Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Nickelodeon Israel Orders Teen Series 'Thalath' from The Co-Production Company and Ananey Studios

The Co-Production Company and Israel-based Ananey Studios have teamed up to co-produce the live-action teen series Thalath.

The 40 x 30-minute Arabic and Hebrew-language series has been commissioned to air on Nickelodeon Israel, exclusively for the Hot cable network. The U.S.-based The Co-Production Company, founded by former DreamWorks Senior Vice President (SVP) Doug Schwalbe, will seek to secure financing and global distribution for all territories outside of Israel as well.

Schwalbe will serve as the executive producer of Thalath, which focuses on three sixteen-year-old best friends named Ella, Aisha and Malika, who grew up together in a mixed neighborhood in Jaffa, where Jews, Arabs and refugees from Africa live side by side. Though they each come from a different culture, their friendship is stronger than any language or religion. The three girls start a multilingual band called Thalath (which means ‘three’ in Arabic), whose original music will be a feature of the series. The series, which is being made for a global audience, is slated to premiere on Nickelodeon in Israel during Fall 2022.

Orly Atlas-Katz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ananey Studios and Executive Vice President (EVP) of ViacomCBS Israel; Osnat Saraga, senior VP of development and productions; and Jerry Diaz, a former Corus and WildBrain sales executive, will join Schwalbe as executive producers. Diaz has also joined The Co-Production Company team as partner of distribution for this project and will lead the effort to secure program sales outside of Israel.

Creators Michal Cooper Keren and Lior Yaron have previously collaborated on successful teen shows in Israel such as Spyders for Nickelodeon International, Spell Keepers (original title: Kadabra, which won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Teen Show of 2017), which was sold to HBO Europe and other European broadcasters, North Star (adapted into the American show The Lodge) and Summer Days (aired in dubbed versions on dozens of Disney channels in Western Europe and South America). Cooper Keren will also serve as the showrunner.

Thalath is truly breakthrough television in so many ways,” said Schwalbe. “The concept could not be more timely—or courageous—given the ongoing conflict in Israel and the global refugee crisis. On top of that, the series is leading the worldwide trend toward programming content in its original language and is one of the first shows for teens to do so. We are also thrilled to be collaborating with the team from Ananey and series creators Lior Yaron and Michal Cooper Keren. Their proven track records put them at the forefront of the wave of new Israeli creators making an exciting impact on the world television marketplace.”

Atlas-Katz said, “We are excited to collaborate on Thalath, our newest commission from Israel’s leading cable network Hot, with the team from The Co-Production Company. Once in a while we get to work on a project that is not just entertaining but also captivating, moving and has the potential to inspire viewers to strive for better and stronger relationships. Thalath is exactly that, and we can’t wait to reveal it to viewers everywhere.”

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) acquired Ananey Communications, which includes the production arm and pay-TV channel) to grow its position in MENA in April 2020.

Schwalbe launched The Co-Production Company earlier this year as a boutique firm that specialises in the finance and distribution of high-end international productions.

The company has backing from France’s Superprod Group and deals with writer/producer Michael Poryes and Impact X Capital. Other partners include Pukeko Pictures (New Zealand), August Media (Singapore), Chatrone (Brazil), Anima Estudios (Mexico) and DreamWorks Animation Television.

Originally published: August 04, 2021.

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