UnNews:Hit series Israel returns with new season

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January 9, 2006

Main Character Ariel Sharon, who fell into a coma in last season's finale.

Hollywood, CA - Popular television series, Israel, the hour-long action-packed political drama about an ethnically divided region in Western Asia, will be returning for a new season this January. Last season ended on a cliff-hanger as one of the series' main characters, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, fell into a coma after having a stroke. The new episode is expected to reveal if Sharon will live or die and whether he will be able to continue as leader of the fictional nation. In anticipation the world of television rumor mills is buzzing with speculation about what might happen.

Created by famed Hollywood producer L. "God" Shaddai, the series features a high budget, a large cast and long-running story-lines. "I conceived it as being like a combination between a political show like West Wing and a terrorist-fighting action series like 24, but one with lots of moral ambiguity," says Shaddai.

"I mean, the premise of the show is that you've got these two peoples on this same small chunk of land and they've both had horrible things done to them, but does that justify the things the characters do in the series? I think having an open-ended morality like that really draws the viewer in and makes them question their own ideas."

Shaddai has since moved on to create other television shows for the network, but He retains an Executive Producer credit on the show, and some believe that He is responsible for trying to remove Sharon from the series. Television critic Pat Robertson describes it like this, "Israel is one land and Sharon was trying to divide that land." According to Robertson the plot-line in which Sharon was attempting to remove Israeli settlers from Palestinian lands had received disapproval from "God" and He intervened to stop the development by incapacitating and possibly killing the show's lead character.

Robertson's theory has been given credence by other television observers, who note that every television drama has a list of requirements each episode must follow, often called a "Show Bible." According to Israel's Bible, the entire land on which the series is set is the land of Israel, meaning the series must continue to feature interwoven storylines in all parts of the show's setting. And in order to keep the level of violence up, the show cannot feature significant progress toward peace in any given season.

Still, other observers note that the Gaza withdrawal storyline seems to have been motived by attempts to reduce location costs and was signed off on by all the Executive Producers. Regardless, rumors abound that the character of Sharon may leave, either being killed off or reappearing only infrequently.

The series, which revolves around a slowly changing cast, has already demonstrated its willingness to kill off key characters when, ten seasons ago, the show's producers killed off Yitzhak Rabin, after contract negotiations stalled with the actor who played him.

William Shatner, who plays Sharon, has expressed no unhappiness with either his contract or the direction of the show, however, saying, "I am very glad to be a part of such a compelling and well-written drama that tackles tough issues. I love my job, but any actor has to understand that the writers have to do whatever is best for the show, so you may see the character go."

Fans, who have been waiting since last season's finale, are hoping all will become apparent with this Thursday's Premiere.