Amman

Wael Shawky

Darat al Funun

In the mid-1970s, the game show Telematch began an eight-year run on West German public television. The show was based on a formula borrowed from other similar shows such as Intervilles in France and It’s a Knockout in the United Kingdom; the idea was to pit residents of two different towns against one another in contests that often involved outrageous costumes. At the end of each season, the winners of Telematch would advance to Jeux Sans Frontiers (Games Without Borders), a show created in the ’60s, allegedly at Charles de Gaulle’s request, to foster pan-European friendship. But the popularity of Telematch waned, and by the ’80s it was gone. The show’s producers dubbed the series into Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish, among other languages, and syndicated it around the globe, at which point it became an unexpected oddball hit in countries as far afield as India and Argentina.

In the long history

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