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Extra: “Real Housewives” bound for Lagos; Tencent joins ITVS copro deal

NBCUniversal Formats, Showmax team for Real Housewives of Lagos NBCUniversal Formats, part of Universal Studio Group, and African streaming service Showmax are teaming up to bring the Real Housewives format to ...
September 16, 2021

NBCUniversal Formats, Showmax team for Real Housewives of Lagos

NBCUniversal Formats, part of Universal Studio Group, and African streaming service Showmax are teaming up to bring the Real Housewives format to Lagos, Nigeria in 2022.

The Real Housewives of Lagos will focus on the opulent lives of some of the richest women in Nigeria’s largest city. It’s the 16th international version of the popular docusoap format and the third to be adapted in Africa. Real Housewives of Lagos will be distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Formats.

The new series will be produced by Livespot 360, and marks the second Showmax Original reality series in Nigeria, coming on the heels of I Am LAYCON, starring Big Brother Naija season five winner Lekan Agbeleshe, which set a Nigerian first-day record for Showmax when it premiered in February 2021.

Showmax is also bringing back The Real Housewives of Durban (pictured) for a second season after the show broke records for the streamer earlier this year in South Africa. The series is also launching in several global territories following a successful launch in 50 countries across Africa. Season two is produced by Let It Rain Films, with Thumeka Hlotshana attached to direct and Emmy winner Lee Doig (Survivor USA) creative directing.

“We’ve seen audiences across Africa devour The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban,” said Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content, in a release. “The Real Housewives franchise lends itself to localisation and we know our audience is going to love seeing the show reinvented Naija-style. We can’t wait to show the continent — and the world — another side of Lagos, with all the drama, high fashion and luxury you’d expect from The Real Housewives franchise.”

“We are so proud to build on the international success of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and Durban with our partner Showmax,” added Ana Langenberg, SVP, format sales and production, NBCUniversal International Formats. “The vibrancy of Lagos and its rich culture, fashion and opulence makes for the perfect setting for the show. We also can’t wait to see the second season of Durban come to life and deliver fans all over the world even more extravagance and entertainment.”

WarnerMedia schedules Harry Potter-themed competition series for this fall, hosted by Helen Mirren

Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren has been tapped to host Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, an upcoming four-part competition series scheduled for this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film.

The series will test competitors on their knowledge of the beloved book and film series, as they vie to be named House Cup champion. The show will feature hundreds of trivia questions along with special guest surprises. A play-along component will be included for viewers to test their knowledge at home.

The special will tape later this month and premiere later this year, simulcast on Carton Network’s ACME Night and TBS, followed by its premiere on HBO Max.

“I knew someday I’d get a Harry Potter role, and I’m so pleased to take part in the 20-year film celebration,” Mirren said in a news release. “The films inspired such enchantment and wonder for so many of us, and it will be such a treat to reignite that magic for the countless fans who continue to revel in this spellbinding world.”

The series is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, in association with Warner Horizon and Robin Ashbrook and YAsmin Shackleton of theoldschool.

ZDF Enterprises multi-package deal for North America, UK

ZDF Enterprises has concluded a deal to license a range of German-language content to Lingopie, a language learning platform, for the U.S., Canada and the UK.

The titles in the package include non-fiction content that has aired on Germany’s ZDF channel, like the award-winning road trip docuseries Filling Stations of Happiness (10 x 26 minutes), the the travelogue series Weekend (23 x 15 minutes), The Dog Whisperer (15 x 45 minutes) and Eating Out In… (28 x 30 minutes), a series about Europe’s regional cuisines.

“We owe it to our viewers to offer them the best foreign language content so ZDF Enterprises was an obvious choice when it came to acquiring high end German programming,” said Lingopie co-founder and CEO David Datny in a release. “We hope this relationship will grow as we grow as a company and can provide our users with the high quality content from their exclusive programming.”

Tencent inks copro deal with ITV Studios for natural history series

UK prodco ITV Studios and China’s Tencent Video have announced a co-production partnership for a new natural history series, A Year on Planet Earth.

The series was originally commissioned by ITV in the UK and produced by Plimsoll Productions, in association with ITV Studios.

Tencent Video, China’s leading online video streaming platform, joins ITV in boarding the ambitious series along with Fox Nation, Fox News Media’s U.S. streaming service, and ARD Group in Germany as copro partners.

The 6 x 60-minute series will feature a story arc across the season, coming from a highly specialized, award-winning natural history team, including Tom Hugh-Jones (Tiny World, Planet Earth II), Dr. Martha Holmes (Blue Planet, Hostile Planet) and Grant Mansfield (Hostile Planet, Malika the Lion Queen).

A Year on Planet Earth is the latest addition to our carefully curated collection of natural history programming and is promising to be an absolute treat. It is already capturing the imagination of the global market and we are delighted that Tencent Video have joined us in this unique look at the natural world,” Ruth Berry, managing director, global distribution for ITV Studios, said in a release.

“We hope the co-production partnership with ITV Studios and Plimsoll extends to a long and fruitful adventure to bring blue-chip documentaries to our China and International audiences. We will continue to work with ITV Studios to bring stories about China to the world,” added Lex Zhu, Tencent Video’s director of documentary studio.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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