African streamer Showmax is making its first telenovela, romantic comedy series and scripted West African original as part of a new slate of eight shows and films.
Showmax’s first telenovela, The Wife, is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love, all of which tell the story of a Zulu crime family through the eyes of the criminals’ wives.
Each book will be adapted into 40 episodes of the 120-episode season, with South African prodco Stained Glass producing.
Romcom series Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. The show has been created by Louis Pretorius and Albert Snyman, the creators of Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.
Ghana Jollof is Showmax’s first West African comedy. It features two Nigerians who move to Ghana and clash with their new environment. The series will be filmed across Lagos and Accra, with comedian Basketmouth exec producing.
As well as these shows, Showmax is also making its first epic fantasy series. A coproduction with French pay TV firm Canal+, Blood Psalms tells the story of the ascent to power of a teenage princess whose world is threatened by the gods. South Africa’s Yellowbone Entertainment is producing.
Also on the slate is a second season of Black Tax, a sitcom about a single mother who has just managed to make ends meet when her parents demand she take care of them, too. Tyler Perry’s BET Africa is behind the show.
Meanwhile, Showmax will host the first part of a film trilogy in 2022. Glasshouse is a post-apocalyptic movie from Kelsey Egan and Cape Town’s Local Motion Pictures in which one family does what it can to survive in a world where humans are affected by airborne dementia known as The Shred.
Elsewhere on the slate is family thriller Desert Rose, made by Quizzical Pictures. The show sees family reunion turn into a manhunt as the Greyling siblings scramble to settle their estranged father’s debt before it’s too late. Rohan Dickson, known for Showmax series Reyka, is the showrunner.
There’s also horror series Pulse, in which an international group of young game creators discover survival is not just a game when an electromagnetic pulse bomb turns their secure office high-rise into a battlefield. The series is the result of an international collaboration between global production and finance company Media Musketeers, UK-based ForLan Films and South Africa’s Red Mirror.
Finally, Afrikaans docuseries Seks sees couples and single people openly discuss their sex lives with a clinical psychologist. Sex workers, adult-shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and others all feature. The six-parter is being produced by media personality Rian van Heerden through South Africa’s Provoco.