How do you say 'Asfur' in English? The Israeli drama series has been sold to a production company in the United States.
John Wells Productions, which is currently based at Warner Bros. studios, has bought the rights to the program and is expected to begin the American adaptation soon. This is the first time an Israeli series is sold to a production company rather than to a television channel.
The program is slated to be broadcast on one of the Warner channels, and the final goal is to sell it to additional networks worldwide.
'Asfur' creators Hanan Savyon and Guy Amir (Photo: Anat Mosberg)
Andrew Stearn, president of Television at John Wells Productions, which is responsible for programs like "The West Wing", "E.R." and "Shameless", visited Israel
recently and attended the premiere of the second season of 'Asfur'.
The series' creator, Hanan Savyon and Guy Amir, are expected to fly to the US in the coming months along with HOT drama director Mirit Tuvi, in order to meet with the American version's writers and take part in the adaptation.
"Asfur" is about four friends living in abandoned buses on a property worth millions in Jerusalem's industrial zone, who are forced to pay back a huge debt in order to continue owning the land.
The series' first season gained immense success, and its second season is currently being broadcast once a week. Apart from Savyon and Amir, who play the leading roles, 'Asfur' also stars Shalom Michaelshvili and Oz Zehavi, who are joined in the new season by Gal Gadot
and Or Grossman.
Andrew Stearn said in response, "John Wells and I are excited about the adaptation of 'Asfur' to American television and see the same promise in this show as we saw in the English version of 'Shameless'."
Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon told Ynet, "It's a great honor for us to have a production company of such magnitude lead 'Asfur' in the American market, and we hope the American version will be as successful as the Israeli one.
"We are very excited, so if this is a prank – let us know."
HOT's deputy director for regulation, Yoram Mokedi, said: "We are very proud of the series, and especially of its creators. Selling the rights to one of the American industry's leading production companies is only the first step in the series' global success."