Diana, one of the MTV anchors Presenters on an MTV show having a dissagreement
Lebanon has become the first Arab country to broadcast the hugely popular TV show Dancing with the Stars. Since the BBC originally aired Strictly Come Dancing in 2004, it has been licensed in 42 countries, including the US and Australia, and was named the world’s most successful reality TV format by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010.
But Cynthia Kennedy, senior sales executive at BBC Worldwide, said this latest deal is two years in the making, and it came up against unique cultural sensitivities that made it difficult to persuade broadcasters to produce a local version with local stars. The show was produced locally and aired by Lebanon’s Murr Television (MTV), initially for two seasons, starting in October this year.
Kennedy said: “Since joining BBC Worldwide in 2010, I have had numerous discussions with several broadcast partners and production companies throughout the Middle East to bring this wonderful show to the region. I decided the way forward was to first find a production company which had the expertise, skill and experience required to produce a quality show of this scale and found a partner in the Lebanese producer Iprod.”MTV’s director of programmes, Christian Gemayel, said that the broadcaster wanted to be the first to introduce this kind of show to the region. “We hope that it will create a new trend,” he said. “We as Lebanese are more open to dancing than the rest of the Arab world, and I think that it will be very well received in Lebanon.”