M-Net’s first English language drama series in more than a decade, Deon Meyer’s thrilling crime story, Trackers, rocketed to the top of M-Net’s ratings for the year and received rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. Following the success of this magnificent production, M-Net 101 will boost its broadcast schedule with a host of exhilarating local series in 2020.
“This is an exceptionally exciting time in the history of M-Net and local television,” says M-Net CEO, Nkateko Mabaso. “Trackers confirmed our hunch that our audiences are craving compelling, high-quality English drama series that shine the spotlight on our beautiful country and its people, and on the phenomenally talented artists and story crafters in our local film and television industry. We are currently developing and producing series in a range of genres, that will slot into the M-Net 101 schedule exactly where they belong: cheek to cheek with Hollywood hits.”
Coming up next on the slate of proudly South African stories is a 13-part family drama, Still Breathing, currently being filmed in and around Johannesburg. From 27 February, Still Breathing will be screened in the popular M-Net 101 Thursday night slot at 20:00, just after the new season of The Bachelor SA, which starts on 13 February at 19:00.
While Trackers pumped adrenaline with high-octane car chases, flying bullets and blood-curdling crime investigation, Still Breathing sets out to push a totally different set of buttons: the ones of the heart. Love, friendship, complicated relationships, betrayal and long-kept secrets form the emotional crux of a tale about a circle of former friends who have drifted apart with the passage of time but are drawn together again when tragedy strikes. In short, it’s all about love, death – and the mess in-between.
The main themes echo those of international hits such as Brothers and Sisters; This is Us, and Parenthood, but it is spun around the challenges faced by authentic, modern-day South Africans.
What makes Still Breathing extra special, is that it showcases passionate local families in more ways than one – both on and off-screen! In the director’s chair is multiple SAFTA award winner Johnny Barbuzano (The River, The Gift, Isozo Connection). The script is the creation of Johnny’s wife, Tiffany Barbuzano, who also co-produces the series with her hubby, and is part of the cast.
In the series, Tiffany plays mom to their real-life offspring, up-and-coming stars Jamie and Jesse Barbuzano!
The impressive cast also includes formidable leading ladies: Fleur de Cap winner Kate Liquorish (Catching Feelings, Eye in the Sky), SAFTA winner Lorcia Kumalo (Lockdown, Zulu Wedding, The Queen), and Naledi winner Shannon Esra (The Throne, The Queen). These three actresses feature in the Still Breathing marketing teaser, now aired on M-Net.
And if you spotted some other familiar faces, Ty Keogh will indeed set the screen on fire as one of the male leads. One of his co-stars from the Showmax original The Girl from St Agnes, Jane de Wet, also nabbed a part.
More cast members will be announced in due course.
Still Breathing is produced by BBZ Films for M-Net.