« 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. »
« The Turkish comedy TV show “Yalan Dünya” (Fake World) became the big winner at this year’s Antalya Television Awards on Saturday, taking home five trophies in the comedy category, including best comedy series and best director for a comedy series.
“Yalan Dünya,” which airs every Friday on Kanal D and follows a group of smalltime actors and hipsters living in İstanbul’s upscale Cihangir quarter, also won best actor in a comedy series, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in a comedy series at Saturday’s awards ceremony, aired live on the private television station TV8.
Saturday’s ceremony marked the third edition of the annual awards, a joint venture between the Greater Antalya Municipality and the Antalya Foundation for Culture and Art (AKSAV), who are also the organizers of the southern province’s long-running Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) International Film Festival.
The ceremony also served as an occasion to pay tribute to recently deceased TV scriptwriter and actress Meral Okay, whose immensely popular screenwriting effort “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) won four prizes, including the best script for a drama series, for the late Okay. The announcement brought tears to the eyes of those in attendance at the packed gala, who commemorated her with a standing ovation, the Anatolia news agency reported. “Muhteşem Yüzyıl,” an account of the intrigue-ridden 16th-century Ottoman court during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent aired every Wednesday on Show TV, also won the best director of photography in a series, best art direction in a series and best period drama awards.
Other winners included Kanal D’s “Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki” (As Time Goes By), which won best actress in a drama series, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in a drama series and best score for a series; and atv’s “Hayat Devam Ediyor” (Life Goes On), which won the best drama series award.
Veteran radio and TV show host Orhan Boran was honored with the Radio Honor Award but was unable to attend the ceremony to accept his award due to health reasons. Eighty-three-year-old Boran told the gala in a live telephone call that he was honored to be recognized and especially glad he was considered for the award despite having been away from the limelight for more than 10 years. “I am going through a tough battle for my health. Receiving this award has given me an immeasurable morale boost,” he added. »
« The Turkish and regional television industry has gathered at the DISCOP Istanbul Television Broadcasting Fair, which kicked off Feb. 28.
The fair, taking place at Istanbul’s Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel, includes participants from 32 countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa that together boast more than 500 million viewers.
The first conference of the fair, which took place Feb. 28, was moderated by Nick Holdsworth, Variety Magazine’s East Europe and Middle Asia chief. The conference focused on the Silk Road and Middle Asia. The second conference will focus on a “Renaissance in Arab content,” discussing how Arab content can be successful abroad.
KanalD, the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, Show TV, Turkish Radio & TV Corporation (TRT), WWE Turkey, ATV Broadcasting, Digiturk, Calinos Entertainment and ITV – Inter Medya are all presenting their series at the fair. The fair provides a platform for Global Agency, which has distributed series such as “İffet,” “Behzat Ç.,” “Kalbim 4 Mevsim” and “Firar” from Turkey’s private Star TV channel.
Global Agency, whose goal is to distribute the most watched series around the world, has sold “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) to 40 countries and is among the five fastest growing distribution companies in the world.
The fair is gathering 120 international content providers in Istanbul for presentations and discussions on TV formats, program packages, movie portfolios and more. Global Agency has been attending television broadcasting fairs around the world for the past eight years. The company will also present movie projects such as “Love in a different language” and “1,001 Nights” to international companies in addition to various competition formats. »
« Turkey’s Cukurova Holding is in talks with two U.S. private equity firms to sell as much as 49 percent of its television channel Show TV to finance tax debts, a source close to the matter told Reuters.
Cukurova, which controls the country’s biggest mobile network Turkcell, is talking to KKR and Texas Pacific Group, the source said.
« Cukurova Group wants to keep a 51 percent stake, » he said.
Show TV is valued at at least $800 million and the valuation could easily rise above $1 billion based on a multiple of 12 times earnings, the source said.
Turkcell recently said it received orders from tax offices for the sequestration of the Turkcell assets of Cukurova for 1.68 billion lira ($1.06 billion) due to tax debts.
The source said Cukurova’s other units including Digiturk and Genel Enerji may be subject to stake sales to finance the tax debts. »
« Turkish protestors angry over the depiction of an Ottoman sultan drinking alcohol and wooing women in a new television series threw eggs and chanted « God is Great » outside of the broadcaster’s studio on Sunday.
A group of about 100 protestors, accompanied by a band playing Ottoman military music, marched to the offices of the entertainment channel Show TV, which broadcasts « The Magnificent Century », in Istanbul’s financial district of Levent.
The historical drama shows Sultan Suleiman I, also called Suleiman the Magnificent who ruled from 1494 to 1566, with his wives and concubines in his harem.
It also shows him drinking alcohol, which is proscribed by Islam. Ottoman sultans were also caliphs, or Islamic leader, until the theocracy was toppled and the secular Turkish Republic that succeeded it abolished the caliphate in 1924.
Demonstrators ripped down posters advertising « The Magnificent Century » near Show TV’s offices and threw eggs at the channel’s windows.
« Sultan Suleiman was just and moral throughout his lifetime, » said Abdullah Demir, 55, who was among the protestors. « To show him as a man who had a predilection for alcohol and women makes us very uncomfortable.
« This is a provocation to make people think it is OK to have sex and to drink, » Demir said.
Historians consider Suleiman’s reign the height of Ottoman military, political and economic power.
The Radio and Television Supreme Council, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, has received a record 75,000 complaints since the « The Magnificent Century » aired its first show on Jan 5, CNN Turk reported.
The watchdog regularly bans or suspends TV programmes it deems unsuitable on moral or political grounds, but no ruling has yet been made on the new programme, the channel said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said last week the government would take measures regarding the series, which had caused him « concern and sadness », but did not elaborate further.
The ruling AK Party is a conservative grouping that calls itself secular but traces its roots to political Islam.
European Union candidate Turkey’s population of 73 million is 99.9 percent Muslim but its constitution is secular and the consumption of alchohol is legal. »
« Turkey’s state broadcasting board has ordered a television channel to issue an apology over a controversial series featuring an Ottoman sultan for invading his privacy with scenes from his harem.
The Radio and Television Supreme Board says Show TV was warned Wednesday for not showing the necessary sensitivity toward the privacy of historical figures. It says the board has received tens of thousands of complaints, requesting a ban on the « Magnificent Century, » a drama that portrays Suleyman the Magnificent.
The board warns that the airing of the series can be stopped up to 12 times if the channel does not comply. The next episode will be aired Wednesday night.
The watchdog has no power to ban or intervene in programs before they are aired. »
« Some Turks are furious over a new television series that they believe depicts an Ottoman sultan in a negative light, and the government is promising to respond to the complaints.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says the government will act « within the framework of the law » following an outcry over « The Magnificent Century, » a drama on Show TV that portrays the 16th-century rule of Suleyman the Magnificent.
Suleyman presided over the Ottoman empire’s glory years, but some commentators say the series hurts his reputation, showing him in his harem and apparently consuming alcohol, which is banned in Islam.
A script writer for the show says Suleyman only had a fruit drink in his goblet in the first episode, which aired Wednesday. »