Tag Archives: Showtime

Showtime drops King Shaka

King Shaka, the sweeping story of the Zulu nation’s founder and his unlikely rise to power, is no longer moving ahead at Showtime.

Antoine Fuqua

The series, produced by Propagate Content and CBS Studios and directed and exec produced by US filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, was filmed in South Africa. C21 understands that while production will not continue, the majority of filming, including the final episode, has been completed.

CBS Studios and Showtime are looking to find another home for the series, which was officially ordered to series in March 2021. Deadline was first to report the news.

Created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika, the drama follows one man’s journey from a stigmatised childhood to becoming a warrior king. The show stars Charles Babalola in the lead role.

Odebunmi and Awosika executive produce with Ben Silverman, Rodney Ferrell, Fuqua, Howard T Owens, Rodney Ferrell and Spencer Medof.

King Shaka is the latest in a string of series to be scrapped as Showtime and its parent company Paramount Global undertakes cost-cutting measures and implements a new programming strategy shift to focus more heavily on building franchises and universes around properties such as Billions, Dexter and Yellowstone. Other series axed despite the fact production was largely completed are Three Women and Ripley.

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Oyelowo takes lead in Showtime drama

Nigerian-British-American actor David Oyelowo is to star in Showtime drama pilot The President is Missing, based on the bestselling novel by former US president Bill Clinton and James Patterson.

David Oyelowo

The series tells the story of a powerless and politically aimless vice president, played by Oyelowo, who becomes US president unexpectedly and against his wishes. He has to deal with crisis both within and outside the White House amidst scandals, conspiracy and attacks by friends and enemies.

The pilot, which is set to begin production in 2020, is being written and executive produced by Anthony Peckham, alongside Christopher McQuarrie, Heather McQuarrie, Clinton, Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Oyelowo.

Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment for Showtime, said: “David brings such enormous depth, sensitivity and power to every role he plays. Having him as our lead ensures that our series will have the exhilarating suspense of a political thriller along with the juicy complexity of a character drama.”

Oyelowo is known for his role as Martin Luther King Jr in the 2014 film Selma. He was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the HBO movie Nightingale and his other recent credits include the BBC miniseries adaptation of Les Misérables and films like The Cloverfield Paradox, Queen of Katwe, Don’t Let Go and A Wrinkle in Time.

Showtime landed the rights to the book in 2017 nearly a year before the its June 2018 release.

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