Is Keshet sturdy in other genres? Absolutely. We are well-known for our scripted catalogue, maybe because of Homeland. But we’ve co- or executiveproduced many more shows in the U.S. such as Dig, Tyrant and Allegiance (called Spy in Korea). And we can’t speak about drama without mentioning The A Word, our premium blue-chip scripted drama series for BBC1 and Sundance, which will see a second season bow this year. It now airs in more than 50 countries worldwide, including on EBS in Korea.
As we begin setting up our production arm, the biggest scripted potential for KI in Asia is arguably to adapt our short-run series of 6-13 episodes for broadcasters such as those in Korea or pan-regional pay-TV channels, whose viewers are accustomed to the shorter format. We are also eyeing China, where we have already sold five scripted series. The Chinese are very open to adapting “super IP” series, including comedy shows. They work so hard in pre-production to adapt the humour to local audiences; their work ethic and their passion is incredible.
Our goal is to establish long-running series which we produce for several seasons. We have established great relations with RCTI in Indonesia; we launched the second season of Rising Star in December 2016 there. They’ve also licensed another KI variety show Who’s on Top?, which will be in production in 2017. Rising Star launched in India on COLORS which is going to be massive. It will be live on satellite TV and will enable live voting through a fully integrated. The scale of the production is like no other. We are also going to launch Rising Star in Cambodia, and it’s a matter of time before we roll it out across the rest of SE Asia. It’s exciting to have so many launches in 2017 as well as continuing series such as Master Class in China, recently renewed, and BOOM! in Cambodia.
In terms of distribution, Asia was our number one region by revenue in 2016. We’re planning to invest in two production centres this year, which is our focus and our big push in terms of investment and staffing up. Finding the right leadership who have the Keshet spirit and can also visualise and execute Asian adaptations of our shows is an exciting challenge. With the right team and the most compelling stories to tell, we are confident that we will win commissions and start producing this year.