rape, among other charges, and sentenced to seven years in prison. Karmon is co-creating the series with Tamar Marom and Avraham Shalom Levy for Great Productions.
“Bloody Murray” is a nine-part romantic comedy headlined by “On the Spectrum” star Naomi Levov and Rotem Sela (“The Beauty and the Baker,” “The Chef”). The series follows two 35-year-old roommates — a university lecturer and a gynecologist — as they look for love. It was created by Stav Idisis, an Israeli actor, and was directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Yogev Yefet. Meny Aviram and Ayelet Imberman at Kastina Communications are producing with Yes TV which is sharing the trailer of the series exclusively with Variety.
“Fire Dance,” meanwhile, will mark the television debut of Rama Burshtein-Shay, the critically acclaimed New York-born Israeli filmmaker of “Fill The Void.” Written and directed by Burshtein-Shay, the series is a vivid tale of impossible love set in a tight-knit ultra-Orthodox religious sect. The seven-part series tells the coming-of-age story of a troubled young woman, Faigie, who has grown up in a broken home and falls passionately in love with Nathan, the 35-year-old married son of the leader of the ultra-Orthodox community in which they both live. Nathan is also the owner of a workshop, which employs seamstresses who live with mental illness, run by Faigie’s mother, Rayzee. The show is produced by Shira Margalit and Elad Kuperman at Kuma Studios, Adar Shafran and Tammy Cohen at Firma Productions and Yes TV. It stars Yehuda Levi (“Very Important Person”), Noa Koler (“The Wedding Plan,” “Possession”) as well as newcomer Mia Ivrin.
Other shows on Yes Studios’ scripted roster include “Embassy Down” and “Children in the Woods.” “Embassy Down” is a series produced by Artza Productions with Yes Studios about the takeover of the Israeli embassy in Cairo during the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square. The series is being created by Shlomo Moshiah (“Your Honor,” “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem”). “Children in the Woods” was created by Dalit Kahan (“When Shall We Kiss”), who also stars. The series is shot in Hebrew and Spanish, follows a homeless pregnant woman who is the sole lead into a crime ring that traffics babies through the darkNet. An Israeli police officer teams up with a Spanish detective to try and solve the case. It will be the first Yes TV series to launch in 2022.
Along with “Aleph,” Yes Studios is also start production on ” Who Remembers Hava and Nava?” created by Galit Hoogi and Noa Arenberg ( “My Darling Sisters”) and produced by Tedy Productions. The series follows two ageing former soldiers in the Israeli military’s band who never quite made it as singers, and let the mundanities of life overtake their dreams and hopes of stardom.
Yes TV has also unveiled new international adaptations for the award-winning show “Your Honor” in Korea, Spain and Turkey to be produced in 2022, in addition to versions in Germany and Italy that are slated to bow in the upcoming months. “Your Honor” has already been successful adapted in France, India and the U.S. on Showtime Networks — the latter two have been renewed for second seasons.
“After the U.S. version aired and turned out to be so successful, we immediately got tons of calls from companies in Korea, Turkey and Spain which is quite unusual with a drama format,” said Danna Stern at Yes Studios. She said some broadcasters are already attached in Korea and Turkey and are at the level of ARD, Rai and TF1 which commissioned the local adaptations in Germany, Italy and France, respectively. Also in the pipeline are international adaptations of “On the Spectrum.” The U.S. version, titled “As We See It,” will launch on Amazon on Jan. 21.
Yes Studios will also roll out the fourth season of its hit show “Fauda,” on top of the second seasons of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” (produced by Dafna Prener and Shai Eines from Artza Productions), “The Chef”, “Magpie” and “Pushers” in 2022. The most viewed drama series on the platform this past year, “Pushers” was created by Guy Balila and Elad Biton, and produced by Yoav Gross Productions with Yes TV.
The Israeli powerhouse also unveiled several non-scripted projects, including a new docu-reality series following Dana International, the Israeli pop singer and Eurovision Song Contest winner.