MultiChoice has announced four upcoming Showmax Originals, building on the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, The Girl From St. Agnes and Somizi & Mohale: The Union, which all set first-day viewing records on the streaming platform.
“We’ve deliberately ramped up emphasis on local content,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “If you look at something like the first view metric, which asks what’s the first show someone watches after signing up for Showmax under the assumption this is probably what convinced them to join, three out of the top five first view pieces of content are now local.“
The next Showmax Original will be Life With Kelly Khumalo, a reality series about one of South Africa’s biggest music stars, launching 6 August 2020. 2021 series on the way include the long-awaited second season of the South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA)-winning comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary; the nightclub-set murder mystery Skemerdans; and the small-town horror Dam, with more Showmax Originals to be announced soon.
Life With Kelly Khumalo, launching 6 August 2020
Her vocal highness Kelly Khumalo is the latest celeb to allow South African audiences into her life, with Life With Kelly Khumalo, which is being produced by BarLeader, the company behind Being Bonang, Somizi & Mohale: The Union, and 2020’s other breakout reality series, Kwa Mam’Mkhize.
A household name by 21, now with over 1.7m followers on Instagram alone, Kelly has been named Best Female Artist at the South African Music Awards, sold millions of albums, and opened for Grammy winner Missy Elliott.
But in recent years, Kelly has made headlines for more than just her undeniable talent, like her turbulent relationship with her son’s father, hip-hop star Jub Jub; the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of her daughter’s father, Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa; and her recent ‘divorce’ from her sister, Zandie.
But there’s more to her story than her history. Life With Kelly Khumalo is an intimate glimpse at the woman behind the headlines: a single mother of two who is juggling parenting with the build-up to the release of not just her new album, Undithatha Kancinci, but also her first gin, appropriately titled Controversy – both threatened by South Africa’s unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown.
Tali’s Baby Diary, launching 2021
Tali’s Wedding Diary, produced by Sketchbook Studios, was the first Showmax Original when it launched in December 2017, setting a new record for first-day views on the platform. It went on to become the most-awarded comedy at the 2019 South African Film and Television Awards, where it took home five awards, including Best Comedy, Best Director (Ari Kruger) and Best Actress (Julia Anastasopoulos from SuzelleDIY).
In Tali’s Baby Diary, an unexpected pregnancy forces Tali into a desperate pivot from Insta-influencer to “wholesome” momfluencer, as Darren (Anton Taylor) and Rael (Comics’ Choice nominee Glen Biderman-Pam) navigate the choppy waters of the Cape Town property game. But as the nine-month clock ticks down, Tali and the boys are forced to face the bigger questions about life, love and parenthood.
Skemerdans, launching 2021
From Nagvlug Films (Rage) comes Skemerdans, a Cape Flats neo-noir set at The Oasis, a jazz club and after-dark entertainment venue that becomes the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate. As opposing forces fight to gain control of Glenn Fortune’s legacy, an ongoing murder investigation gets closer to the inconvenient truth…
2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Amy Jephta (writer: Trackers, Ellen: Die Ellen Pakkies Storie) serves as executive producer and showrunner on this new 13-part series, co-directing alongside Ephraim Gordon (Sara Se Geheim, Suidooster).
Dam, launching 2021
In Dam, a prodigal daughter returns home to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the house: but are they real or in her head?