The Schmooze

'Homeland' Creator Says Israel Should Host More Shows

(Reuters) - The Israeli co-creator of hit spy thriller television series “Homeland” believes his native country should become a prime location for U.S. television shows about the Middle East and is working hard to make this happen.

Writer-director Gideon Raff is at the helm of Fox drama “Tyrant” and NBCUniversal archeological mystery “The Dig,” two U.S. productions under way simultaneously in Israel — a first for the country’s small but active entertainment industry.

Until a decade ago, Israel was shunned by foreign studios for fear of suicide bombings during a Palestinian uprising. But with the violence now abated and many neighboring Arab states riven by strife, Israeli facilities enjoy a new appeal.

“To concoct the Middle East in Los Angeles you have to spend a lot of money. You need to get the cars, the attire and the faces right,” Raff said in an interview at his Tel Aviv office, its walls festooned with actors’ headshots and storyboards.

“The Middle East is not just a desert, and Americans are increasingly sophisticated and expect a show set outside the United States to have been shot outside of the United States.”

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'Homeland' Creator Says Israel Should Host More Shows

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