Published originally in Diário de Notícias in April 27, 2014: “O exemplo de Israel” by Nuno Santos
Translated from Portuguese to English by Romeu Monteiro
The example from Israel
While SIC and TVI are getting ready to premier israeli formats – in the case of TVI that will be very soon with Rising Star – one should look at the strong television industry of this small country of around seven million people, even though its worldwide influence crosses borders, as it is easy to understand. After all, why are formats created in Israel so interesting for the Market?
This question posed recently to executives of the israeli television started by having a surprising answer. They explained that in the country the area where work is done with more investment and innovation is information – “almost everyday we have new challenges hahead. There is no boredom here”. It is this press dynamic that has been in the cause of the development of other genres, according to some observers. Before big entertainment, as it is the case of Rising Start, a program where technology and real time interaction are trully innovative elements, Israel developed excellent projects in the area of fiction, some of which have reached Portugal.
The producer Dori Media, of argentine and israeli origin, created some of the most popular soap operas and series of the last years, and TVI, specifically, bought and adapted some of those formats. The most famous example might be the series “Ele é Ela”, with Marco d’Almeida e Benedita Pereira, an adaptation of the soap opera “La Lola”. Another series that was a great success, this time in the american TV, was “In Treatment”, with Gabriel Byrne, exibithed in HBO, which SIC at a time held the production rights for Portugal.
In a little country with a proportional publicity market, Israel is also used to producing at very reasonable prices and that is appealing when you want to sell to larger countries. Rising Start, for instance, was comissioned for places where there is no lack of funds to produce television such as Brazil, where Globo is already airing the program. In Portugal Rising Startmeans a step forward. Is it a risk? Of course it is, but television builds itself with disruptive events.