In today’s Global Bulletin, “Celebrity Game Face” gets Middle East version; Sophia Loren to get Legend Award; UKTV announces diversity and inclusion writing programs; and Flora Campbell appointed as chair of the Royal Television Society Northern Ireland center.
A Middle East version of NBCUniversal Formats’ hit comedy gameshow “Celebrity Game Face” is launching in a weekly primetime slot on Abu Dhabi TV and the ADtv app, the first international series adaptation of the show.
The show is being produced by In Media Plus (“Arab Idol”) and is hosted by Egyptian comedian Shaimaa Seif. The 13-part series will see local celebrities from all over the Middle East and North Africa region including the U.A.E., Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt, take part in a variety of trivia games and physical challenges.
The original U.S. version was created by Critical Content and is executive produced by Jenny Daly, President, Critical Content. The U.S. series is also hosted and executive produced by Kevin Hart for E!.
Sophia Loren will be feted by the Los Angeles-Italia Film Fashion and Art Festival, the annual pre-Oscars event, with its L.A., Italia Legend Award.
The iconic Italian actress who recently burst out of semi-retirement to play Madame Rosa, a former prostitute and Holocaust survivor, in “The Life Ahead,” directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, is considered an Academy Awards contender after making the BAFTA longlist. Loren won an Oscar in 1962 for her role in Vittorio De Sica’s “La Ciociara,” plus an honorary Oscar in 1991.
As part of the tribute to Loren, 30 years after her honorary Oscar, “The Life Ahead,” which is a Netflix Original film produced by Italy’s Palomar, will open the fest which is being held online this year due to the pandemic, said L.A. Italia founder and producer Pascal Vicedomini. The festival will also feature a retrospective of Loren’s work.
Loren will be presented the award by Italian-American actor Armand Assante. The 16th edition of Los Angeles, Italia, will run April 18-24. – Nick Vivarelli
BBC Studios-owned U.K. broadcaster UKTV has teamed with entertainment agency Triforce Creative Network‘s WriterSlam platform and diversity and inclusion organization DandI to identify and commission six scripts from underrepresented voices. Four of these will be produced and broadcast on the Dave channel, with the potential to go on to a full series commission.
In addition, UKTV is working with Comedy 50:50, an initiative to address gender imbalance in comedy, to fund 10 treatments for half-hour comedies for either the Dave or Gold channels. It is looking to commission at least three full scripts from those, with a view to extend one or more projects into a series commission.
The U.K.’s Royal Television Society (RTS) has appointed BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell to the position of chair of the RTS Northern Ireland center, where she will lead committee members including from the BBC, UTV, Sky, Northern Ireland Screen, Belfast Met Film and TV School and Queens University Belfast. In addition, she will head up the planning, facilitation and production of both physical and virtual events for the region’s membership.
Campbell succeeds Vikkie Taggart, director of operations at Stellify Media.