Middle Eastern broadcaster Abu Dhabi TV has ordered a local version of Covid-friendly US entertainment show Celebrity Game Face from NBCUniversal (NBCU) Formats. Hosted by Egyptian comedian Shaimaa Seif, the 13×60′ series will launch in a weekly primetime slot on Abu Dhabi TV and the ADtv app later this year. The deal marks the first full series remake of the format.
In Media Plus (The X Factor, Arab Idol) is making the show, which sees celebrity couples from across the MENA region compete in trivia games and physical challenges, all playing remotely from their own homes.
Originally created by Critical Content, Celebrity Game Face airs on E! in the US, where it is hosted by comedian Kevin Hart and his wife, Eniko, and launched in July last year.
BBC1 in the UK last year aired a one-off Christmas special, titled Miranda’s Games With Showbiz Names and hosted by Miranda Hart, based on the format and produced by Monkey.
The latter is part of NBCU International Studios, which like NBCU Formats is a division of Universal Studio Group.
Ana Langenberg, senior VP of format sales and production at NBCU Formats, described the show as a “fun, Covid-friendly format.”
Ihab Hammoud, chairman of In Media Plus, 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.”
Juma Al Houti, acting executive director of TV at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “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. Celebrity Game Face promises to be a must-watch show, across broadcast and digital channels.”
Langenberg added: “This deal, alongside the recent commission of our format Drive Thru-Oke in Saudi Arabia, is testament to the dynamism of the MENA region and appetite for more universal entertainment content.”