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Thu 11 Oct 2007 01:53 PM

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Endemol to make 'Ton of Cash' in region

Abu Dhabi TV to run 15 episodes of production firm's game show Ton of Cash.

Endemol Middle East has announced details of its first licence agreement which will see the new game show Ton of Cash air on Abu Dhabi Television.

The move comes quick on the heels of Endemol International's announcement to create a Middle East division at the beginning of this month.

Abu Dhabi TV has commissioned 15 episodes and 84 daily updates of the game show in which contestants have to drag a tonne of prize money through various obstacles.

"This is an exciting new format with a clever spin - the prize itself becomes the burden. I'm delighted to be launching it here as our first new commission," said Endemol Middle East managing director Ziad Kebbi.

The format was devised by Endemol UK and will be produced for Abu Dhabi TV by the Middle East division of Endemol.

The company also confirmed that it has no plans to rekindle its Big Brother format for the local industry.

The show was produced in Bahrain in 2004 but was taken off-air after strong protests from the public and religious leaders. Other popular Endemol formats such as Deal or No Deal and Star Academy have already been produced successfully within the region however.

Speaking at the MIPCOM AV content market in Cannes, Endemol International's director of commercial and creative affairs Mike Morley said, "This is the first of a number of deals in the pipeline that we expect to close either at MIPCOM or just after the market."

Endemol Middle East will officially open in November with offices in Dubai and Beirut. Having a permanent base in the region will allow Endemol to make its own productions rather than just selling formats to third parties.

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