Scandinavia and Israel are currently where it’s at in terms of television series being mined for possible U.S. adaptations. “The Bridge,” “The Killing” and the upcoming “Those Who Kill” are all Nordic remakes, while the success of “Homeland” has been driving interest in other formats from Israel that might work when shifted to America.
Sundance Channel and indie studio Entertainment One are the latest to try their hand at adapting an Israeli drama. They’ve teamed up to develop “Reaching for Heaven,” a 2000 series about what happens to a family when its patriarch becomes religious — in the original, which ran for two seasons on Keshet and was produced by Assaf Amir’s Norma Productions, by adopting orthodox Judaism.
The U.S. version is being written by Mike Seid and will be set in the very secular Las Vegas, in order to explore religion in Sin City. “Sundance Channel has always been drawn to original stories that explore the emotional truth and intimate nature of relationships,” explained the network’s Nena Rodrigue, SVP, Programming and Production. “‘Reaching for Heaven’ does that and introduces the provocative topic of religion within a family dynamic in a way we have never seen before. We are very excited to continue our relationship with eOne and collaborate with them on this distinctive project.”
eOne and Sundance Channel’s parent company AMC Networks signed an exclusive multi-year distribution agreement earlier this year, giving eOne the international distribution rights for AMC and Sundance Channel’s original series. eOne is also the studio behind AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.”