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NBC Adapting Acclaimed Australian Drama 'The Slap' (Sophie Okonedo Co-Starred In Original)

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 10, 2012 9:37 AM
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The Slap

Our last post on this was in January, when it was announced that DIRECTV's Audience Network (Channel 239) had acquired and added the critically-acclaimed drama to its programming lineup beginning in February: The Slap, premiered WednesdayFebruary 15 at 10pm ET/PT. Are any of you DIRECTV customers, and if so, did you watch it?

The Australian TV 8-part mini-series co-stars Sophie Okonedo and is based on the award-winning novel by Christos Tsiolkas that traces the shattering repercussions of a single event on a group of family and friends. Specifically, at an Australian backyard barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his son. The boy's parents are so affronted by the assault that they call the police and legal action results, as questions of parenting, the rights of children, race, class, sexuality and the different perspectives of men and women are tackled.

Sophie Okonedo plays "Aisha," and here's how ABC Australia's website describes her:

The slap took place at Aisha’s house, during her party for her husband’s 40th birthday. Hugo, the child who was slapped, is the son of one of her best friends, Rosie. On the other hand, Harry, the man who slapped Hugo, is her brother-in-law. She has her own reasons for siding with Rosie, which go far deeper than the slap itself, and threaten to unravel her family. Aisha is married to Hector. She is a woman whose resilience and strength holds her family together. She also is a successful professional woman with her own veterinary business. Entering her forties, she is assailed by doubts about her marriage and future. The slap at the barbecue has left her torn, her loyalties divided between her husband and one of her oldest friends. She fights for what is important to her, but feels like she is losing her grip.

Today brings work that NBC, here in the USA, is negotiating a deal to adapt the Australian miniseries, with Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz writing the teleplay.

Okonedo co-starred in the mini-series alongside acclaimed thespians in Melissa GeorgeJonathan LaPaglia, Essie DavidAlex Dimitriades, and Anthony Hayes.

The series was nominated for a BAFTA for Best International Program and won 5 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television awards, including Best Miniseries.

Whether the NBC version will feature a somewhat diverse cast, or at least a black woman in the role originated by Okonedo, remains to be seen. 

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More: Television, TV News, Sophie Okonedo

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  • Lyn | October 10, 2012 9:44 PMReply

    I enjoyed the series, hope the NBC show does cast actors similar to those on the series, except for the Rosie character, they should try to find someone a little more likeable. On second thought, she isn't supposed to be.

  • Frank | October 10, 2012 4:35 PMReply

    I saw this program on Directv and it was well worth watching. It is currently being rerun now. If it is remade I hope NBC does it justice.

  • Winston | October 10, 2012 10:19 AMReply

    If they hope to stay true to the original, they should cast the show the same way. I've seen it. Race is mentioned or inferred in the program once or twice, with regard to the "Aisha" character, and another black Muslim character in 'The Slap'.

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