Keshet International’s Prisoners of War is one of the world’s most successful scripted formats. Besides the original Israeli series, the US Showtime version, Homeland, is now heading into its sixth season and has been renewed through to season eight.
Keshet has also sold the format into South Korea, Colombia/Hispanic US/Mexico, and Russia, and the latest version is for 21st Century-owned Star Plus in India.
“Everyone is interested in the spy-espionage drama genre,” says Keshet International head of Asia, Gary Pudney. “We believe this is the biggest budget drama in the history of Indian television, and that’s based on the cast and director. This is all about the quality of the script, the heritage, and the success of the show for other broadcasters.”
Pudney is referring to Bollywood director Nikkhil Advani (Kal Ho Na Ho), a prominent figure in the Indian entertainment sector. Advani’s prodco, Emmay Entertainment, is producing the show, which has been commissioned for two seasons.
“It’s very similar to the Israeli original,” says Pudney. “[Original series creator] Gideon Raff was in India recently and was able to follow the plot of an episode without subtitles.
Ratings had not come in at press time, but Pudney says the show was the number one trend on Twitter in India during its Monday 10.30pm timeslot, and has garnered excellent reviews in the Indian press.
“This is a step change for Indian drama towards more western-style drama,” says Pudney. “It’s a game-changer for Star.”
The show: Prisoners of War India
The producer: Emmay Entertainment
The broadcaster: Star Plus (India)
The distributor: Keshet International
The concept: An Indian remake of Israeli spy mystery drama