Michael Lombardo Producing Israeli Teen Kidnapping Series for HBO With Keshet

HBO Michael Lombardo project

HBO has greenlit a drama from Keshet International about the tragic events involving the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, Variety has learned.

The 10-episode scripted series, based on true events, is the first project to be produced by HBO’s ex-boss Michael Lombardo, who has a production deal with the network he departed earlier this year.

The untitled series hails “The Affair” and “In Treatment” creator Hagai Levi and Noah Stollman, and will primarily be directed by Israeli filmmaker Joseph Cedar. The show will be filmed on location in Israel next summer.

“HBO has always been a home to me. I’m so thrilled to work with them again, and regroup with my good friends from Keshet,” said Levi, who’s reuniting with the network, following his work as an executive producer on “In Treatment,” which was based on Israel’s TV series “Be’Tipul” that he created.

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HBO president Casey Bloys commented: “We’re excited to work with Keshet and this extremely talented and creative group led by Hagai Levi. We look forward to sharing this important story with our subscribers.”

The series dramatizes the tragic torrent of violence that followed the disappearance and search for three Israeli teenagers during the summer of 2014, which resulted in the murders of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, who were taken at a hitchhiking stop. The show will center around an idealistic investigator for the Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI, as he deals with the ramifications of violent reactions on both sides of the escalating conflict. A new command position thrusts him into a confrontation that undermines his faith and worldview, leading to a dramatic conflict between his values and the actions of those closest to him.

Co-produced by HBO and KI’s Keshet Studios, the drama will be produced by Movie Plus and distributed internationally by KI. Levi, Stollman and Lombardo will all serve as executive producers with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Karni Ziv and Rachel Kaplan of Keshet, Peter Traugott and Joseph Cedar.

Nir of Keshet Media Group added, “We are thrilled to partner with HBO, the ultimate quality TV powerhouse, and to bring together Israel’s finest in TV and film, led by Hagai Levi, Noah Stollman and Joseph Cedar. We are all ready for the challenging journey on which this extraordinary story will take us.”

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