FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spt Strikes First Scripted Format Deals In Middle East With Everybody Loves Raymond
London/Dubai - Monday 25 July 2011 - Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced today that SPT Arabia has licensed its locally produced version of smash hit comedy, Everybody Loves Raymond, to Dream TV in Egypt, Murr Television in Lebanon, and Saudi Arabian IPTV service Intigral.
Produced in Egypt, the 30 episode sitcom is the first scripted format to be licensed by SPT Arabia in the region and has been cast with high profile local talent including Sherif Salamah, Layla Taher, Ahmed Khalil and Caroline Khalil.
"'Everybody Loves Raymond' is a hugely successful comedy with universal appeal," said Ziad Kebbi, President SPT Arabia. "These deals reflect our local production's high quality and relevance in the Middle East and we are extremely proud to be launching the show with these partners. As SPT Arabia's first scripted format licensing deals in the region, this marks a major milestone in our growing Middle East business."
The Emmy award-winning drama originally ran on CBS in America from 1996 to 2005 and proved a ratings hit with viewers. The show revolves around the life of a successful writer Ray Barone, his wife Debra and their three children. Ray's meddling parents, and Ray's brother, a police sergeant, live directly across the street and manage to infiltrate their son's home to an unparalleled extent.
SPT operates a thriving scripted formats business around the world, and recently closed deals to co-produce 30 episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond to TVN in Poland and 33 episodes to Reshet in Israel. The sitcom is also the number one rated comedy in Russia where they have already completed more than 250 episodes for CTC. Other successful SPT formats produced locally around the world include Rules of Engagement, Married…with Children and The Nanny, among many others.
Announced in November 2010, Sony Pictures Television Arabia FZ-LLC (SPT Arabia), is based in Dubai with production offices in Cairo and in Beirut. Kebbi and Dany Karam, who jointly lead the company, represent SPT's extensive catalogue of scripted and non-scripted programming targeting broadcast clients in twenty two countries spanning Iraq to Morocco.
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Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers. It produces and distributes programming in every genre, including series, telefilms, theatrical releases and family entertainment around the world and for every platform: broadcast and cable television, first-run and off-network syndication and digital distribution. In addition to one of the industry's largest libraries of feature films and television shows, SPT boasts a current program slate that includes the top-rated daytime dramas and game shows, landmark off-network series, original animated series and critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and telefilms. Internationally, SPT is a leader in local language productions around the world, some of which are co-produced with local partners, and sells SPE-owned formats in approximately 70 countries. To better serve its clients and partners worldwide, SPT maintains offices throughout the world, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SPT's worldwide television networks portfolio is a key strategy in SPE's long-range commitment to the global marketplace, with 120 channel feeds, which are available in more than 142 countries reaching more than 500 million households worldwide. SPT also creates original content for and manages SPE's premium video website, Crackle. Additionally, SPT owns Dutch entertainment company 2waytraffic, production company Embassy Row and Sony Movie Channel, and is a part owner of cable channel GSN, new 3D channel 3net, FEARnet, the premier horror/thriller website and VOD service, and national media sales company ITN Networks, Inc. SPT advertiser sales is one of the premiere national advertising sales companies, handling the commercial inventory in SPT's syndicated series as well as in all of SPE's digital businesses in the United States. SPT (www.sonypicturestelevision.com) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.
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