“Suits,” the hit U.S. TV show created by Aaron Korsh, is getting a high-end Arabic adaptation that will play on prominent West Asia satellite pay-TV and streaming service Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) and Egyptian broadcaster UMS.
NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group, has teamed up with Cairo-based media production company TVision and OSN, as well as Egypt’s UMS, to produce the Arabic redo of the show. Shooting began in January on the first two seasons, comprising 30 episodes. The Arabic-language “Suits” is slated to start playing on OSN and its streaming app Watchit across West Asia, the region also referred to as the Middle East, during the region’s upcoming Ramadan TV season, starting April 2.
“‘Suits’ is one of the most popular TV shows in the world, and we are thrilled to be adapting it for Middle Eastern audiences and partnering once again with our friends at TVision,” said Enrique Guilleìn, executive VP of commercial strategy and international development at Universal Studio Group.
In the U.S. “Suits” ended its nine-season run in 2019 having spawned 134 episodes, two remakes (in Korea and Japan), plenty of play on a slew of international broadcasters, and a royal wedding that transformed series star Meghan Markle into a global, household name.
“Suits” tells the story of Manhattan’s top corporate law firm, led by the legendary Harvey Specter, played by Gabriel Macht. The original show also stars Rick Hoffman, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Rafferty.
The original was produced by UCP, which is part of Universal Studio Group, and Hypnotic Films & Television, for the USA Network.
The Arabic “Suits” adaptation features an A-list local cast, including Asser Yassin (“Messages From the Sea”) as Harvey; Ahmed Dawood (“Sons of Rizk”) as Mike, Saba Mubarak (“Amira”) as Jessica, Reem Mostafa as Donna, Tara Emad as Rachel, and Mohamed Shahin as Louis.
The Arabic version of “Suits” is being written by Egyptian multi-hyphenate Mohamed Hefzy, the producer-writer who also heads the Cairo Film Festival, and Yasser Abdel Mageed. The show is being directed by Myriam Ahmadi, and produced by TVision Media founder and CEO Tarek El Ganainy.
OSN and UMS are sharing the rights in Egypt, and OSN is exclusively making it available to viewers across the rest of West Asia.
“Repurposing this type of show into regional formats is vitally important in the context of Egypt’s ongoing development as a mature and compelling media market,” El Ganainy said in a statement. “While it remains heavily inspired by the American drama, our version is unique and authentic to Egypt, featuring a celebrated cast of regional stars,” he added.
Nick Forward, managing director of streaming and chief content officer at OSN, added: “We are delighted to be working with TVision, especially regional storytellers like Tarek, and investing in local adaptions to bring this new version of Suits exclusively to our subscribers across the Middle East.”
Said Hassan Abdalla, chairman and CEO of United Media Services, said: “As a media market, Egypt continues to mature and has an ever-increasing appetite for repurposing international programmes into regional formats. We were particularly keen to secure the rights to TVision’s adaptation of Suits — to air exclusively on the UMS channels in Egypt and on Watchit.