News TV/Radio Deals

“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” to debut in the Middle East

Independent distributor Hat Trick International has signed a new format deal for Whose Line is it Anyway?,  to be adapted for the Middle East, representing the first ever version to be produced in the Arabic language.

Commissioned by TeN TV from Cairo-based Global Productions, the new local adaptation will total 14 episodes. The series is now in production and Whose Line is it Anyway? is expected to debut in December this year to audiences across Arabic-speaking Middle East as part of TeN TV’s primetime schedule.

This latest deal adds to the other 13 international adaptations for Whose Line is it Anyway? including Australia (Foxtel), Finland (MTV3), Holland (BNN-Vara) and Vietnam (Dong Tay Promotion).

Commenting on the initiative, Sarah Tong, Director of Sales at Hat Trick International, commented: “Whose Line is it Anyway? offers a fantastically adaptable format that gives local broadcasters the opportunity to produce an entertaining, topical and hilarious primetime show featuring the best comedy talent from their own region. I am delighted to confirm this new landmark deal in the Middle East, which perfectly demonstrates the continued wide appeal of this evergreen favourite, whether as a format or as finished content.”

Ahmed Fahmy, Managing Director at Global Productions, added: “Since living in London almost 20 years ago, Whose Line Is it Anyway? has been my to-go TV show for pure, unadulterated humour, so it brings me great pleasure to bring one of the best British TV comedies to the Arabic-speaking world. The Hat Trick team has supported us every step of the way, including organising an invaluable chat with the creator himself Dan Patterson. Now that we’ve completed shooting, I know we have a great show on our hands, developed from a format that would work very well in any territory and with any culture.”

Hat Trick International manages global distribution of the US version (Hat Trick Productions / Angst Productions for the CW), which has now sold to more than 100 countries and was recently commissioned by the CW for a new seventh series, as well as the 10-episode Australian version and all seasons of the original version produced for Channel 4 in the UK.

Whose Line is it Anyway? is an unscripted comedy show in which four guest performers improvise their way through a series of games, many of which rely on audience suggestions. Games include voicing over a clip from a film which has had the soundtrack removed, inventing a song about a member of the audience, finding entertaining ways of using props or acting a scene in a variety of styles. Performers are awarded points by the host on an entirely arbitrary basis. The “prize” for the “winner” is to read out the closing credits in a style demanded by the host.

Hat Trick Productions original Whose Line is it Anyway? (created and produced by Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson) series aired for ten years on Channel 4 in the UK and ABC in the US from 1988 to 1998. Launching in 2013, a new US version, produced by Angst Productions/Hat Trick Productions, is now in its seventh season.