Netflix to release its first Kuwaiti show this month

Netflix to release its first Kuwaiti show this month
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Updated 01 September 2022

Netflix to release its first Kuwaiti show this month

Netflix to release its first Kuwaiti show this month
  • ‘The Cage’ is a comedy-drama featuring a local cast
  • Series produced by Abdullah Boushahri and directed by Jasem Al-Muhanna

DUBAI: Netflix has announced its first Kuwaiti series, a comedy-drama titled “The Cage” that is set to be released on Sept. 23.

The eight-episode series about the ups and downs of married life features a host of local actors including Khaled Ameen, Hussain Al-Mahdi, Rawan Mahdi, Lamya Tareq and Hessah Al-Nabhan.

The show is produced by Abdullah Boushahri, who is best known for movies like “Europa” and “Losing Ahmad,” and directed by Jasem Al-Muhanna, the man behind the TV show “Al-Namous.”

While this is Netflix’s first Kuwaiti show, the streaming giant has been making inroads in the country since earlier this year. In March, it held a six-week program called TV Writers’ Lab 6x6 in partnership with Kuwait-based National Creative Industries Group.

The six participating writers spent six weeks honing their scripts under the guidance of experts, with the goal of turning them into pitches for Netflix. All of the writers received New York Film Academy-endorsed certificates at the end of the program.

“We’ve had several programs in the last two years, but the Lab 6x6 program is the first initiative of its kind in the region that looks to incubate writers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and turn their ideas into market-ready pitch decks in six weeks,” Ahmed Sharkawi, director of Arabic series at Netflix, told Arab News at the time.

“The Cage” is another step in the company’s investment in Arabic content. Over the past two years, it has added to its library of Arabic films, launched collections highlighting Arabic cinema and struck deals to create original content.

Last month it partnered with Egypt-based Sard, a hub for scriptwriters in the Arab world, to coach women in creative writing and help them develop their storytelling skills through the latest in a series of Because She Created programs.

Still, Netflix has been under pressure as it looks to retain subscribers and maximize revenue. Just this year, between April and July, it lost nearly a million subscribers.

A study released in July by the US-based subscriber measurement firm Antenna revealed that 19 percent of subscribers to premium services including Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV+, HBO Max and Disney+, canceled three or more subscriptions in the two years up to June 2022, up from 6 percent in the previous two years.

The study also found that streaming services need to allocate huge amounts of resources and capital to produce new shows to keep subscribers satisfied.

Netflix’s investment in original and local content such as “The Cage” might be just what the streaming service needs to continue attracting viewers.