Desperate Housewives gets an African flavour

CANNES: Looks like Disney Media Network is on a roll with its president global distribution Ben Pyne, making a slew of announcements on day two of Mipcom.

First up, a local production of Disney’s iconic series Desperate Housewives is on the cards. Christened Desperate Housewives Africa and filmed in Nigeria, the series, co-produced by EbonyLive TV and Disney Media Distribution EMEA, is slated to hit television screens in the summer of 2014.

Disney Media Distribution general manager emerging markets Giovanni Mastrangelo said: “Co-producing the series with EbonyLife TV offers an opportunity to engage African audiences through locally relevant and entertaining storytelling. The local version of the series, starring pan-African cast, will bring to life the universal stories and characters created by ABC Studios.”

Said an excited EbonyLife TV CEO and executive chairman Mo Abudu: “In Desparate Housewives, we find one of the most amazing formats for TV and are extremely excited to be co-producing it with Disney. On our part, and in line with our mission which is to bring original, home-grown 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 the African essence.”

The series will feature established and emerging African talents and is being shot 

in Lagos, Nigeria, where a local ‘Wisteria Lane’ too has been found.

Secondly, Pyne announced the launch of Disney Movies on Demand, a Disney-branded subscription-based video-on-demand service in Hungary.

Scheduled to air on FUSO on 25 October, Disney Movies on Demand includes classic and live action titles such as Cars, Toy Story, Wall-E, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mary Poppins and Aladdin among others. The FUSO platform is available on Sony LG, Samsung and select Android tablets and iOS devices and will soon be made available on Xbox One and Sony PS4 as well. 


Speaking of its very first branded subscription-based SVOD service for Disney in Hungary and Eastern Europe, Fuso Ecosystem president Csaba Lazar said: “Fuso's subscribers will be delighted about the content, which will be available on Fuso premium service. We are excited to be the first eastern-European country to launch such a SVOD service.” Pyne informed that the deal was mediated and negotiated by Eastwest Entertainment, the Australian movie and television distribution company and Profour Film.

The third and last announcement was about Disney Media Distribution licensing ABC Studios and Marvel Television’s new series Marvel’s Agents if S.H.I.E.L.D to broadcasters across the globe in 155 territories including Channel 4 in the UK, Kanal 5 in Sweden, Viasat 4 in Norway, Digiturk in Turkey, OSN in the Middle East and North Africa and Star World Premiere HD in India, among others.

Which means episodes of the series will be available to distributors who show English language programming within 24 hours of its US debut on ABC, as well as in the dubbed in local language form 14 days after the airing. Pyne informed that a number of agreements with new media platforms have been concluded to complement the show’s linear transmission. As part of this, even viewers in China can access the series 24 hours post the US transmission on Sohu LeTV, iQiyi, Tencent and Tudou.

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