Netflix buys its first Israeli television show

'The Greenhouse'

‘The Greenhouse’ from Yes and Nickelodeon will be produced locally by original showrunner Giora Chamizer.

US media giant Netflix bought its first Israeli television show. Sources inform “Globes” that the company acquired the format for the teen show “The Greenhouse” (HaKhamama in Hebrew) created by Giora Chamizer from Nickelodeon and Yes.

The landmark sale is a significant achievement as the subsidiary of Israeli company Ananey Communications (which broadcasts Nickelodeon domestically), Nutz Productions, will produce the American version of the show while Chamizer will serve as showrunner.

While the Israeli series takes place on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the American version to be filmed in Israel will be set near the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.

The American show will retain the title “The Greenhouse” and will be released for streaming in 2017.

“The Greenhouse”, one of the leading teen brands in Israel, is broadcast to yes subscribers on the Nickelodeon channel for three seasons. In the past two years the show won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Kids’ & Youth Drama.

The deal with Netflix was led by Ananey Communications CEO Orly Atlas Katz, together with CAA’s Adam Berkowitz the company’s representative in the US. “The Greenhouse” was sold without having filmed a pilot episode.

Ananey Communications is fully owned by Udi Miron, who also serves as president. It is one of the largest content, production, and distribution companies in Israel; it owns more than 15 television channels, including The Food Channel, The Travel Channel, The Good Life Channel, and Ego.

Ananey is also the exclusive representative of global media giant Viacom it airs several of the conglomerate’s television channels, including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Nick Junior.

Netflix is a US content provider which has upended traditional television consumption. Its content is always accessible on a variety of platforms using its applications. Its garnered critical acclaim for several of its original offerings, like “Orange Is The New Black” and “House of Cards”.

Futhermore, Netflix’ claim to fame is its popularization of binge-watching by releasing full seasons of its shows for direct viewing, and completely upending traditional viewing habits.

The company recently entered the Israeli market, with a subscription rate starting at $7.99 per month. However, its interface has yet to be localized for a Hebrew-speaking audience.

In the past few years, the Israeli content scene has captured the attention of the global industry. As published in “Globes”, British company FremantleMedia recently acquired control of production company Abot Hameiri, in order to turn the latter into its content producer for the former’s many international subsidiaries.

Among the most notable sales of Israeli content in the world stand “In Treatment” from Hot the American version ran for three seasons on HBO and “Prisoners of War” from Keshet which became the Showtime hit Homeland, now in its fifth season.

According to the model for these sales, the most significant revenue from such deals only materializes when the shows are renewed for additional seasons. However, the fact an Israeli company will produce the show locally means the domestic industry will derive economics benefits.

Atlas Katz said she was proud that Netflix “chose ‘The Greenhouse’ for an original series a first for an Israeli show. We believed in ‘The Greenhouse’ from the beginning; we were overjoyed when it became a resounding success in Israel, and we believe it will succeed and become popular throughout the world in its new production. It is a source of pride for us, and we hope this is the first of many Israeli formats produced and distributed by Netflix. Congratulations are in order to Giora Chamizer, the creator and writer. We believe he will excel as a showrunner of a global production.”

In a conversation with “Globes”, the Ananey CEO said, “We need to treat these Israeli productions as a startup like any other and as an opportunity to export our capabilities in original writing and production to the rest of the world.”

She said they will soon begin determining whether the state will be able to assist in the Israeli production of the series.

Chamizer said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, to bring ‘The Greenhouse’ to an audience of dozens of millions of children worldwide. I am grateful to Orly and to the whole Nickelodeon crew for their support from day one. The association with Netflix is surreal, and we must all prove our worth. The fact the series will be produced in Israel attests to the massive leap the television industry has made, and the success of ‘The Greenhouse’ will spell success for all of us.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 29, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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