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Sundance Channel, eOne develop Israeli scripted show

Sundance Channel and Entertainment One are co-developing an Israeli scripted format that explores what happens to a family when one parent suddenly becomes religious.

Reaching for Heaven will be based on a Keshet drama that ran for two seasons and totalled 14 episodes, and comes from Assaf Amir’s Norma Productions. The US version will be set in Las Vegas and explore religion in Sin City.

eOne has rights to the format through its recently scored US and UK rights deal with Israeli TV business A-Cappella Media Content Hub.

Nena Rodrigue, senior VP, programming and production, Sundance Channel, said: “Sundance Channel has always been drawn to original stories that explore the emotional truth and intimate nature of relationships. Reaching for Heaven does that and introduces the provocative topic of religion within a family dynamic in a way we have never seen before.”

The deal both confirms Israel’s place as a key emerging supplier of scripted shows to global networks and the relationship between Sundance Channel parent AMC Networks and Canada-based eOne. Earlier this year, eOne secured a multi-year deal to distribute all of AMC’s scripted programming from Sundance and the AMC network going forward, and will therefore sell Reaching for Heaven internationally.

“Exploring the challenges of ideology within the microcosm of one family, makes this series relatable, timely and universal. Our team’s ability to discover and attract premium formats that can cross many borders speaks to our aptitude and understanding of the international marketplace and what works where,” said eOne Television’s executive VP, global productions Carrie Stein.

“As the US market recognises the advantages of investing in content that has been tried and tested, it’s really becoming an exciting time for formats.”