'Hostages’ Wins Big in Monte Carlo TV Festival

Israeli production beats 'House of Cards,’ 'The Bridge’ and 'Downton Abbey’ to win the Best Drama Series award; Ayelet Zurer crowned Best Actress.

Itiel Zion

The critically acclaimed Israeli drama series “Hostages” scored big at the 54th Monte Carlo TV Festival, bagging two coveted Golden Nymph awards Wednesday. “Hostages” beat out stiff competition including “House of Cards,” the Danish-Swedish series “The Bridge” and “Downton Abbey” to win the Best International Drama Series award, while Ayelet Zurer was crowned Outstanding TV Series Actress. Zurer bested, among others, Robin Wright of “House of Cards.”

Rotem Shamir, one of the creators of “Hostages,” was present at the ceremony along with producer Haim Sharir and Zurer.

The format for “Hostages” was sold to the American CBS network even before the Hebrew series was broadcast in Israel. The American version, which has the same name as the original Israeli one, featured Toni Collette (formerly of “United States of Tara”) portraying Zurer’s character, but it never caught on in the U.S. market and CBS canceled the show after one season.

“The tremendous recognition of the serious, which was produced in Israel and is broadcast in many countries in its original version, is thanks to a revolution the television world is going through, and the media that allow the transfer of content without borders or cultural barriers,” said Sharir at the award ceremony.