‘Bibi’ docudrama on Netanyahu coming to American television

American television series will be based on the Ben Caspit book ‘The Netanyahu Years.’ No word yet who will get the starring role.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A new television mini-series about the life and times of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the works, the news website WorldScreen.com reported over the weekend.

The screenplay will be written by American writer and producer Kirk Ellis, who is best known for the HBO biography about America’s second president John Adams on the HBO network and a two-episode special on Anne Frank.

It’s too early to know yet who will get the starring role or be in the supporting cast. The series is being produced by the Tel Aviv-based company Abot Hameiri, which belongs to the Fremantle Company – a worldwide entertainment conglomerate. Fremantle’s U.S. production is based in Burbank, California, and the company is known for producing and distributing scripted and alternative programs for broadcast and cable networks, calling itself “one of the biggest creators and producers of television programming in the world.”

The television series will be based on the bestseller “The Netanyahu Years” by Israeli journalist Ben Caspit. The collection of anecdotes from Netanyahu’s life contains the good and the bad, with Caspit painting a picture of a man who has had a lot of political impact and is a strong leader.

“Kirk Ellis’ track record speaks for itself, so we’re delighted that he is joining this unique project,” Guy Hameiri, co-founder of Abot Hameiri, told WorldScreen.com. “The series is the biggest IP we can deliver out of Israel today to the world, and with Kirk’s esteemed catalog of work, particularly in exploring the lives of high-profile figures, it makes him a perfect addition to this series looking at one of the most influential figures in modern geopolitics.”

“This is an epic political story with a very big philosophical and psychological undertone,” Hameiri said. “At the same time, it will be a scandalous family melodrama that explores how the personal can become political, and vice versa.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most complex figures in modern history. His is a life lived on a Shakespearean scale,” Ellis said. “Ben Caspit’s insightful reporting demonstrates how private life always shapes public affairs, and there’s no shortage of conflict—or opinions—when it comes to Benjamin Netanyahu.”

“Bibi” will be the first TV series about Netanyahu’s life, Variety reported. Although he was born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Netanyahu’s father got a teaching position at an American college and he went to high school near Philadelphia before returning to Israel in 1967 to enlist in the IDF, becoming an officer in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit that his older brother Yoni also served in.

Netanyahu went back to America to study at MIT, eventually joining Israel’s foreign diplomatic corps and launching his career as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N.