Upfronts 2016: Africa Channel Sets 13 New Series

The Africa Channel will launch 13 new series as part of its new slate of original content, network officials said Tuesday.

The network on April 18 will expand its popular morning show Expresso to four hours with a new series dubbed Afternoon Express that will look at cooking, fashion, finance and well-being trends.

Along with the new series, the network will launch two new programming blocks featuring content from Nigeria, as well as programming targeting families. The network beginning April 18 will launch “Nollywood Night,” a Monday night block of Nigerian-based content which includes such shows as Before 30, which follows the lives of four 20-something Nigerian girlfriends; Gidi Up, about four close friends and their struggles to achieve their dreams; as well as films created in Nigeria, said network officials.

Africa Channel’s “Family Fun Zone,” launching weekend mornings starting April 23 will feature wildlife themed docu-series Siyaya: Come Wild With Us, and cooking-themed series Little Big Cook Off.  

Other new series set to premiere on The Africa Channel are:

·         Durban Beach Rescue: Lifeguards take action during the height of the holiday season. (Reality)

·         Bukas & Joints: Food and travel through Nigeria. (Food)

·         Tales from the Bush Larder: Culinary adventure through East Africa. (Food)

·         Long Miles Coffee Project: High stakes investment for an American couple and Burundi coffee farmers.  (Reality)

·         Making of a Mogul: African-born entrepreneurs share their secrets to success. (Lifestyle)

·         Death in Paradise: Caribbean police unit solves crime with fish out of water British detective. (Comedy)

·         Room 9: Paranormal police occult unit hunts down perpetrators of evil. (Drama)

"This is our most ambitious programming rollout ever, in keeping with our objective of making 2016 a breakout year for our network,” said Karen Juve, vice president of programming and acquisitions for Africa Channel in a statement. “These new series bring the very best of food, lifestyle, family and general entertainment programming from Africa to our viewers in the U.S. and Caribbean."

The announcements come as Africa Channel recently reached business deals with ad sales company HotHouse Media, distribution company T Media Sales, and African content creators AfricaXP.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.