BBC picks up Israel’s ‘Hostages’ — in Hebrew

Israeli drama television series gets coveted Saturday night slot in programming lineup.

Ayelet Zurer and Yair Lotan take the lead roles in the Israeli television thriller 'Hostages.' (Armoza Formats)

Ayelet Zurer and Yair Lotan take the lead roles in the Israeli television thriller 'Hostages.' (Armoza Formats)

BBC4 has announced its Saturday night programming lineup will include Israeli drama, Hostages. And while many Israeli TV shows have been acquired by global television channels, this is the first time the original series will be aired abroad in Hebrew.

Hostages is a 10-part thriller about the family of a surgeon who are taken hostage in order to coerce the doctor to assassinate the prime minister on the operating table.

Hostages is a taut, spare and authentic Israeli thriller,” said the BBC’s head of programme acquisitions Sue Deeks.

The show was picked up by CBS in the US even before it aired.

The US version stars Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott. While the BBC could easily have chosen to air the English-language remake, the UK media giant instead chose to air the original – in Hebrew. The Israeli version stars Ayelet Zurer and Yair Lotan.

Production company Armoza Formats was behind the sale.

Cassian Harrison, channel editor of BBC4, said: “Foreign language dramas on a Saturday night have become more than a cult success; they actually sit at the heart of the BBC4 offer.

“You have always got to offer the audience something new and fresh, and what we have got here is a selection of things with the same high production values, and really good stories, but with a different flavor.”

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.