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Monday, March 10, 2008

TV Hot Spot: News

HBO Loves the 'Ladies'!

Post by: Sal

Source: Zap2It

HBO, which has said goodbye to several of its signature series in the past couple of years, has hired "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" to help find its next hit.

The cable channel is teaming up with The Weinstein Company and the BBC for a series based on Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling series of novels about the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana. The two-hour pilot recently wrapped production there, and HBO has picked up 13 more hour-long episodes that will begin filming this summer.

Grammy-winning singer and actress Jill Scott ("Why Did I Get Married?") and Akika Noni Rose ("Dreamgirls") will star in the series. Oscar winner Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley") directed the two-hour pilot and co-wrote script with Richard Curtis ("Notting Hill," "Bridget Jones's Diary"). The pair will are executive producers, while Sydney Pollack ("Tootsie," "The Interpreter") is among the producers.

"Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful books have been a sensation around the world for years, and we're thrilled to be teaming up with the BBC and The Weinstein Company to adapt these highly entertaining stories for HBO," says Richard Plepler, co-president of HBO. "And needless to say, the opportunity to work with the exceptionally gifted Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis makes this project all the more exciting."

Scott will play Precious Ramotswe, the owner of the titular detective agency. Rose will play her dedicated and quirky secretary Mma Makutsi, and Lucian Msamati will play Precious's suitor, JLB Matekoni. The pilot's cast also includes Idris Elba ("The Wire"), David Oyelowo ("MI-5," "The Last King of Scotland"), Colin Salmon ("Keen Eddie," "The Bank Job") and John Kani.

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