New ‘Million Dollar Island’ Seasons From Talpa and MBC Commission to Be Produced at Saudi Arabia’s Neom

Talpa Studios, the company founded by “The Voice” and “Big Brother” creator John de Mol, has recommissioned its hit reality show “Million Dollar Island” for new seasons in the Middle East and the Netherlands, produced at Saudi Arabia’s innovative Neom production hub.

The upcoming seasons, respectively titled “Million Dollar Land” for Middle East broadcaster MBC and “Million Dollar Desert” for NET5 in the Netherlands, will be executive produced at Neom by Dubai-based Blue Engine Studios.

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The announcement follows Talpa’s recent launch of a Bulgarian edition of “Million Dollar Island.”

In the Saudi desert show’s new seasons, 30 contestants “will face the ultimate test of endurance as they navigate the harsh and breathtaking challenges of desert life,” according to a statement.

“We are very excited to expand the success of ‘Million Dollar Island’ with these captivating spinoffs,” said Talpa Studios director of global distribution Sebastian van Barneveld. “The show preserves the core principles that have made the original so compelling while introducing innovative new elements that are perfectly suited to Neom’s stunning desert scenery.”

Neom, the northwestern Saudi Arabian region on the Red Sea where a futuristic city is being built, is aiming to become a major film and TV production hub.

Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries at Neom, noted that over the past two years it has gained prominence as the regional hub for content creation, “boasting state-of-the-art infrastructure, sound stages and attractive production incentives, alongside a rich talent pool.”

“Through successful partnerships with industry leaders like Talpa Studios and Blue Engine, Neom has emerged as the international format hub in the region for premium unscripted television productions,” Borg added.

Commented Ziad Kebbi, CEO of Blue Engine Studios: “We are thrilled to be at the forefront of bringing innovative and culturally relevant content to the Arab world.”

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