Abu Dhabi: NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group, has signed a deal for a local version of hit comedy gameshow Celebrity Game Face in the Middle East. The show will launch on 17th February in a weekly primetime slot on leading channel, Abu Dhabi TV, and the ADtv app, part of Abu Dhabi Media (ADM), the UAE’s leading public service broadcaster and media company. The gameshow is being produced by In Media Plus, who are behind shows such as The X Factor, Arab Idol, and Goul Waraya/Repeat After Me

This marks the first international series adaptation of the show, with production on the local 13×60’ series already underway. Hosted by renowned Egyptian comedian Shaimaa Seif, the Arabic series will see local celebrities from all over the MENA region, including the UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt, take part in a variety of fun trivia quizzes and hilarious physical challenges. 

The original US version was created by Critical Content and is hosted and executive produced by Kevin Hart for E!. 

Ana Langenberg, SVP, Format Sales & Production, NBCUniversal Formats, said: “We are thrilled to be building on our presence across the MENA region with such great partners and a fun, COVID friendly format. With a formidable host and rich ensemble of celebrity guests, we look forward to introducing what we hope will be a welcomed hit for local audiences. This deal, alongside the recent commission of our format Drive Thru-Oke in Saudi Arabia, are testament to the dynamism of the MENA region and appetite for more universal entertainment content.”

Juma Al Houti, Acting Executive Director – TV, Abu Dhabi Media, added: “We are committed to bringing together global expertise and local insight to create programmes our viewers can’t do without – and Celebrity Game Face is a perfect example. We are excited to work with NBCUniversal Formats in pioneering the first international version of this show. Celebrity Game Face promises to be a must-watch show, across broadcast and digital channels.”

Ihab Hammoud, Chairman, In Media Plus, also said “Producing shows has been very hard in the current COVID climate. So, we’ve been looking for programmes that can still be filmed with the various lockdown and travel restrictions for Abu Dhabi TV. Celebrity Game Face came at the right time, with the right components, which made it the perfect choice. It’s a funny, fast, flexible and a highly pragmatic show, which allowed us to film across five countries with a very tight schedule. Against all odds, our version of Celebrity Game Face has exceeded our expectations and we’re hoping that it will become a big success!”

This deal follows on from a UK one-off Christmas special that aired last year on BBC One. Entitled Miranda’s Games With Showbiz Names, the UK special was a ratings success, hosted by Miranda Hart and produced by Monkey, which is part of NBCUniversal International Studios, also a division of Universal Studio Group.  

About NBCUniversal Formats:

NBCUniversal Formats, a division of the Universal Studio Group, is the international sales division for all formats created within the production, broadcast and streaming divisions of NBCUniversal and Sky Studios, as well as select third parties. The division fosters an array of strategic alliances, co-production and co-development partnerships to bring new and existing content to the global market. 

NBCUniversal Formats represents a vast and diverse slate of non-scripted and scripted formats. Leading brands include global success series Top Chef, hit game show Hollywood Game Night, Emmy Award-winning comedy showcase Saturday Night Live, global franchise The Real Housewives, entertainment formats World of Dance, Titan Games and Songland, factual entertainment shows The Big Hospital Experiment and Best Parent?, in addition to scripted formats Suits, House, The Sinner, The Good Place and Superstore.

About Abu Dhabi TV:

Abu Dhabi TV is a family entertainment, news and cultural programming channel and one of the UAE’s longest running television channels.

Abu Dhabi TV offers viewers popular shows focused on lifestyle, celebrities, influencers, talk, sports and family programming, which include Zahrat Al Khaleej, Hatha Ana, Repeat After Me, and Oloom Al Dar.  The channel attracts a wide, regional audience with its drama output, and airs Arabic and international movie nights on weekends.

With the relaunch of Abu Dhabi Media’s new strategy in 2020, Abu Dhabi TV hosts content across digital channels including live video streaming, Catch Up services and the ADTV all-channel application for Android TV and Apple TV, available on Apple Store and Google Play. 

Abu Dhabi TV, Established in August 1969, is one of five TV channels owned by Abu Dhabi Media (ADM), the UAE’s leading public service broadcaster and media company, and one of the largest media businesses in the Middle East and GCC.

About In Media Plus:

In Media Plus is an independent production company based in Beirut that consists of a team of television experts who have a combined thirty-year experience in program production and strategic planning. In Media Plus is specialised in all genres of television programs, including Reality TV, entertainment, game shows and many others. They provide a complete end-to-end production service from concept development to the full execution of formats using highly talented producers, script writers, story editors, directors, camera men as well as lighting and sound designers.

In Media Plus is up to date with the international television market having extensive knowledge in the medium different aspects including cost efficiency, market indulgence and sales methods. In Media Plus offers an advanced service with a personalized and friendly approach in order to meet every customer’s needs.