CANNES/TINAPA – 17 OCTOBER 2013 – Disney Media Distribution EMEA today announced plans for a local production of the iconic hit series “Desperate Housewives,” bringing a new take on the series’ darkly comedic view of suburbia to African audiences. The series, to be filmed in Nigeria and known as “Desperate Housewives Africa”, will be co-produced by EbonyLife TV and Disney, and will beginning airing from Summer 2014.

The original “Desperate Housewives” won both the 2005 and 2006 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and was created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios. The series is broadcast in more than 200 territories around the world, where it has been one of the most popular U.S. TV shows in recent history with its eighth and final series concluding in 2012.

Giovanni Mastrangelo, General Manager, Disney Media Distribution, Emerging Markets said: “Co-producing “Desperate Housewives Africa” with EbonyLife TV offers the opportunity to engage African audiences through locally relevant and entertaining storytelling. It’s terrific news that the local version of this hit series, starring a pan-African cast, will bring to life the universal stories and characters created by ABC Studios.”

Mo Abudu, CEO & Executive Chairman, EbonyLife TV, added: “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.”

Since 2006, five different versions of “Desperate Housewives” have been produced for EMEA and Latin American audiences. These are “Umutsuz Ev Kadinlari” a Turkish production which launched 2011; Amas de Casa Desesperadas,” the Argentinean version (in Spanish, for broadcast in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay); the Colombian/Ecuadorian version (in Spanish, broadcast in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, and also sold to Japan); the U.S. Hispanic version (for broadcast in U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic); “Donas de Casa Desesperadas,” the Brazilian version (in Portuguese, for broadcast in Brazil).

The Nigerian series will feature an African cast of new emerging and established talents and will be filmed on location in Lagos, Nigeria, at Adiva Estates, a gated development along the Lekki Expressway, developed by ARM. This location has been identified as Africa’s own “Wisteria Lane”.

Production will closely follow the format and storylines of the original US version, with a uniquely Nigerian flavour. And to ensure the series retains its international appeal but with an African soul, EbonyLife TV will be working with DO.ii designs and Agatha Interiors on furniture design for the Desperate Housewives Africa sets. On dressing of talent, EbonyLife TV will be partnering with stylist Veronica of Vane-Style and major Nigerian designers to include Bridget Awosika, Ella & Gabby, Jewel By Lisa, Kareema Mak, Lanre Da Silva, Meena, Me-Li, Needle Point, Odio Mimonet, Phunkafrique, Toju Foyeh, etcetera.

Talks are also ongoing with a number of potential sponsors to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity that will undoubtedly deliver increased brand awareness, massive brand building and huge propensity to purchase.
Disney Media Distribution has leveraged other ABC Studios-produced scripted series for local production across the world; including versions of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Golden Girls,” “According to Jim,” “Hope & Faith” and “Revenge” in Turkey, local versions of “The Golden Girls” in Russia, Greece, Israel and Spain, and “Brothers & Sisters” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in Colombia.

About EbonyLife TV:
EbonyLife TV is Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment Network producing over 1000 hours of made-in-Nigeria content, presenting Africa as never before. Our vision is to be the preferred global network for premium African entertainment through the creation of original, homegrown and premium content, showcasing the best of Africa for a Global Black audience.
Barely three months after its launch which featured Mr. Steve Forbes of Forbes Media as special guest, EbonyLife TV has struck a deal with Disney Media Distribution to co-produce Desperate Housewives Africa, a Nigeria-based version of the hit series. EbonyLife TV is in Cannes seeking carriage and distribution deals worldwide for the channel that currently airs in 44 African countries across the continent on the DStv platform.

Through a Joint Venture Agreement with the Cross River State Government, EbonyLife TV is the concessionaire of Studio Tinapa, Africa’s first and only state-of-the-art and purpose-built Film Studio located within the Tinapa Free Zone & Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, providing first class production and post-production services for all the channel’s content, and from where the channel has continued to deliver on its promise of delivering a fresh new energy and perspective to audiences across the globe, receiving rave reviews from key international media such as the Washington Post, ABC News, BBC, Yahoo News, amongst several others.

About Disney Media Distribution EMEA
The Walt Disney Company’s EMEA Media Distribution team licenses the Company’s entertainment content to TV and non-linear clients across the region. This includes Disney-branded channels, plus a portfolio of motion pictures from Walt Disney Pictures, Disney●Pixar and Marvel, Lucasfilm, network TV series from ABC Studios, TV movies and miniseries, Disney and Marvel-branded kids and family programming, ABC Daytime and ABC News programming as well as the Annual Academy Awards®.

Disney Media Distribution also licenses reality and scripted formats for local production; including local editions of “Desperate Housewives”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “According to Jim”, “Private Practice” and “Revenge” in Turkey, “Ghost Whisperer” in Spain, “The Amazing Race” in Israel and Norway, “The Golden Girls” in Greece, Israel, Spain and Turkey and “Desperate Housewives” in Nigeria.
The division is also responsible for music, publishing, mobile, games and interactive content made available to consumers via licensed third party commercial partners.

Press contacts:
Olajide Olaoluwa: jolaoluwa@ebonylifetv.com/ 234 (0) 803 313 5747

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