© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Israeli TV's Influence on the American Small Screen

Wiki Commons image

Most of us in the US think that we, or possibly the Brits, make the best television in the world. 

But did you know that the very popular American television shows In Treatment and Homeland are both based on Israeli shows? There are many others, and it turns out that Israel exports more TV formats to other countries, including here to the United States, than any other country in the world. And one of the people responsible for that is screenwriter, novelist, and former Israeli TV executive Ron Leshem. 

Not yet 40, the quality of Leshem’s writing, and his understanding of how television works, has made his work very desirable to Hollywood.

Leshem’s books have been translated to 20 languages, and he’s a winner of the Sapir Prize, Israel's top literary award. 

Leshem was in Milwaukee at the end of January to deliver a lecture on the success of Israeli TV. He stopped by the studio first for a chat with Bonnie North, and explained what the Israeli television industry is doing to make their exports so compelling to the rest of the world.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.