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Arab TV Expands Beyond Soaps and Adapts Western Formats

Driven by still nascent streamers and pay-tv platforms in the region, Middle East producers are rethinking formats and storylines for Arabic TV dramas, adapting some Western shows and venturing beyond the constraints of so-called Ramadan soaps and skeins that have long been the bulk of their output.

Netflix, after entering the Middle East market in 2016, recently announced its first Arabic original series, “Jinn,” in which the lives of a group of present-day teenagers in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra are disrupted by a supernatural being who is their age.

The six-episode show will be directed by Lebanon’s Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, whose dark comedy debut “Very Big Shot” made a splash, and written by Bassel Ghandour who penned Jordan’s Oscar-nominated “Theeb.”

Leading Middle East pay-tv operator Osn recently picked up groundbreaking show “Qalb Al Adala” (“Justice”), inspired by “L.A. Law,” but based on real cases from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Dept.

See full article on Variety