ABC network orders pilot based on Israeli book

‘My Lesser Half’ tells of two overweight friends who decide to start a diet.

Two Israeli authors are about to see their work of fiction on American television screens. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has requested a script for a pilot episode based on Guy Meroz and Daniel Lappin’s book, My Lesser Half.

The book came out in Israel last year and quickly entered the bestsellers’ list. It has not yet been translated in English, although with ABC’s interest that will likely be the next step.

My Lesser Half tells the story of two overweight friends who decide to start a diet. One of them finally succeeds.

According to YNet News, Lappin will write the screenplay for the pilot and it will be produced by the Sony Company. Adam Berkowitz, co-head of television at Creative Artists Agency, sold the book’s rights to ABC network.

“This is one of the most delightful and exciting things that have ever happened to me,” journalist/author Meroz told YNet. “If it does make progress, it will be wonderful. I have always believed in this book, but I never imagined they would think of turning it into a television series in the United States.”

American television shows are peppered with Israeli made formats and storylines. US production company New Regency bought rights to popular Israeli writer Yoram Kanuik’s 1994 bestseller, Magic on Lake Kinneret, last year with plans to turn it into a weekly half-hour satirical black comedy in the United States.

HBO bought In Treatment (BeTipul in Hebrew), which went on to win numerous industry awards; Fox picked up Traffic Light (based on the Israeli Ramzor); and of course, Showtime’s Homeland is based on Israel’s Hatufim.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.