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‘African Oprah’ to adapt Desperate Housewives

Desperate Housewives is being remade by a new pan-continental channel run by a woman dubbed the ‘the Oprah of Africa’.

EbonyLifeTV, a Nigerian-based network, is adapting the show for the African market in a coproduction with Disney. After filming in Nigeria, it will reach the air in 2014.

It will feature an all-African cast and closely follow the format and storylines of the US original.

Disney Media Distribution EMEA announced today in Cannes at MIPCOM at a lunch attended by EbonyLife founder, CEO and executive chairman Mo Abudu, who told TBI the deal comprises 23 scripts but may be expanded at a later date.

She said: “In Desperate Housewives we find one of the most amazing formats for TV and we are extremely excited to be co-producing it with Disney Media Distribution EMEA. On our part, and in line with our mission, which is to create original, homegrown and premium content with an African soul, we will work to ensure parity with the original storyline and production values that have characterised the global series, without compromising on that very important African essence. This is very crucial to our channel as it definitely is to The Walt Disney Company.”

The original Desperate Housewives concluded on ABC last year after eight seasons. The dark comedy tells the story of a group of women living in suburban America with a terrible secret.

Giovanni Mastrangelo, general manager, DMD, emerging markets said: “Coproducing Desperate Housewives Africa with EbonyLife TV offers the opportunity to engage African audiences through locally relevant and entertaining storytelling.”