After the huge success of the South African crime drama, Trackers, DStv’s M-Net 102 is to boost its broadcast schedule with a host of equally entertaining local series in 2020.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe said the success of Trackers confirmed the view that audiences appreciated high-quality English-language drama series, especially those set in South Africa.
“So M-Net is at present developing and producing various series in a range of genres, which will slot into the M-Net 102 schedule cheek-by-jowl with all the major Hollywood hits that feature on this top-rated channel,” she said.
Coming up next on the slate of South African stories is a 13-part family drama, Still Breathing, which is being filmed in and around Johannesburg at present. Launching on February 27, Still Breathing will be screened in M-Net 102’s popular Thursday 8pm just after The Bachelor SA, the new season of which starts broadcasting on February 13 (7pm).
“While Trackers featured high-energy car chases, flying bullets and blood-curdling crime investigation, Still Breathing sets out to push a totally different set of buttons: the ones of the heart,” said Ms Dziva.
The main themes echo those of international hits such as Brothers and Sisters, This is Us and Parenthood, but it is weaved around the challenges faced by modern-day people in Southern Africa.
Ms Dziva said Still Breathing would showcase passionate local families in more ways than one, both on and off screen.
“In the director’s chair is SAFTA award-winner Johnny Barbuzano (The River, The Gift, Isozo Connection), while the script is the creation of Johnny’s wife, Tiffany Barbuzano, who also co-produces the series with him and is a member of the cast.
“In the series, Tiffany plays mom to their real-life offspring, up-and-coming stars Jamie and Jess Barbuzano. The impressive cast also includes talented stars like Fleur de Cap winner Kate Liquorish (Catching Feelings, Eye in the Sky), SAFTA winner Lorcia Kumalo (Lockdown, Zulu Wedding, The Queen), and Naledi winner Shannon Esra (The Throne, The Queen). These three actors feature in the Still Breathing marketing teaser, already being aired on M-Net.”
Other familiar faces include Ty Keogh, setting the screen alight as one of the male leads, while Jan de Wet, one of his co-stars from the Showmax original The Girl from St Agnes, also has a part.
M-Net’s still Breathing is produced by BBZ Films for M-Net.