Titled Yalla No’ros, the Arab version of So You Think You Can Dance made its exclusive TV premiere on Fox Movies on September 28.
Titled Yalla No’ros, the Arab version of So You Think You Can Dance made its exclusive TV premiere on Fox Movies on September 28. The show is claimed to be reflective Fox Movies’ new strategic direction, designed to drive further growth in the local programming category.
The premiere’s announcement comes following an agreement signed between independent media station MTV Lebanon and Fox International Channels Middle East. The partnership grants the channel exclusive rights to televise the show for GCC audiences. The 11-episode show – scheduled to air every Sunday at 8:30pm KSA/9:30pm UAE – will be hosted by Lebanese actress Rita Hayek. A repeat of the episode will also air every Saturday at 2:30pm KSA/1:30pm UAE.
The judging panel consists of Egyptian actress, ballerina and model Nelly Karim; founder, owner and artistic Director of Makriss Dance Ministry, Charles Makriss; Rogina, another Egyptian actress; and, ballroom dancer and instructor Pierre Dulaine.
“Airing for the first time ever on TV in the region, Yalla Nor’os, the highly-anticipated Arab version of the So You Think You Can Dance television franchise is sure to prove a big hit amongst dance enthusiasts across the Middle East, many of whom have been devotedly following the US show since its inception,” said Sanjay Raina, General Manager, Fox International Channels Middle East in a statement. “The adrenaline-fueled series provides an exciting platform for Middle Eastern talent; its exclusive premiere on Fox Movies strengthens the channel’s steadfast commitment to local programming and content.”
Communicate spoke to Sanjay Raina, General Manager, Fox International Channels Middle East in the below Q&A:
What’s the decision behind readapting SYTYCD to the region? What are the challenges you faced with launching Yalla Nor’os, as the successful SYTYCD is highly popular in the region in its original format and this may not necessarily translate in the success of an Arabic version of the show?
The regional launch of Yalla Nor’os, which is set to bring together a diverse talent pool of Arab dancers, reflects Fox International Channels Middle East’s new strategic direction, designed to drive further growth in the local programming category. We are fully aware that the So You Think You Can Dance television franchise is already a big hit amongst dance enthusiasts across the Middle East, many of whom have been devotedly following the US show since its inception. With the debut of Yalla Nor’os, our aim is not to sway them away from the US version of the series; instead, it is about offering them an exciting platform for Middle Eastern talent and another great local show – that perfectly caters to this region’s legions of dance fans – to indulge in.
The truth is, introducing Yalla Nor’os to Middle Eastern viewers is not simply about providing a regional adaptation of the show – it is about giving audiences in this part of the world access to original, relevant, timely and powerful content that appeals to this region’s cultural sensibilities and is in a local language. After all, these factors are key to the success of any show.
It is in line with this vision that, in recent years, Fox International Channels Middle East has further strengthened its commitment to local programming. We have long recognized that TV aficionados in the region crave local content; this is precisely why, in recent years, a slew of popular local shows have emerged – including FX’ Al Batal, the first all-Arab mixed martial arts reality show. Creating a Middle East dance competition was simply the natural next step.
How does the SYTYCD fall under Fox International Channels Middle East’s overall programming strategy over the next few years? Will we be seeing more original formats, or more readapted formats from outside of the region?
The regional launch of Yalla Nor’os is part and parcel of Fox International Channels Middle East’s multi-phased plan to provide powerful, creative local programming that can help restructure the Middle East’s TV landscape. In the past decade, the reality television phenomenon has swept the world, entertaining global and Arab audiences alike. At Fox International Channels Middle East, we absolutely plan on further tapping into the world of reality TV. We want to bring or create more cutting-edge, original and culturally-relevant content for our viewers to indulge in.
Any fresh figures you can share on the ratings and viewership of Yalla Nor’os’ premiere?
At this stage, it is still too early to provide ratings. However, we, of course, anticipate a large viewership based on the localized nature of the content, audiences’ strong interest in reality TV dance competitions, and the solid marketing push behind the show.