« MBC finds drama in Turkey » – C21 Media

Ezel. Source : C21 Media

« Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC Group has boosted its drama slate with the acquisition of two Turkish dramas, including one based on The Count of Monte Cristo.

Crime drama Ezel, based on Alexander Dumas’ novel, follows the story of a man who seeks revenge when he is betrayed by his best friend and his girlfriend after a casino robbery goes wrong.

The series, produced by Ay Yapim, first aired in Turkey on Show TV in 2009 before transferring to ATV.

The second pick-up is Zaman Ki, a drama set in the 1960s that focuses on the fictional Akarsu family, which is torn apart when the father, a seaman, has an affair while abroad on a fishing trip.

It was an original Kanal D series produced by D Productions.

Both series, dubbed into Arabic, will launch on female-skewing MBC4 next month.

The channel also airs primetime US shows including Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, The Good Wife and medical talk series The Dr Oz Show, alongside other Turkish dramas and soaps. It is also preparing the launch the third season of Arabs Got Talent. »

Source : C21 Media

« TV show stirs argument across Arab world  » – Hürriyet Daily News

The 30-episode controversial series that cost tens of millions of dollars is watched on satellite television across the Arab world.. Source : Hürriyet

« A television drama about the life of a seventh century Muslim ruler, Omar Ibn al-Khattab, is polarizing opinion across the Arab world by challenging a widespread belief that actors should not depict Islam’s central figures.

Conservative clerics denounce the series, which is running during the region’s busiest drama season, the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Scholars see an undesirable trend in television programming; the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates has publicly refused to watch it.

But at dinner tables and on social media around the region, “Omar” is winning praise among many Muslim viewers, who admire it for tackling an important period in Islam’s history. Some think it carries lessons for the Arab world, which is grappling with political change unleashed by last year’s uprisings.

Four caliphs

Mostly filmed in Morocco, the show was funded by the Dubai-based but Saudi-owned MBC Group, a private media conglomerate, and state-owned Qatar TV. The 30-episode series, which an MBC spokesman said cost “tens of millions of dollars” to make, is being watched on satellite television across the Arab world.

It has been praised for its elaborate sets and costumes, visual effects and battle scenes which involve elephants and hundreds of extras.
But for many viewers, the production values have been outweighed by the fact that actors in the series play Omar and three other close companions of the Prophet Mohammad who were the first rulers of an empire that expanded out of the Arabian Peninsula. Historically, Muslim scholars have discouraged the depiction of revered figures in art, and some argue it is expressly forbidden, on the grounds it could be misleading or encourage idolatry. This is why mosques are adorned with elaborate plant and geometric patterns instead of human and animal images. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« ATV delves into Mid East history » – C21 Media

« Turkish broadcaster ATV is preparing to air a new historical drama described as the largest production ever to be made in the Middle East.

Omar Ibn Al Khattab (31×60′), coproduced by MBC Group and Qatar TV, charts the life of Khalifeh Omar Ibn Al Khattab and the Islamic empire he built.

ATV acquired the finished programme, which will be dubbed for Turkish viewers.

Fadi Ismail, general manager of MBC Group’s O3 Productions, said: “ATV has shown interest in the series ever since the idea developed, continuing as production started, until they finally gained the broadcasting rights to air the series dubbed in Turkish.”

Mutlu Inan, deputy general manager of ATV, added: “As a Muslim country, Turkey has an appetite for historical series chronicling the lives of our great Islamic leaders. The series Omar has set a perfect example for this kind of programming.”

He predicted a “spectacular performance” during Ramadan this year.

When it was first announced in September 2010, the drama was described by MBC Group chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim as the biggest historical TV drama production ever to be made in the region. »

Source : C21 Media

Author : Michael Pickard

 

« $30,000 paid for hour-long series » – Hürriyet Daily News

"Turkish TV series ‘Nour’ immediately became a hit when it was shown on Saudi sattellite channel in 2008." Source : Hürriyet

« The high production values of dubbed Turkish television dramas, which are extremely popular in Arab households, pose a huge challenge, experts say, according to a report in the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper Gulf News on April 1.

The remarkably popular Turkish series are increasingly becoming a source of delight for sponsors and advertisers on Arab television channels, the newspaper said. The demand for Turkish drama has increased, especially with the decreasing output of the two important TV production cities of the Arabic-speaking world, Cairo and Damascus, due to the political turmoil in both countries in the past year.

But expansion into this market has its price. As the economic rule goes, an increase in demand leads to an increase in prices. Some experts in the industry believe that the increasing prices of Turkish dramas will eventually lead to a shift in demand. The high prices that Turkish series command have begun to suggest to TV networks the necessity of searching for a new profit window.

Adeeb Khair, general manager and owner of Sama Art Productions, a Syrian TV-production company which dubs Turkish dramas into colloquial Syrian Arabic, was quoted as saying, “Several years back, I bought a one-hour (one hour of copyright) Turkish drama for $600 or $700. Today, there are [those] who are willing to pay $40,000 for one-hour dramas.”

“This has opened the door for Turkish [production] companies to reconsider their prices and say they won’t sell for less than $30,000 [for a one-hour show]. This will create a problem. Who will buy them and take such a risk?” Khair said, speaking to Gulf News. His Damascus-based company has already dubbed nearly 60 Turkish dramas in the last four years.

Success of ‘Nour’

The series “Gümüş,” sold in Arabic-speaking markets under the name of “Nour,” the name of the main character in the dubbed Turkish drama, which was shown on the Saudi-owned MBC satellite channel in 2008, immediately became a hit, according to Gulf News. The high ratings it got were partly due to its unconventional use of colloquial Arabic. Non-Arabic dramas used to be more commonly dubbed into classical Arabic.

Another Turkish series popular in Arab households is “Aşk-ı Memnu” (Forbidden Love). It was among the top 10 series in Egypt last year.

The duration of Turkish dramas, some of which can exceed 100 episodes, also helps bring in advertising, because viewers get hooked on a series and become loyal to the channel that airs it.

“Once you get someone hooked, it is not just 20 or 30 episodes, it is 60 or 70 or maybe 90 episodes, so you actually guarantee an audience for a long time,” Veda Rizk, a Dubai-based TV and marketing consultant, told Gulf News. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Turkish soap operas in the Arab world: social liberation or cultural alienation?  » – Arab Media & Society

http://www.arabmediasociety.com/?article=735

« In 1980 oil magnate J.R. Ewing was shot and injured in the hit series Dallas, which featured an unconventional family’s struggles over power, wealth and sex. The shot was heard around the world, with millions of fans desperately wondering “Who shot J.R.?”. It was the first time that a TV series had captivated simultaneously so many people around the world. Five years later, the Arabs were shooting at the stars with the launch of the first Arab satellite system, Arabsat-1. Except for experts and visionaries, no one was predicting that it was “the beginning of the end” for the state domination of television in the Arab world.

Almost a quarter of a century later, on August 30, 2008, 85 million Arab viewers were glued to their TV sets for the finale of the Syrian-dubbed Turkish soap opera, Gümüş1 (Noor2 in Arabic), a Kanal D production that received little attention in its homeland in 2005. After falling in the past for Victoria Principal, Ridge Forrester, and Latin American telenovela characters Kassandra and Rosalinda , Arab audiences are now turning to Turkey, a close yet estranged neighbor with whom they share a tumultuous history.

The mastermind behind this phenomenon has been the MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) media empire, a combination of Saudi capital and Middle Eastern know-how, and a success story that started in the 1990s with the birth of a private Arab media field. As Naomi Sakr explains, many factors fuel the field’s potential including the fact that “Media flows are (…) facilitated where the language is shared3”. The Arab market is indeed unique: a large and essentially young audience with some 20 countries sharing a common language. Researchers have thus observed a relative “depoliticization” of media over the years with the progressive development of mass entertainment programming. […] »

Link to complete article in pdf

Source : Arab Media & Society

 

 

« MBC expands soap opera shows despite Mufti fury  » – Arabian Business

 » Saudi-owned TV broadcaster MBC is planning to add four new Turkish soap operas to its programming – just months after a religious leader condemned them as « un-Islamic and subversive ». The television company, which broadcasts the popular Noor and Sanawat al-Dyaa (The Lost Hours), confirmed to Arabian Business that the new Turkish dramas would be added to the lineup this season.

« Turkish drama is now an established genre, » Mazen Hayek, MBC’s marketing director, told Al Arabiya.net.

In July, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, condemned Turkish soap operas and ordered people to stop watching them.

The religious leader said the programmes contained evil and destroyed people’s ethics and values.

He added that the “malicious” Turkish soap operas corrupted individuals and spread vice in society.

Al-Asheikh was referring to MBC programmes Noor and Lost Years, which have become extremely popular in the Arab world over the last couple of months.

The soaps are dubbed in colloquial Syrian Arabic and have proved such a big draw in the kingdom that many people plan their day around the programmes. […] »

Source : Arabian Business.com