LBC takes three episdoes of 'Protagonist'
HOLLYWOOD — Canuck format specialist Distraction has closed several deals in the Mideast, a region that seems to be taking to the reality genre with growing fervor.The final episodes of FremantleMedia’s localized “Pop Idol,” for example, recently drew huge audiences across the region, prompting typically aloof rulers to place good-luck phone calls to their national contestants. Distraction has inked with pan-Arabic broadcaster MBC to localize its Euro-originated format “Le Grand Tralala.” Idea is to have top presenters front live primetime shows with no preparation. Lebanon’s LBC is taking three episodes of Distraction’s “The Protagonist,” which uses the classic hidden-camera concept on people who unknowingly take lead roles in genuine TV drama productions. And Future TV, another pan-Arabic broadcaster, will air 20 episodes of “Ciao Darwin,” a gameshow in which two teams of 50 participants led by celebrity captains battle it out in a series of contests. “The importance of the Middle East to the global television industry is growing all the time,” said Distraction CEO Michel Rodrigue. “These three deals represent a new level of presence for us in this key market.”