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MGM captures Israeli spy stories

The television arm of US studio MGM has acquired the rights to adapt a bestselling author’s collection of novels about an Israeli spy into a TV series.

MGM Television said it will develop Daniel Silva’s novels based around the secret agent Gabriel Allon into a major television series, after winning what it called “a highly competitive” bidding war for the rights.

Silva and his wife Jamie Gangel will serve as executive producers on the show. Michael Gendler of law firm Gendler & Kelly negotiated the deal on behalf of the pair.

Steve Stark, MGM’s president of television production and development, and Lindsay Sloane, MGM’s executive VP of television production and development, will oversee production on behalf of the James Bond studio.

Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s motion picture group, secured the rights to the books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages and are published around the world by Penguin Random House and, most recently, HarperCollins. The latest, House of Spies, will be published on July 11.

“The rights to Daniel Silva’s series of riveting and beloved novels have been sought after for years and to entrust us with his work is a huge honour,” said Glickman.

MGM Television is behind series such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo and Shark Tank. It is led by Mark Burnett, MGM’s president, television group and digital. Its other upcoming series include Condor (for AT&T’s Audience Network), Get Shorty (Epix), Beat Shazam (Fox) and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC).

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