Topic Studios and First Look Media have announced that Martin Lawrence will make his long-awaited return to television in an untitled dark comedy based on the Israeli series Nehama.
Lawrence play the lead role and produce through his production company, RunTelDat Entertainment, alongside 24 Drafts Studio and Topic Studios.
The series description is as follows:
The series tells the story of a happily married father of five (Lawrence) who quits his suffocating job in high tech to chase his original love of stand-up comedy. When his wife suddenly dies, he must decide whether he should pursue his dream and risk losing his kids – who are lost without their mother. Hilarious, intelligent, and raw, this series examines what it means to seek pleasure and find comfort in the face of tragedy and tackles the timeless challenge of “wanting to have it all” from a uniquely male perspective, with some twists along the way.
“Nehama has heart and real-life complications that drew me to the project,” said Lawrence in a statement received by Shadow and Act. “I am looking forward to getting back to TV and this is a perfect fit.”
Topic initially acquired the rights in 2020 in a competitive situation.
The original Israeli “HOT” series was created by Reshef Levi and Tomer Shani, who also directed it, with Yoav Gross producing. Levi, Shani and Gross will partner with an American writer on the adaptation.
“We’re so thrilled that the iconic Martin Lawrence will reimagine Nehama with us,” said Maria Zuckerman, President of Topic Studios. “Just as Reshef Levi hilariously embodied the original namesake character’s pathos and idiosyncrasies, we can’t wait to see where Martin’s immense talent and the creative team take the character in exploring fatherhood and what it takes to lead a fulfilling life.”
“We created the original Nehama series about our love of comedy, storytelling, and our admiration of our wives,” said Reshef Levi and Yoav Gross of 24 Drafts. “After HOT initially recognized the huge potential, we thought nothing bigger could happen. But now when a great master like Martin Lawrence wants to work with us on a new US version with Topic Studios – we feel blessed to have this dream come true. We’re sure that this new multi-cultural collaboration will make an even better series.”
Executive producers are Maria Zuckerman, Quan Phung and Michael Bloom for Topic Studios; Martin Lawrence, Robert Lawrence and Rae Proctor will executive produce and Stacy Lyles will produce for RunTelDat Entertainment; and Reshef Levi and Yoav Gross will executive produce for 24 Drafts, with Tomer Shani.
The original series opened the 2019 CANNESERIES Festival, winning the Best Performance Award for its creator and star Reshef Levi, and went on to win two Israeli EMMY Awards in 2019. It is critically acclaimed in Israel and France.
Nehama isn’t the only Israeli adaptation that has scored a stateside adaptation recent years. HBO’s Euphoria, the critically-acclaimed teen drama which scored Zendaya an Emmy win, is also an Israeli adaptation.