South African Murder Mystery Series to Star Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Orphan Black, Kin) and Tony Kgoroge (Black Sails, Invictus, Long Walk to Freedom)
M-Net, AMC Networks’ Acorn TV, Global Screen (a brand of Telepool) and Both Worlds Pictures today announced the start of principal photography of South African murder mystery series Recipes for Love and Murder. The series stars award-winning actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Orphan Black, Kin) as the empathetic, accomplished and complicated recipe advice columnist for a small-town gazette, who investigates the murder of one of her correspondents, as well as Tony Kgoroge (Invictus, Long Walk to Freedom) who plays Khaya Meyer, the local Chief Detective. The series will also star Elton Landrew (Trackers, Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, Fiela se Kind) as Constable Piet and Arno Greeff (Vaselinetjie, Vergeet my Nie) as Warrant Officer Regardt Snyman, Jennifer Steyn (Goodbye Bafana, Master Harold and the Boys) as the editor of the local paper, and Lee Duru (In My Country, Mama Jack) as Grace, a domestic worker whose story shakes up the town. The series is being filmed in Cape Town, in the semi-arid region of the Karoo and in Scotland.
The series is produced by international Emmy-nominated Cape Town-based Both Worlds Pictures, in collaboration with Pirate Production (Scotland), and is helmed by award-winning South African directors Christiaan Olwagen (Kanarie, Poppie Nongena) and David Isaacs (Swartwater, Joe Barber).
This food-centric and quirky murder mystery series is based on Sally Andrew’s acclaimed novel “Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery,” which Oprah’s Book Club raved about for its ‘mouth-watering food and landscapes,’ and was translated in 16 languages, amassing fans all over the world. The novel was adapted for television by South African writer Karen Jeynes (Puppet Nation, 90 Plein Street), who is also an Executive Producer, with Scotland-based director/writer Annie Griffin (Avenue 5, Outlander) as story consultant and Co-Executive Producer.
Maria Purvis (nicknamed “Tannie Maria,” meaning “Auntie Maria” in Afrikaans), is a middle-aged advice columnist who moved to Scotland as a child along with her parents and returned 10 years ago to South Africa after her husband died. She now dishes out help and recipes via the local gazette in the imaginary South African town of Eden, in the beautiful region of the Karoo. Mostly keeping to herself, focusing on food, gardening, and showing kindness to others, she is often thought of as an old lady before her time. But when Martine, a woman who writes to Maria about her abusive husband, is found dead, Maria joins forces with a local, risk-taking, rookie journalist, Jessie September (played by newcomer Kylie Fisher), to solve the small-town murder and catch the killer – before the local police finds more victims.
Recipes for Love and Murder is produced by Both Worlds Pictures’ founder Thierry Cassuto (Puppet Nation, Rainbow Warrior) in collaboration with Pirate Production’s Jenny Williams, with development support provided by Screen Scotland, and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Co-Executive Producer), Annie Griffin (Co-Executive Producer) and Christiaan Olwagen (Co-Executive Producer). Executive producers for Recipes for Love and Murder include Catherine Mackin and Lesley Pemberton from Acorn Media Enterprises, Yolisa Phahle, Allan Sperling and Jan du Plessis for M-Net, Thierry Cassuto and Karen Jeynes for Both Worlds Pictures.
M-Net will hold the exclusive rights to the series in Africa, Acorn TV will hold the exclusive rights in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, while Global Screen will handle distribution for the rest of the world. This ground-breaking co-production was brokered by Rémy Jacquelin of Paradoxal (Associate Producer), who has been representing Both Worlds Pictures internationally since 2019.
The series will premiere on M-Net 101 in March 2022 and throughout 2022 on Acorn TV.
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises said, “Recipes for Love and Murder has just the perfect ingredients for a rich, appetizing mystery drama, and the beloved Maria Doyle Kennedy will make a wonderful fit as the empathetic recipe advice columnist with a mysterious past. We look forward to bringing this first-ever TV dramatization of Sally Andrew’s renowned novels to life. This series is a prime example of the kind of fascinating, masterfully-written stories set around the globe which we’re proud to offer on Acorn TV.”
Thierry Cassuto of Both Worlds Pictures:“We are thrilled to partner with M-Net, Acorn and Global Screen to produce this ambitious series brilliantly adapted by Karen Jeynes from the delicious Sally Andrew novels. Viewers can look forward to a dazzling cast and a very intriguing story with a unique tone, which brings together small-town life, murder, love and mouth-watering food, which our extraordinarily talented director Christiaan Olwagen likes to present as The Killing meets Chocolat,” he shares.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment and Connected Video for MultiChoice, shares: “MultiChoice is delighted to partner with Acorn TV and Global Screen on this brilliant murder mystery series. We are proud to be working with South Africa’s talented writer Karen Jeynes and award-winning directors Christiaan Olwagen and David Isaacs. This partnership will continue to put MultiChoice on the forefront of high-quality African television that promotes our ongoing commitment of being Africa’s most-loved storyteller.”
About Acorn TV & Acorn Media Enterprises
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is the leading streaming service specializing in British and international television with subscribers worldwide in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Spain, Portugal, among other areas. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week to a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no commercials. In 2021, Acorn TV features commissioned original series including British crime drama Whitstable Pearl starring Kerry Godliman (After Life), Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines starring Rebecca Gibney (Wanted) and Charles Edwards (The Crown), British detective drama Dalgliesh starring Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Doctor Foster), the second season of Miss Fisher spinoff Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, as well as Irish crime thriller Bloodlands starring James Nesbitt and co-executive produced by Jed Mercurio, the return of New Zealand detective series My Life Is Murder starring Lucy Lawless, and a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas that include A Place to Call Home, Detectorists, Jack Irish and Foyle’s War. Recent Acorn TV Original series include Deadwater Fell starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, highly rated BBC One drama The Nest starring Martin Compston and Sophie Rundle; and groundbreaking BBC One period drama A Suitable Boy from Mira Nair.
Acorn Media Enterprises is Acorn TV’s UK-based development arm which works with producers, distributors, writers and broadcasters in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond to commission, co-produce and co-finance the best international, English-language scripted shows. AME has commissioned Agatha Raisin Series 2, 3, and 4, Queens of Mystery, London Kills Series 1 and 2, Keeping Faith, Whitstable Pearl, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries Series 2, among several other productions.
About AMC Networks
AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.
About Both World Pictures
Cape Town-based Both Worlds Pictures has produced programming for most South African TV channels, winning in the process 29 South African Film and TV Awards and 2 Int’l Emmy nominations. Best known for its long-running and popular weekly satirical news show, Puppet Nation, where puppets take the mickey out of newsmakers and celebrities, Both Worlds also produced the TV comedy panel shows Point of Order which was acquired by StarTimes, Showmax and SABC, Parlement Parlement for M-Net, as well as CCN for Viacom’s Comedy Central Africa. It recently produced Africa & I, a 90’ documentary feature film, released on Multichoice’s SVOD platform Showmax, which tells the enchanting story of Othmane Zolati, a 20 year old adventurer who left everything behind him and spent four years walking, cycling and skateboarding his way through Africa, from Morocco to Cape Town. Both Worlds is currently adapting the critically acclaimed and highly popular Nordic Noir detective series “The Bridge” in association with Banijay and is developing the original half-hour comedy drama series The Morning After in association with M-Net and Rainmaker Content.
About MultiChoice Group
MultiChoice Group (MCG) the parent company of M-Net, which listed in the Main Board of the JSE on 27 February 2019, is one of the fastest-growing video entertainment providers globally, delivering entertainment products and services to 19.5m households across 50 countries on the African continent. Its track record of more than 30 years is reflective of a commitment to provide audiences with only the best local, sport and international content.
MCG’s strong partnerships with distributors, installers and telecommunication companies, along with its well-established payment solutions, competitive pricing and choice of viewership packages continue to secure its place in the global market, while also providing solutions unique to the African market.
Its direct-to-home (DTH), digital terrestrial television (DTT) and over-the-top (OTT) solutions enable the business to stay relevant and aligned to changing consumer habits while capturing new markets.
Content is at the very core of the business. MCG aims to deliver quality content anywhere, anytime and on any device through a comprehensive video entertainment offering at different price points. As pioneers in African video entertainment, MCG plays an important role in making information and entertainment easily accessible to Africans.
MCG aims to secure content rights in a manner that is cost-effective and reflective of the diversity of its audiences. Its substantial portfolio includes award-winning local content (a key differentiator in its service offering), a leading sports offering (including production capabilities) and access to international content, which is all shared on the group’s platforms: DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net and SuperSport.
MCG has superior technology capability through the security solutions that Irdeto, its technology company, brings to the group. These solutions enable MultiChoice to protect its investment, create new offerings and combat cybercrime. With 50 years’ expertise in software security, Irdeto’s software security solutions and cyber services protect over 5bn devices and applications for some of the world’s best brands.