Israel's Keshet International Sets Up U.K. Outpost


The distribution arm of Keshet Media Group and distributor of original format "Homeland" expands its global footprint.

LONDON – Keshet International, the global distribution arm of Israel's Keshet Media Group,has opened a U.K. office aiming to expand its global footprint.

Keshet International managing director Alon Shtruzman has made his first U.K. hires as the distributor for the outpost bringing in former BSkyB and La Plante Productions executive Sara Johnson as executive producer and head of co-productions, scripted.

Johnson is charged with rolling out Keshet’s drama in the U.K., building partnerships, co-productions and development as well as developing relations with local broadcasters and the indie sector.

Keshet has also hired former Shed Media exec and Channel 4 drama editor for the channel's teen soap opera Hollyoaks Lee Mason as development producer.

Mason will continue his duties at the British broadcaster whilst also working alongside Johnson to help boost U.K. scripted commissions.

Israel, with Keshet leading the charge, is the number one seller of scripted formats to the USA last year.

Stand out adaptations include Showtime’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning spy drama Homeland, based on Keshet’s Hatufim (Prisoners of War).

Other recent U.S. format sales include MICE, a US spy drama that will be based on the drama series Gordin Cell, distributed by Keshet International to NBC, written and directed by acclaimed writer, producer and director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights); Tribe to be adapted by ABC and based on scripted comedy Your Family or Mine with Greg Malins (Will & Grace, Friends, How I Met Your Mother) to write the pilot and Mothers Day, a scripted comedy which was sold to CBS Network with Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky as writers (Sex and the City).

Shtruzman said: "In light of the growing success of our formats worldwide, it's only natural for Keshet to take a bigger position on its own shows. We are now building teams in London and Los Angeles in order to drive our productions in the U.K. and the U.S., independently or with partners."