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AOL to Adapt Israeli Reality TV Show ‘Connected’ as Its First Long-Form Series

AOL has commissioned its first TV-length video series, “Connected,” an adaptation of an Israeli reality show that will be set in New York City.

In “Connected,” five cast members record their lives using personal handheld cameras. Show was originally created and launched in Israel in 2009 and season 5 currently airs in the country (pictured above). “Connected” has been picked up in 11 markets: France, Ireland, Holland, India, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania and the Netherlands.

AOL expects to premiere the half-hour U.S. version of “Connected” in January 2015 on the AOL On Network, available on multiple devices and syndication partners. Casting for the show is under way. Company will highlight “Connected” at its Digital Content NewFronts for advertisers on April 29 in Brooklyn as one of the original series in its 2014 slate.

Deal marks AOL’s first foray into long-form programming, as well as its first acquisition of a TV format. The series was originally created by Koda Communications; AOL is acquiring rights to adapt the show from Israeli content distributor Armoza Formats.

“As we expand our original content offerings, and dive into new international markets, it makes sense for us to carry over unique production styles to the United States,” said Tal Simantov, AOL’s VP of global video strategy. “‘Connected’ has seen major success across the globe, and we are confident that the universal themes and focus on real life will speak just as loudly to American audiences as they have abroad.”

In AOL’s “Connected,” five New Yorkers will document their lives over the course of six months, “revealing the individual and deeply personal connections that create the larger story of who we are as a society,” according to show’s logline.

AOL’s 2013 original series included: “#CandidlyNicole” with Nicole Richie riffing on her Twitter posts, which VH1 has picked up with a series order ; “City.Ballet.” from exec producer Sarah Jessica Parker, a docudrama about New York City Ballet; “Second Chances,” featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson talking to women who have overcome hardships; and Hank Azaria in “Fatherhood,” a show about the challenges of being a first-time father.

“Connected” continues in AOL’s strategy of developing unscripted originals, said Gabriel Lewis, head of AOL Studios and AOL Originals. With the new show, “we are capturing and elevating the authentic voices that have already resonated so deeply with our viewers,” he said.

Watch AOL’s sizzle reel for “Connected,” featuring clips from international versions:

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