HBO has inked a deal for the global rights to the highly anticipated Israeli TV series Valley of Tears, based on the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It is said to have the biggest budget of any Israeli series to date.
In Hebrew, the show is called “Sh’at Ha’neilah,” or “The hour of the Neilah” after the special Yom Kippur prayer by the same name that signals the end of the holiday.
HBO bought the rights to the series through the London-based company WestEnd Films, one of the show’s producers and co-financers, according to Deadline.
The series will be considered an HBO Max original when it eventually airs. While there is no word yet on that, the show will start airing in Israel on October 19 on the country’s Kan 11 broadcaster.
Inspired by true events, the 10-part series depicts the 1973 Yom Kippur War through the eyes of young combatants. It tells four emotional and highly personal stories of individuals swept away from their loved ones by the ravages of war, with four parallel plotlines intertwined together into one climactic battle, Deadline reported.
The miniseries reportedly cost $1 million per episode, according to a JTA report in August. The cost was said to be due in part because of the battle scenes.
The Valley of Tears was created and co-written by Israeli-American TV and film writer Ron Leshem (HBO’s Euphoria), Amit Cohen (False Flag), and Daniel Amsel and Yaron Zilberman (A Late Quartet.) Zilberman also directed the series.
The cast features Israeli star Lior Ashekenazi (Foxtrot) with Aviv Alush (Beauty and the Baker, The Shack), Lee Biran, Shahar Taboch, Joy Rieger (The Other Story, Virgins), and Ofer Hayoun (Euphoria), Maor Schwitzer (Shtisel), and Imri Biton.
The series was co-produced by United King Films and Endemol Shine Israel, alongside WestEnd Films.
“Valley Of Tears is a smart and thrilling series that goes way beyond the war drama genre. It will keep viewers on the edge of their seats while they become emotionally invested in the lead characters’ stories. HBO Max is truly the perfect home for the series and we can’t wait to share it with audiences worldwide,” Maya Amsellem, managing director of WestEnd Film, told Deadline.
The Yom Kippur War began on October 6, 1973, when Arab states led by Egypt and Syria, launched a surprise attack and nearly defeated Israel on the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.