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Sony to produce gameshows in Mideast

SPT Arabia to air 'Wheel of Fortune,' 'Jeopardy!'

Sony Pictures Television Arabia is set to make localized versions of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” which will unspool in the Middle East.

In SPT Arabia’s first nonscripted deal in the region, the shingle will produce 240 half-hour episodes of “Wheel” for Hayat TV in Egypt, which will be shot in Cairo, Egypt, plus 20 one-hour episodes of “Jeopardy!” produced in Lebanon for pan-Arab satcaster MBC Group.

It’s the first time either gamer will be produced in the Middle East and in Arabic, and the first time “Jeopardy!” will air as an hourlong program.

SPT Arabia is working closely with “Jeopardy!” exec producer Harry Friedman to ensure the integrity of the show.

CBS Studios Intl. distributes the U.S. versions of both gamers as well as format rights across the globe.

SPT Arabia inked its first scripted format deals in July, when it produced and licensed local episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” to Dream TV in Egypt, Murr Television in Lebanon, and Saudi Arabian IPTV service Intigral.

SPT Arabia is based in Dubai, with additional production offices in Cairo and Beirut.

The company launched last November.