Keshet Unveils New Slate of Formats and Series

Kelly Wright, SVP Distribution and New Business at Keshet International, spoke to ttvnews about the new titles the company has in store for the new season, including new documentaries, fiction dramas and entertainment formats.

In March of this year, Keshet International hosted its new Spring Preview event, to showcase its latest news in terms of content distribution.

The company is ready to start the new season with a vast array of new titles, ranging from documentaries, factual content, entertainment formats and fiction series.

Kelly Wright, SVP Distribution and New Business at Keshet International, overseeing the territories of Spain, Portugal and Latin America, spoke to ttvnews about the standouts in the distributor’s catalog and her overview of the current state of the market.

Keshet has just hosted its Spring Preview event to showcase its new slate. Which titles would you like to highlight?

We want to highlight for our buyers and partners our new premium BBC One documentary called Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism, which is hosted by five-time gold medal winner Ellie Simmonds who has broken incredible records all over the world at various olympics in swimming. And she is a dwarf and she is examining a new drug that’s available on the market that could possibly mean the end of dwarfism as we know it. She’s talking to people all over the US and the UK, who are participating in this experimental treatment, which are mostly children and their parents. So it’s a very timely and interesting documentary which touches on all faces of dissability, diversity, medicine and science, and is just a fascinating watch.

I’d also like to highlight another docuseries, a six part series from Scandinavia called Surrounded by Enemies. In this series we look at extreme, right-wing movements. Our journalist, Henrik Evertsson, was embeded within these movements and investigating them for the last 4 years. He has done a ton of research and won the trust of these people in order to understand their psychology, why they hate immigrants, why they are so against any kind of foreigner moving into their country. I think this is something that is relatable in every territory in the world and an important topic of discussion, because this kind of hatered and radicalization tests everything from the freedom of speech to the safety of the internet.

And lastly I’d like to highlight Question Team, which is a brand new format that we have from UK TV’s Channel Dave, produced by Interstellar Productions. It’s coming back for a second season and we’re really excited about this show because it lets celebrities and comedians pick their own questions to ask other fellow celebrities and comedians in their own bespoke rounds. So for example one comedian could choose questions all about fishing, or about whatever topic they want, cooking, the bible, and to create something really fun and goofy and unexpected. Every episode is completely different because no round is the same, no celebrity is the same. It’s something that could work really well in Latin American culture where celebrities and athletes are such a big part of our culture and our television experience.

What shows have been doing really well for Keshet recently?

Pørni is one of the shows that have really been selling well for us. HBO in Latin America has acquired the series. There are three seasons, so far two produced, the third is coming soon, so we sold it to 45 territories around the world.

In addition, Line in the Sand, which is an Israeli television program, a drama, coming back now for its second season. It sold to Globoplay in Brazil, but it’s available in the rest of Latin America. It’s a very old-school look at crime drama. What happens when a police man is torn between the love for his town and his family, and the injustice that he sees perpetrated there, and his loyalty to the law.

Are there any returning formats you think buyers should have a look at and why?

We think buyers should have a look at The Search. The Search is a game show that airs on Channel 4 in Uruguay and they also set up a hub there. The entire studio is digitalized, from the floor to the background walls. It’s so much fun. It’s based on the word-search game, Sopa de Letras, and it combines elements of physical gameplay with Q&A, couples competing together. And really just having those trivia questions asked and knowing the answers are right under your feet, on that digital floor, in a word soup, you just have to find it, it’s the madness that it brings to the people and the players on that screen searching for those words. It’s a lot of fun to watch.

And secondly we’d like to talk about 12 Steps to Love. This is a romantic format that follows a celebrity, it could be a man or a woman, in Israel it was a woman, who is looking for love and has a ticking clock, because she wants to get married and have a baby, and she has not been able to do that on her own. Her career’s been her focus. A lot of us can relate to that. So what we do is use a method called 12 steps to love, which is an actual method with scientific background to it, to cast 12 people who she will go on a date with, and will then analyze every single date, her behaviour, their behaviour, with a certified therapist, and he will help guide her through some of her issues so she can find long-term love. The show absolutely works, because our Israeli participants, Anna, found love. She fell in love and within six months after the show they were married and pregnant. In addition to the Dutch version, we will have two additional versions in Europe premiering later this year.

What changes or content trends have you noticed recently?

So we’re noticing a huge explosion of growth in AVOD and Fast channels. Whether it’s partnerships with Tubi, Pluto or Roku, and all these types of platforms, we’re seeing a ton of activity. It seems to grow from quarter to quarter and it’s very exciting. The partnerships are great, they flow, and we se a real gap being filled by these channels, especially when it comes to factual entertainment and docureality shows, which many traditional buyers are bypassing because they’re either receiving this content from their home channels in the US or wherever they might be, or produce locally for pay TV channels or free to air. But there’s so much great content that’s available from everywhere else around the world that traditionally hasn’t been picked up by traditional buyers, and that’s finding its home on Fast channels. We’re super excited about the opportunities that these platforms have afforded us and will continue to afford us as we grow our partnerships.