Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Broadchurch’ Book; ‘The Escape Artist’ Sales; Bassem Youssef; Louis Delluc Shortlist; More

‘Broadchurch’ Gets Book Treatment
Little, Brown has acquired world rights to a novel inspired by ITV crime series Broadchurch. According to Bookseller, Sphere Fiction’s Jade Chandler bought the book from Cathy King at the UK’s Independent Talent, representing Broadchurch screenwriter Chris Chibnall. He’ll co-write the novel with thriller author Erin Kelly. To be published next August, it will add material to the existing story and delve deeper into the back stories of the characters. Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, was a massive hit for ITV this year in the UK. It also aired on BBC America and is being remade by Fox with Tennant playing an American detective brought to a small town where a young boy has been killed under mysterious circumstances.

‘The Escape Artist’ Sells In Scandinavia
In related David Tennant news, Norway’s TV2 and TV4 in Sweden have taken rights to Red Arrow International’s three-part drama The Escape Artist. Tennant stars in the thriller that debuts on BBC One tonight. David Wolstencroft wrote the series that’s produced by Hilary Bevan Jones and Paul Frift of Red Arrow’s Endor Productions. Tennant plays defense lawyer Will Burton who specializes in getting people out of tight legal corners. But when his talents acquit the prime suspect in a horrific murder trial, the tables turn. I saw the debut episode last week in London and, without giving away any spoilers, I will say it packs a wallop. Read More »

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Jon Stewart Visits His Egyptian Twin Bassem Youssef, Takes Over Show: Video

Jon Stewart, on hiatus from The Daily Show to shoot his feature directorial debut, Rosewater, popped in on his doppelganger Bassem Youssef in Cairo on Friday. Youssef hosts The Program (Al-Bernameg), a satirical news show that resembles Stewart’s own Comedy Central series; he’s also known as … Read More »

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Jon Stewart Of The Arab World Meets ‘Daily Show’s Jon Stewart: Video

Often referred to as the “Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” Bassem Youssef made his second appearance on the original Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show last night. Youssef is facing investigations into accusations that he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith on his … Read More »

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Egyptian Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against TV Host Bassem Youssef

By | Saturday April 6, 2013 @ 6:34pm PDT

The “Jon Stewart of the Arab World” still faces a criminal investigation into accusations that he insulted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith on his satirical news show The Program. But an Egyptian court today … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Twitter Trouble In Cairo Over ‘Daily Show’ Link, WB’s Mexican Comedy Hit, Image Unit In China & More

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

U.S. Embassy In Cairo In Twitter Trouble Over ‘Daily Show’ Link
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo temporarily shut down its Twitter feed on Wednesday, deleting a missive it had sent linking to video of The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart defended Egyptian TV host Bassem Youssef. Youssef, aka “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” was called in for questioning by the public prosecutor over the weekend to face allegations of insulting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. The embassy tweeted a link to the video, but when Egyptian authorities said it was “inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda,” the entire account was deleted then restored sans the offending link, The Associated Press reported. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland scolded the embassy as well: “Embassies and consulates and their senior leadership manage the content that is on their feeds and they are expected to use good policy judgment in doing that. Earlier this week, Nuland said the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party then condemned her “imprudent” remarks. Read More »

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Egypt’s Ruling Party Slams U.S. For Remarks On Case Of TV Host Bassem Youssef

The plight of Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian TV host known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World”, has become something of a political hot potato between the U.S. and Egypt. Youssef was called in for questioning over the weekend on accusations that he had insulted President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith, leading U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to comment that the warrant for Youssef’s arrest was “evidence of a disturbing trend of growing restrictions on the freedom of expression.” Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party has condemned her “imprudent” remarks, which it says “constitute a hasty, blatant interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.” Three lawsuits have been brought against Youssef for content of his Daily Show-like satirical news magazine The Program, and a further accusation of disturbing the public order was brought on Monday. The Program is watched by about 30M Middle East viewers on satellite channel CBC, which has also been warned that because of the show, it may be in violation of the terms of its license. Youssef told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he and Stewart had been corresponding since the weekend’s events — Stewart defended his friend on The Daily Show on Monday night. Read More »

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Jon Stewart Defends His Egyptian Doppelganger Bassem Youssef – And Finds A Way To Rip NBC: Video

By | Tuesday April 2, 2013 @ 9:04am PDT

The Daily Show host managed to work a couple of NBC-Jay Leno jokes into his segment last night defending Bassem Youssef, who’s known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World”. Youssef was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor over the … Read More »

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TV Host Known As ‘Jon Stewart Of The Arab World’ Arrested Over Alleged Insults To Egyptian President

Bassem Youssef appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart last June and was at SXSW last month to discuss the evolving roles of comedy, satire and entertainment in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the man known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World” was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations of insulting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Islamic faith. Youssef appeared in court Sunday where he posted $2,200 bail on three lawsuits filed against him, according to CNN. He wrote on Twitter that there was a fourth pending, but that no date had been given for an investigation. Youssef has been sued before, but this is the first time the prosecutor has followed up with legal action. He joked with Stewart last June about receiving death threats over his show.

A former heart surgeon who is also a practicing Muslim, Youssef rose to popularity with satirical videos he posted on YouTube during the Arab Spring. He segued to satellite TV where his Daily Show-like news mag, The Program, is watched by a reported 30M viewers across the Middle East. Per the BBC, sketches in which Youssef put Morsi’s image on a pillow and separately portrayed him as a pharaoh dubbed “Super Morsi,” so angered one Islamist lawyer that it resulted in a formal complaint leading to the warrant this weekend. Read More »

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