EXCLUSIVE: Political satirist/comedian Bassem Youssef is teaming with Powerhouse Animation Studios to adapt his forthcoming book The Magical Reality of Nadia, inspired by Youssef’s own life experience, as a television series.
The Magical Reality of Nadia is described as a humorous and heartfelt story about prejudice, friendship, empathy, and courage. Written by Youssef and Catherine R. Daly with illustrations by Douglas Holgate (The Last Kids on Earth), the book is inspired by Bassem’s own experience and his hopes and dreams for his children. Scholastic will publish the first book in the series in February 2021.
In the book, Nadia, who is Youssef’s young daughter, moved from Egypt to America when she was six years old, and is determined to win a school contest to design an exhibit at the local museum. A new kid shows up at school and teases Nadia about her family’s culture. Luckily for Nadia, she wears a hippo amulet from ancient Egypt which starts to glow and she discovers a magical secret: it carries the spirit of Titi, a teacher trapped inside the pendant 2,000 years ago. Set free by Nadia, Titi helps her celebrate her heritage, connect with her roots, and embark on adventures beyond her wildest imagination.
Youssef will serve as executive producer and voice the character of Titi in the series. Brad Graeber and Daniel Dominguez will also serve as executive producers. The project will initially be shopped to streaming services.
Youssef was a heart surgeon in his home country of Egypt before becoming the host of AlBernameg, the first political satire show in the Middle East. AlBernameg eventually became the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week and Youssef was dubbed ‘The Jon Stewart of the Middle East.’ Youssef has appeared on The Daily Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and was featured in Time 100, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people.
Powerhouse Animation Studios has worked on several Netflix series including Blood of Zeus, Fredator’s Castlevania, Seis Manos and the upcoming Masters Of The Universe: Revelation for Mattel. Powerhouse also has worked on numerous shows in the kids space including Nickelodeon’s The Adventures Of Kid Danger and Disney’s It’s A Small World: The Animated Series.
Bassem is repped by Avalon Management, CAA & Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP.
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