Tag Archives: ViacomCBS

Showtime orders epic Zulu drama

Showtime in the US has greenlit a series about the Zulu Empire chief Shaka and his unlikely rise to power, uniting multiple tribes across vast stretches of Africa in the early 19th century.

Antoine Fuqua

Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation will be executive produced and directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and was created and written by Olu Odebunmi and Tolu Awosika.

Produced by CBS Studios and Propagate, the hour-long drama follows one man’s personal journey from stigmatised childhood to warrior king.

Odebunmi and Awosika (The Terminal List) executive produce with Ben Silverman, Rodney Ferrell, Fuqua, Howard T Owens, Gregory Lipstone, Rodney Ferrell and Spencer Medof.

The series is also produced by Scott Greenberg, with Michael Callas producing for Fuqua Films. The series is distributed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.

Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment at ViacomCBS-owned Showtime Networks alongside Jana Winograde, said: “Olu and Tolu have written such an exciting and emotional origin story of an African warrior hero. Antoine’s passion for this project, coupled with his formidable talent, promises an epic series unlike any other on television.”

Fuqua added: “This project offers a gateway to our past that is so critical to our global history and yet so often marginalized. We hope to bring this saga to life, all the tears, sweat and blood, all the joy and sorrow, all the intimacy and intensity and humanity. In short, we’re going to rock the world with this one.”

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Busiswa show to debut on BET Africa

Busiswa Gqulu

South African singer Busiswa Gqulu will star in a new reality TV show called Her Majesty on ViacomCBS-owned channel BET Africa.

The 13-part show will air this month to celebrate International Women’s Month and will star the African singer and document her journey towards making an album.

It will also explore her award-winning music career and partnerships with international superstars as she shares her experiences with African audiences.

Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa and lead at BET International, said: “It’s so inspiring to bring another local black female-led reality TV series to the channel.

“The series will give viewers an intimate exclusive glimpse into the world of one of Africa’s leading queen of song. BET Africa is proud to continue celebrating black excellence on the continent and we are committed to bringing African audiences content that is culture-led, bold and relevant.

Gqulu added: “I am excited to partner with BET Africa, a brand that continuously celebrates black culture and excellence globally. I look forward to sharing my truth, whereas over the years I have been reluctant to share anything. But I have learned that it’s more important to own my story, and am willing to let my fans into the next level that is my private and spiritual life.”

The series starts at 19.30 CAT on March 20 on BET Africa channel 129.

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MTV Africa awards postponed

The 14th edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs), which was scheduled to take place on February 20 in Kampala, has been postponed.

The event showcases African culture, music and creativity and was due to take place virtually due to complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic. No reason was given for the postponement and no specific date has been disclosed for when the award is likely to return.

A statement from ViacomCBS, the US-based media organisation behind the event, reads: “MTV Base is postponing the 2021 MTV Africa Music Awards. We will keep fans updated as we have more news.”

Grammy-winning DJ and record executive DJ Khaled was to be the international host for the event while African artistes nominated for awards include Burna Boy, Calema, Diamond Platnumz, Master KG, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid.

The MTV Africa Music Awards has recognised the talent of musicians and personalities from across Africa, including 2Face Idibia, AKA, Anselmo Ralph, Big Nuz, Cassper Nyovest, Clarence Peters, Cabo Snoop, Davido, D’Banj, Diamond Platnumz, Flavour, Lira, Lupita Nyong’o, Mafikizolo Nameless, P-Square, Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage, Toofan, Trevor Noah, Uhuru, Wahu, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and others.

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MTV Entertainment partners with Oyelowo

ViacomCBS and its MTV Entertainment arm have inked an exclusive overall deal for original scripted and unscripted series with British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (Selma) and British actor and singer Jessica Oyelowo.

David Oyelowo

The partnership is through the husband-and-wife team’s production company Yoruba Saxon. LA-based 101 Studios will serve as production partner on all projects.

The first project to emerge from the deal is Bass Reeves, a limited series about the famous lawman of the Wild West, which is currently in development. David Oyelowo is attached to play the titular character and Taylor Sheridan is producer on the project.

David Oyelowo said: “The stories Jess and I want to tell are boundary-busting and full of folks the likes of whom we have seldom seen on screen. The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that.

“To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realised through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios.”

Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, said: “David and Jessica are incredibly talented artists and we’re excited to develop our Bass Reeves project together with them and our phenomenal partner Taylor Sheridan. As the first black deputy US marshal west of the Mississippi River, Reeves’ story is monumental, and this limited series will bring to light one of the greatest frontier heroes in our country’s history.”

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Oros Mampofu to host MTV’s Ghosted

Ghosted: Love Gone Missing presenters Shamiso Mosaka and Oros Mampofu

South African actor Oros Mampofu, star of SABC soap Skeem Saam, has signed up as host for the African version of US reality show Ghosted: Love Gone Missing.

The show seeks to help individuals who have been ‘ghosted’ – left in the dark by someone they care about – and who are distraught and are looking for the truth.

Alongside MTV Base’s Culture Squad presenter Shamiso Mosaka, he will help people track down their loved ones to reveal the truth.

“Ghosted comes to Africa, baby. You guys have no idea what’s coming your way,” Mampofu said on Instagram.

Mampofu is best known for his role as Jama, Thabo Maputla’s university roommate, in the soap opera Skeem Saam as well as his starring role in the Mzansi Magic drama series Igazi.

Ghosted: Love Gone Missing will premiere on MTV Africa (channel 130 on DSTV) on August 16 at 21.30.

The show is based on the US reality show produced by Sharp Entertainment that debuted on MTV in 2019. MTV parent ViacomCBS distributes the format internationally.

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