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Fremantle has upped its stake in Abot Hameiri, taking full control of the Israeli production company behind Netflix hit Shtisel and Israeli-French drama The Attaché.
Fremantle, the production powerhouse behind such reality show franchises as The X Factor and Got Talent, as well as drama series including American Gods and The Young Pope, on Monday increased its stake in Abot Hameiri to 100 percent. Fremantle previously controlled a 51 percent stake in the Tel Aviv-based company run by Eitan Abot and Guy Hameiri.
Outside of Israel, Abot Hameiri is best-known for its drama series, including the romantic comedy Shtisel, which is set in Israeli’s ultra-Orthodox community, and The Attaché, a drama about an Israeli musician who relocates to Paris. Shtisel in particular has become a sleeper hit since launching globally on Netflix. The Attaché recently bowed on Starzplay across much of Europe and on AMC-controlled Acorn TV in the U.S..
But Abot Hameiri is also a major producer of non-scripted and formatted television within Israel. The group’s original formats include Power Couple, which has been adapted in 14 markets and Hear Me, Love Me, See Me, produced in 12 markets to date. Last year Abot Hameiri launched the reality dating format Find Me Somebody To Love, which premiered to hit ratings on Reshet 13 locally and has been recommissioned for a second season. Abot Hameiri is also the Israeli producer for Fremantle’s global formats including Got Talent and The X Factor.
“The potential of the IP, of the stories and of the talent which the team at Abot Hameiri bring together is huge and I have no doubt that the incredible success the company has enjoyed in Israel and internationally will continue to grow globally, thanks to the continued support and interaction with our teams in global entertainment, global scripted and distribution,” said Fremantle Chief Operating Officer Andrea Scrosati in a statement.
Among the company’s new scripted projects in development are Bibi, a high-end TV series based on the life of the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, and Prisoner X, a drama series inspired by the true story of Mossad recruit Ben Zygier.
“By marrying our flourishing multi-genre development slate with the expertise, experience, and creative global network that Fremantle has to offer, we are certain we will continue to produce premium scripted, entertainment, and factual programming for audiences worldwide,” commented Abot Hameiri co-founder Guy Hameiri.
Abot Hameiri joins a growing stable of international production companies at Fremantle, the production arm of European television giant RTL Group. Other Fremantle labels include Danish drama producers Miso, Dutch label Fiction Valley, Italian producers Wildside and The Apartment, and French label Kwai.