Comedy Based On Israeli Format From Peter Tolan And Sony TV Gets Pilot Order At ABC

EXCLUSIVE: Comedy’s hot summer continues with another very big commitment for a half-hour project. In a competitive situation with multiple networks bidding, Sony TV/Peter Tolan‘s pitch Irreversible, based on the Israeli series Bilti Hafich, landed at ABC. The network has greenlighted a pilot with a big, seven-figure penalty behind it off of a pitch — a rare feat for any pitch and a first for an Israeli format. In another first for a format originating from the Middle Eastern country, Irreversible will be written solely by the Israeli co-creator of the original series Segahl Avin, who also will direct the U.S. pilot. Avin is executive producing with Fedora’s Tolan and Michael Wimer and Reshet TV, the Israeli broadcaster behind the original series. Irreversible centers on Andy and Sarah, a somewhat eccentric, self-absorbed couple, and their trials and tribulations — most of which they bring upon themselves. Bilti Hafich became an instant hit when it launched in January. It ranks as the No.1 original comedy on Israeli broadcast TV and has already been renewed for a second season. Irreversible reunites ABC, Sony TV and Reshet. Last development season, they teamed to adapt another 2013 Reshet comedy format, Divorce, which went to pilot and remains in contention at ABC after the cast’s options were extended.

Israeli formats continue to be red-hot following the success of Showtime’s Homeland, with multiple pilots and another series, CBS drama Hostages, heading to primetime this fall. Sony TV has two of the biggest commitments for a comedy project so far this season with Irreversible and Marry Me, from David Caspe, which landed a pilot production commitment with a full license fee and series penalty at NBC. Sony TV-based Tolan is executive producing and running Fox’s new drama Rake and co-created and executive produces CBS’ Jim Gaffigan pilot, which is being redeveloped.  Avin, Tolan, Wimer, and Reshet TV are repped by CAA.

Comments (10)

  • First of all, congrats Peter Tolan! Can’t wait to see this!

    Second of all, which cast members on Divorce got their options extended? While it was a great cast all around, I really want to see Adam Goldberg on TV again. I have a feeling ABC’s going to give a late order to some comedy, because Super Fun Night looks like this years biggest flop. Bigger than Dads.

    Comment by Zachary — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 8:31am PDT  
  • Israelis are hilarious and have been churning out top flight comedy since 1948. We need more content from Israel.

    Comment by Chuckles Washington — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 8:36am PDT  
  • One more thing, I predict Kyle Bornheimer will be cast in this. He turned down multiple pilot offers in 2013, probably tired of shows being cancelled after one season and didn’t see a script that looked like it would get renewed. He has worked with Tolan, and is an expert at playing guys who inadvertently make an ass of themselves. Plus, half of the shows he has been on were imports (albeit British ones).

    Comment by Zachary — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 8:37am PDT  
  • No one’s investing this much in a show to put Kyle Bornheimer ini t.

    Comment by Writer — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 9:21am PDT  
    • You would think that, but if I’m not mistaking didn’t Living on a Prayer have a giant-ass commitment attached. Not that it went anywhere, which is funny considering Joe Manganiello is now the hottest thing since sliced bread. If I am wrong about that, I will retract my argument. Still, he has worked with Tolan, who is known to like to work with people multiple times. And he also is able to improvise, something that Tolan used heavily on Larry Sanders and, to a lesser extent, The Job. And he has both Breaking Bad and Arrested Development on his resume. Only one other actor can say that, and that is Bob Odenkirk.

      Also, for what it’s worth, I have a decent track record with predictions. I predicted Christopher Meloni would sign on to what is now Surviving Jack. I also predicted that USA would take a look at Happy Endings, something that oddly enough came to me in a dream. Weird.

      Comment by Zachary — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:08am PDT  
    • The more I think about this, the more I think you are right. I am changing my prediction for the lead to Zachary Levi. He also has worked with Tolan, and can play a smug bastard really well.

      Comment by Zachary — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 1:20pm PDT  
  • Really. Do we really need to import comedy from overseas? What’s next hamburgers?

    Comment by Mark — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 9:55am PDT  
  • Since this transplant is not set in Israel, I assume it will not deal
    with the second-class status of non-Jewish citizens in Israel if indeed the original did so.

    Comment by Glen Risdon — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:03am PDT  
  • Conrats SPT! Peter Tolan is not only a great writer and talent but he is also a great guy to work with so this will be a lot of fun behind and in front of the camera!

    Comment by gvnib — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 11:09am PDT  
  • JUst finished watching the Israeli drama Prisoners of War on Hulu and it was great. I just hope and pray theyd made a third season but I see no word of that …It was too Soprano-ish in the ending , leaving a lot of loose ends and questions. I need at least a couple more episodes or panel show with the writers to let us know what it all meant. Im feeling like I had a dream
    LINKTV also airs a popular sitcom translated to Arab Labor about a Palestinian family that moves into an Israeli suburban condo building. Its very funny and well written and could also be adapted. I doubt any network would make it a Muslim family but they could make it a Hispanic or other minority …Could even throw in some Normal Lear type comedy. Guys should check it out on Link TV website or Directv on Sunday nights. Its good

    Comment by avi — Friday August 23, 2013 @ 11:57pm PDT  
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