“The Inheritance”, a soap opera depicting modern life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to premiere 1 March 2020 on MBC1.
The series, which explores the Kingdoms social, economic and cultural aspects within a dramatic family setting, marks the first long-running series of its kind in the region and will be continuously filmed throughout the year.
“The Inheritance’ is a result of a collaboration between MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. The storyline was developed by renowned British television writer, Tony Jordan (“EastEnders”, “Hustle”, “Life on Mars”, “Sunburn”, “HolbyBlue” etc.) and Nour Al-Shishakli, Giscard Lahoud, Mazen Taha, and Thaer Al-Ekl. It is directed by Tamer Bassiouni with Abdullah Al-Jeneiby, along with international directors Christine Melek and Indra Bhose.
MBC Studios, twofour54 and Image Nation Abu Dhabi marked the unveiling of the series with a press preview that included an on-location studio tour in Abu Dhabi, as well as hosting conversations with the leading cast and crew of the series. Executives from all three organisations were also in attendance.
Ali Jaber, MBC’s Group TV Director, commented: “At MBC, as the leaders of Arabic content creation in the region, this is a pioneering moment for us as we have been able to create, through this partnership, the very first authentic Saudi soap opera. It lives, breathes and speaks Saudi in terms of the locations it is set in, the events, the relationships and the family dynamics.”
Under the collaboration, twofour54 and MBC created a dedicated studio in Abu Dhabi which serves as the main location for filming. twofour54 also invested directly in the production, and MBC is set to benefit from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30% rebate on production spend in the Emirate. Both worked closely with Image Nation Abu Dhabi on talent and script development for the project.
Jaber continued: “We greatly appreciate the efforts of twofour54, who facilitated with filming locations, production facilities, and post-production services. It also built the standalone studio/soundstage that was location to multiple major scenes in the title.
“Image Nation Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, provided access to young talent trained in various disciplines, via its special internship programme. The internship program will continue throughout production to provide exciting year round training and development opportunities.”
Jaber also highlighted that, whilst numerous Arab productions have long relied on well-known stars and actors to attract audiences, the formula is not commonly used with soap operas – no matter where they are filmed in the world. As a result, viewers can expect to be introduced to a host of new faces on “The Inheritance”.
“They no doubt all have a great future ahead of them in the world of TV and entertainment,” Jaber concluded. “Our aim is to focus on young talent from around the region, especially from Saudi Arabia.”
Nabil Abou Samra, Head of Business Development at twofour54 commented: “’The Inheritance’ marks a new era for Abu Dhabi as a production hub. The launch of the region’s first soap opera marks this as a milestone moment for our industry and we are proud to have Abu Dhabi at the forefront. We have always worked towards building a sustainable industry and a production of this magnitude, which offers training, development and job opportunities year-round, allows us to continue to nurture and support the growing needs of the media and entertainment sector.”
Finally, Hassan Asiri, series Director of Production stated: “In addition to its exciting dramatic plot, as well as high production value and quality of direction, this title aims to highlight brand-new talent from the region – especially from Saudi Arabia. But viewers can also expect some surprise guest appearances by well-known names from the world of Arab TV.
“A series like ‘The Inheritance’ requires lots of manpower, and so I am delighted that filming and production will span over the next year, and hopefully beyond.”
This cooperation is a continuation of an earlier strategic partnership that was first established between MBC Group and twofour54 in 2017. Together, the companies produced a number of successful titles, including Seasons 1 & 2 of ‘Al-Asouf’, ‘Love without Borders’, and Seasons 1 & 2 of ‘Boxing Girls’.
“The Inheritance” brings together three heavyweights in the form of MBC Studios, twofour54, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi.