Local reality-TV hit The Coolest OG’s is now available on Showmax, taking its intergenerational stories to screens across Africa and overseas, including the United Kingdom, France and Australia. The show, which sees 12 senior citizens compete for the title of hippest “golden oldie”, proved popular right across all age groups when it aired in a prime-time slot on SABC2 earlier this year. In a nod to its original concept and successful formula, The Coolest OG’s was recently nominated for Competition Show of the Year at the 2021 Content Innovation Awards, which were held in London early November.
“It’s more than just a TV show with grandparents doing wacky things – it’s an opportunity to talk about ageism in society,” says Jimmy Muteba, executive producer of The Coolest OG’s at Rebelintown Productions. “Older people are a marginalised group, often excluded from conversations, media and entertainment. We need to talk about it – and The Coolest OG’s tries to do that in a fun way. If we’re lucky, we’ll all get old one day.”
“Congrats to The Coolest OG’s team for their Content Innovation Awards nomination, the latest in a steady string of accolades for African content in 2021,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax. “We’re delighted to bring our audience such a fun show that is shifting perceptions and starting important conversations around growing old.”
Each episode introduces a new challenge for the contestants, ranging from gaming to songwriting, music video production (original music, wild outfits and all), modelling, art, acting and more – activities that might be second nature to millennials and zoomers (the Gen Z crowd), but could give an older person pause. With the help of their grandchildren and influencers, the seniors battle it out, with someone being forced into early retirement every episode, until only one – the ultimate Coolest OG – remains, taking home a cash prize of R100 000. The judges – who look at both performance and swag – are a panel of four 20-somethings making waves in the fashion, music, film and food industries.
Season 1 of the South African edition of the show, which was shot in 6K on the RED Epic Dragon, was filmed at the height of the pandemic, in the safety of the contestants’ homes. Talks are underway for spin-offs in other countries i.e., US, UK, France, Sweden, Nigeria, Kenya, etc. Muteba hopes to get audiences chatting about the inspiring things that the elders in their communities have done, regardless of where – or how – they grew up. “By sharing their stories, we start to bridge the gulf between generations,” he says. “And that has a real impact on people’s lives and society at large”.
Muteba is honoured that The Coolest OG’s was nominated for Competition Show of the Year at the 2021 Content Innovation Awards. The 2020 winner was Lego Masters, with other big TV names like MasterChef and Chernobyl scooping different prizes over the years. “I’m really proud that a homegrown Format is going up against established global shows and franchises,” says Muteba.
Telkom, a major South African Mobile Telecommunication Company, got onboard as a sponsor during the airing of The Coolest OG’s on SABC2, and Muteba hopes that other brands – both local and international, in the telcos, fashion, food, entertainment, automotive and lifestyle categories – will see the opportunities for integration that exist in a show that uses old-school cool to teach us how to think differently.
The Coolest OG’s is available on Showmax across Africa and in the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
For more information about The Coolest OG’s, please visit rebelintown.com or follow them on Instagram @tcogsa, Twitter @tcogsa and Facebook @tcogsa.