Dutch public broadcaster EO has commissioned a local adaptation of Keshet Intl.’s “The A Word” from Fiction Valley.
The series is based on Keren Margalit’s hit family drama “Yellow Peppers,” produced by July-August Prods. for Keshet Broadcasting. Like the original, Fiction Valley’s six-part adaptation traces a family’s painful and often humorous journey of denial and introspection after their young son is diagnosed with autism.
The latest version of the format follows Fifty Fathoms and Keshet Prods.’ adaptation for BBC One, which has run three seasons and sold in more than 80 territories worldwide.
Known locally as “Het A Woord” and written by Karin van der Meer and Myranda Jongeling, the six-part series will be directed by Anna van der Heide and Remy van Heugten, with Fiction Valley’s Annemieke van Vliet serving as executive producer.
The show stars Lies Visschedijk (“Soof”) as Sam’s mother Mariel, Guy Clemens (“De Zaak Menten”) as Sam’s father Teun and Bart van den Berg as Sam. Supporting cast members include Peter Blok (“Penoza”), Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing (“Love Is”) and Maria Kraakman (“Instinct”).
“Het A Woord” was ordered by EO’s Jacomien Nijhof and Arnoud Brunier and is expected to premiere in the Netherlands on NPO1 later this year.
“’Het A Woord’ touches on important themes – showing a family’s struggle in raising a special needs child – and does so entertainingly and with a lot of love,” said EO’s Arnoud Bruinier. “Fiction Valley has brought a strong team to the project, and we are grateful for the trust that Keren Margalit has given us in bringing this universal story to our local audiences.”
Fiction Valley’s Annemieke van Vliet added: “It has been a joy developing and producing Keren Margalit’s fantastic drama for EO with our talented team of writers, cast and crew. As with previous adaptations, so many of them have brought their own personal experiences of autism to ‘Het A Woord’ to help us create an authentic, heart-warming and genuinely moving family drama that is sure to connect with Dutch audiences.”
Keren Shahar, Keshet Intl.’s COO and president of distribution, described ‘The A Word’ as one of the company’s “most enduring shows,” adding that it had already engaged millions of viewers around the globe. “Fiction Valley’s re-imagining is a faithful homage to Keren Margalit’s original.”
Distributed internationally by Keshet Intl., the “The A Word” format has also been licensed and adapted in Greece (Alpha TV) and Mexico (Televisa). In the U.K., Peter Bowker’s third season is soon to premiere on BBC One. Keshet Intl.’s U.S.-based production arm, Keshet Studios, is developing an adaptation for U.S. auds.
Keshet Intl. has also sold the English-language finished tape into more than 80 territories to date, including the U.S., where it’s available on SundanceTV, Amazon and iTunes, Australia and New Zealand (BBC Australia), Sweden (SVT) and Brazil (Globosat).