Sony Takes 'Wheel of Fortune,' 'Jeopardy!' to Middle East
The studio will make 240 episodes "Wheel of Fortune" for Hayat TV in Egypt and 20 hour-long episodes of "Jeopardy!" for Pan Arabic satcaster MBC.
LONDON - They are among the world's most iconic game shows and the U.S. versions already have a healthy following in the Middle East. Now, Sony is making local-language versions of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for the Arab market - a growth area for its international television production division.
Sony Pictures Television's Arabia unit will make 240 episodes of Wheel of Fortune for Hayat TV in Egypt. The show will be shot in Arabic in Cairo, with episodes to be scheduled daily.
SPT Arabia will also make 20 one-hour episodes of Jeopardy! in Lebanon for Pan Arabic broadcaster MBC.
The show will be broadcast in a weekly primetime slot on general family entertainment channel, MBC1.
SPT Arabia president Ziad Kebbi said the deals were the first time either show had been made locally and in Arabic.
“Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are two of the world’s most iconic gameshows so it’s very exciting to offer Middle East broadcasters and audiences their own versions. This expansion into non-scripted programs is an important step in SPT Arabia’s growth strategy as we increase our production footprint in the region.”
SPT Arabia already produces a local-language version of Everybody Loves Raymond for Dream TV in Egypt, Murr Television in Lebanon and Intigral in Saudi Arabia. It will work closely with the show's original producers and with CBS Studios International, which distributes the U.S. versions of Wheel and Jeopardy! as well as their format rights.