EXCLUSIVE: African streamer Showmax is readying its latest original out of Nigeria for next month.
Crime and Justice Lagos follows the activities of the fictional Serious and Special Crimes Unit working in the Nigerian capital, which is the biggest and most densely populated city in Africa, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Femi Biboye (William Benson).
The show, made for MultiChoice’s streaming service, will debut on December 8, with Folu Storms and Jammal Ibraham also starring as the heads of an elite team of detectives.
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Nollywood veterans Uche Mac-Auley, Paul Adams and Femi Durojaiye also star, along with emerging talents Margaret Osuome, Ejirooghene “Jyro” Asagba and Makinde Adeniran. Yinka Edward is executive producer.
Deadline understands an international co-production partner is close to boarding the production, whose filming has wrapped.
“Crime and Justice Lagos is unlike any other Nigerian original we have put out,” said Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels at MultiChoice Nigeria.
“We’ve created a crime series that captures the pulse of the city – from its glitzy clubs to its grimy ghettos – through the lens of law enforcement agents tasked with keeping its citizens safe. Each episode mirrors real crime stories that audiences will connect with and will give them a lot to ponder about.”
The show’s launch comes after the 2022 launches of Nigerian Showmax originals Flawsome, a drama about the lives of four women living in Lagos, and Diiche, a six-part psychological thriller that blends modern, mystical and mystery themes. Further Nigerian originals include docu-series Journey of the Beats,comedy series Ghana Jollof, reality show I am LAYCON and The Real Housewives of Lagos.
Earlier this year, Showmax content boss Yolisa Phahle told Deadline streaming competition in Africa was “more fierce than ever,” but added: “The fact of the matter is that Showmax is doing something different to our competition. Our only market is Africa and so every single resource we have goes towards winning the hearts and minds of people in Africa; we’d like people in America to watch our shows but that’s not what we care about. We create thousands of jobs for African people, generate millions in tax revenue for the betterment of our society and the success of our business is like a calling.”
She also pointed to what she has previously described as the “Black Panther effect” on international audiences, after the Marvel movie proved African stories could become international smash hits. “Black Panther demonstrated the fact that we have long believed that there is going to come a day where people are actually going to look with a different kind of interest at our stories, the backdrop and the history of Africa.”
Several of Showmax’s scripted originals have been co-productions with MultiChoice part owner Canal+, which has a stake of about 26%. These shows include the upcoming Spinners, about the dangerous South African motor sport of the same name.
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