M-Net has acquired the rights to broadcast the much-debated two-part documentary Leaving Neverland, and DStv customers across Southern Africa don’t have to wait long to see why this Channel 4 and HBO co-production has taken the world by storm. Just over a week after its controversial premiere in the US at the recent Sundance Film Festival, Leaving Neverland will be screened across two days on M-Net 101 this coming weekend.
Part one will be on M-Net 101 on Friday, 15 March at 21:00, while part 2 will follow on Saturday, 16 March at 21:00.
To accommodate these screenings, M-Net will schedule double episodes of the popular reality show America’s Got Talent: Champions at 18:00 and 19:00, the season finale of A Million Little Things will now air an hour earlier at 20:00, on Friday, 15 March. Then, on Saturday, 16 March an episode of Sky 1’s Carnage season 1 will be scheduled at 17:30, The Kids are Alright at 18:30, American Housewife at 19:00, Murphy Brown at 19:30, Riverdale at 20:00 and the Saturday night movie Death Wish has been replaced by part two of Leaving Neverland.
Directed and produced by five-time BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, the four-hour long Leaving Neverland unpacks the story of two individuals: James Safechuck and Wade Robson, now-adult men in their 30s, who befriended Jackson at the ages of ten and seven respectively. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck and Robson, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, and explores the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own. Playing out against the backdrop of our collective experience, the film documents the value of breaking silence, even when it implicates a powerful and revered figure.
“Bringing Leaving Neverland to Southern African screens is testament to the fact that M-Net brings the most compelling content to the continent as quickly as possible,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “Please note, however, that documentary is not suitable for younger viewers as it contains strong language, discussions of self-harm and graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse.”
Among the line-up of channels which have already acquired the documentary are Network Ten Australia, DR Denmark, VPRO Netherlands, SVT Sweden, ProSieben Germany, Channel One Russia, VRT Belgium, NRK Norway, TVNZ New Zealand, Discovery Italy, DBS Israel, Amedia Russia, YLE Finland, Fox Asia, Front Row Middle East, RUV Iceland, M6 France, HBO Latin America, HBO Portugal and Movistar + in Spain and HBO CEE. Additionally, there are a considerable number of deals which are currently in the final stages of negotiation.
Leaving Neverland premieres on M-Net channel 101 on DStv with part one on Friday, 15 March at 21:00, and part two on Saturday, 16 March at 21:00. Please note that the EPG may take a while to reflect the aforementioned updates.
Follow the conversation on Twitter @MNet (#MNet101 #LeavingNeverland)