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MBC orders first VoD original

The main cast of shortform drama series ElDiva

Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC Group’s VoD platform Shahid has revealed details of the first production to come out of its push into originals.

Shortform drama series ElDiva will be the debut production from Shahid Originals and stars Cyrine Abdel Nour in the lead role, alongside Yacob Alfarhan, Bosy and other famous Arab actors.

Inspired by talent-spotting TV shows, it will launch on Shahid on November 27. Directed by Randa Alam, the multinational production features Lebanese and Egyptian scriptwriters.

Alex Meouchy

Alex Meouchy, MBC’s senior regional manager of content, said: “We have produced a large number of Arabic adaptations of global, top-rated talent-spotting TV shows. During work on these productions, the entire team encounter numerous situations that would be absolutely fascinating to watch as a fictional drama. Viewers always want to know what happens when the cameras are turned off, and so this is how the idea of ElDiva came about.”

Nour has previously starred in MBC dramas such as Ruby and Al Hayba: Al Hasad, which was released in May this year.

Johannes Larcher, MD, Shahid, said: “MBC was the first major media company in the region to launch a VOD platform. Year after year, it continues to cement its status as a leader in this vital sector. The launch of Shahid’s first shortform original is in line with the group’s extensive five-year growth and expansion plan.

Johannes Larcher

“Multinational drama productions are more popular than ever – and the best quality they have ever been – thanks to the introduction and growth of global digital platforms and VoD. Nearly all the international giants of entertainment have turned or are turning their attention to this type of ‘digital first’ content.

“Today, we launch our first title of shortform Shahid Originals – and this is just the beginning. We promise viewers more premium content and quality productions with diverse storytelling in the coming period.”

MBC’s linear channels are also making a push into original production, hiring former Cineflix Studios MD and NBCUniversal president Peter Smith to lead a studio division last year.

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