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David E. Kelley Scores Series Order at Peacock for Crime Drama ‘The Missing’ Based on Israeli Novel (EXCLUSIVE)

Creator, writer and executive producer David
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Peacock has given a straight-to-series order to a new crime drama that hails from David E. Kelley, Variety has learned exclusively.

The one-hour series is titled “The Missing,” based on the Dror A. Mishani novel “The Missing File.” It tells the story of NYPD Detective Avraham Avraham, whose belief in mankind is his superpower when it comes to uncovering the truth. Guided by a deep sense of spirituality and religious principles, Avraham is left to question his own humanity when a seemingly routine investigation turns upside down. Peacock has ordered eight episodes, with Keshet Studios and Universal Television co-producing.

“We are incredibly fortunate to bring this series to Peacock audiences led by iconic producer David E. Kelley, who has shepherded some of today’s most buzzworthy dramas,” said Lisa Katz, president of scripted content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’re looking forward to partnering with Keshet Studios alongside Universal Television to bring this compelling, soulful mystery to life.”

Kelley will serve as the writer, executive producer, and showrunner on “The Missing.” Matthew Tinker, Kelley’s producing partner, will also executive produce along with Keshet Studios’ Peter Traugott, Keshet International’s Alon Shrutzman, Keshet Media Group’s Avi Nir, Keshet Broadcasting’s Karni Ziv, and Mishani.

“I was riveted by Dror’s novels and the character of Avraham Avraham, and jumped at the opportunity to bring both to life,” Kelley said.

Kelley is no stranger to adapting books for television. His recent credits as a TV creator include “Big Sky” at ABC, which just launched its second season, and “Nine Perfect Strangers” at Hulu, which ran on the streamer from August-September. He has also shepherded popular shows like “Big Little Lies,” “The Undoing,” and “Big Shot” in the past few years. He is currently also working on the shows “Love and Death” at HBO Max and “The Lincoln Lawyer” at Netflix.

He is repped by CAA and Gendler & Kelly.

“Our lead character, Avraham Avraham, is one we’ve never seen on TV before; his compassion and approach creates a wishfulment aspect to the show, something we believe could not be more timely, and is what TV needs right now,” Traugott said. “And we are very lucky that he is in the hands of David E. Kelley.”

“The Missing File” was originally published in Hebrew in 2011. It was published by HarperCollins in the U.S. in 2013. The book is the first in a series of novels centered on Avraham. There are currently four novels in the series, with “Conviction” having been published in Israel earlier this year. “The Missing File” and the second book in the series “The Possibility of Violence,” were adapted into the Israeli series “Missing File” in 2019.