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‘Desperate’ for fresh look in Dubai

'Housewives' help relaunch One TV

The ladies of Wisteria Lane are helping to relaunch Dubai Media’s English-language satellite channel One TV in the Mideast.

“Desperate Housewives” will be one of the highlights of the new drama- and femme-friendly channel, renamed Dubai One, which bows Nov. 30.

It’s the Mideast preem for the show, skedded in December, and a coup for the channel over rival satcasters Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) and the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. (LBC).

Execs are filling most of the morning and early afternoon slots with shows including “Tyra” and “The View,” while primetime will feature back-to-back dramas including “The Sopranos” and “CSI.”

“Women today have strong purchasing power, particularly in the Gulf,” says Najla Al-Awadhi, Dubai One’s general manager. “This type of programming becomes even more central when advertisers are increasingly using TV to communicate their products to female viewers.”

 The satcaster is also introducing a nightly half-hour news bulletin with pan-Gulf coverage.

It’s all part of a push by Dubai TV to become the channel of choice for Arab and expat auds hungry for Western entertainment, and overtake the likes of 24-hour movie channel MBC 2.

“Drama is the new movie. We’re making a major change,” says Dubai TV chief Ali Jaber. “We also want to be the foreign tongue of the Gulf with our English-language news show.”

DMI is owned by the government of the Emirate of Dubai and also operates Dubai TV, Sama Dubai and Dubai Sports Channel.

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