NBC to Base New Television Series on Israeli Author's Novel

Director and producer Gideon Raff to put bestselling story by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen about an Israeli who hits an Eritrean refugee with his car and flees.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen at the Sapir Prize for Literature of Israel ceremony, after winning for her debut novel, February 17, 2013.
Ofer Vaknin

The NBC television network announced on Tuesday that it is developing a drama based on the Israeli bestseller "Waking the Lions" by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen.

According to Hollywood Reporter, director and screenwriter Gideon Raff, is in charge of the project.

The novel follows the story of Eitan Green, a doctor at a hospital in central Israel, who runs over an Eritrean pedestrian and flees the accident scene.


After the accident, the victim's wife, Sirkit, shows up at Eitan's door, holding his wallet. Instead of turning him into the authorities, Sirkit blackmails Eitan. She sets up a field hospital dedicated to treating African asylum seekers and demands that he come to a deserted warehouse every night to treat those in need of medical treatment.

The meeting between the two creates a confrontation between the first and third world, and paves the way for a series of dramatic twists and discoveries.

The 2014 novel is the second for Gundar-Goshen's second, who won a Sapir Prize for her debut novel "One Night, Markovitch." Translation rights for "Waking the Lions" have been sold in English, German and Italian.

Raff will serve as executive producer with Avi Nir, the Keshet CEO, and Alon Shtruzman, the CEO of Keshet International. The Israeli television franchisee signed last August a deal with NBC giving it first dibs on acquiring and producing Israeli screenplays. Raff will also work with producers Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan.