Top African Distributor Côte Ouest Producing 1st Series: 'Inspector First Class' (African Clouseau)

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
October 10, 2012 12:54 PM
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Announced at the ongoing MIPCOM 2012 (the international TV and entertainment market held in Cannes once every year; where content is introduced for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing)...

Leading continential Africa distributor Côte Ouest has announced production of its first original scripted series - a crime dramedy being compared to Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther franchise of films fame.

The hour-long series, to be titled Inspector First Class, which is currently in development, will follow the comedic exploits of a detective (described as a "bungling black African Pink Panther-like character") working for the fictitious "African Bureau of Investigation" (chuckle, chuckle).

According to Côte Ouest reps, the series is intended to have pan-African appeal, with Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria all represented in a production partnership with South Africa-based production house Dv8 Films.

Production is scheduled to begin in March 2013.

ScreenAfrica adds that the series will feature an eclectic mix of characters, covering various themes and issues of importance to Africans.

Mike Dearham, senior VP of the Côte Ouest Group, said Inspector First Class would be first on a slate of several Côte Ouest productions: "Côte Ouest has unprecedented knowledge of the African production industry and has established its position as one of the leading companies within the territory,” said Dearham. “It now feels like a natural step to enter into the production space with Inspector First Class. We will work closely with TV stations in Africa and beyond to secure pre-licence deals, and several stations have already pledged their support to the project. This series, along with the properties in Côte Ouest’s MIPCOM catalogue, highlight the diversity and quality of the content that is being produced in Africa. African content is rapidly gaining popularity with international audiences and we are excited to be part of its growth as we showcase these properties on the global stage."

Adding to its already robust library of telenovelas, Hollywood and African content, Cote Ouest is Disney's African rep. 

Other Côte Ouest MIPCOM highlights that I'll return to emphasize (if necessary) in individual posts include the following recently acquired titles:

Mali is a drama about a rich family that is run by an over-controlling polygamous patriarch. Different in nature and in background, the families are plagued by romance, money, power and seduction. Côte Ouest holds the global rights for all versions of the series.

Bella’s Place is a drama series centred on a hair and beauty salon run by the title character. Following the day-to-day exploits of the salon’s employees and its customers, the series is full of relationship troubles, gossip and intrigue. Côte Ouest holds the exclusive rights for the series for English-speaking African countries.

Siri, which means ‘secret’ in Swahili, is an educational drama series set on a tea plantation. The series addresses the issues related to reproductive health and HIV from a woman’s perspective. Côte Ouest holds the global distribution rights for all forms of TV content and internet based media channels. All language versions are available.

The Clone is a telenovela that follows the turbulent love story of Lucas and Jade. Beginning in 1980 in Morocco and spanning to present day Rio de Janeiro, The Clone reveals their forbidden love affair whilst raising two polemic themes – human cloning and drug abuse. Côte Ouest has rights to distribute the programme across the entire African continent and has already produced a French dubbed version.

Destiny River is a telenovela encompassing mystery, beauty and drama. Destiny River centres on the impossible romance between Solano and Elena, the widow of his late father, and who holds a deadly secret relating to an ancient curse carried by her ancestors. Destiny River has been sold to French television.

Isidingo one of the most watched soaps in South Africa, tells the story of the residents of Horizon Dee, a South African mining town. Covering real and current issues such as domestic violence and inter-racial relationships, the soap features a cast of dynamic characters and explosive storylines. Côte Ouest holds the exclusive rights for Francophone African countries.

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