Lionsgate is set to launch a local version of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF in the Middle East after the distributor struck a deal with Dubai-based entertainment outfit Uniqon.
The deal marks the third version of the show after the original MTV series in the United States and the British adaptation for ITV2.
Uniqon Emirates is funding the majority of the series, which aims to find Hilton a new best friend in the region, while day-to-day production will be handled by Viola Communications. The series was initially created by Ish Entertainment and is distributed by Santa Monica-based producer and distributor Lionsgate.
Craig Cegielski, EVP, programming, international sales at Lionsgate, said: “Our co-production deal with Uniqon is yet just another indication of how powerful and engaging the ‘Paris Hilton BFF’ format is with viewing audiences. There appears to be no bounds to where we might take this format franchise next.”
The Middle Eastern version of the series will be slightly different from the western adaptations; the show will avoid alcohol, risqué outfits and sexually explicit conversations. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also gave his permission for the series to go ahead.