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Turner Broadcasting Commissions Kenya-Based Pilot From Director Wanuri Kahiu (“Pumzi”)

Turner Broadcasting Commissions Kenya-Based Pilot From Director Wanuri Kahiu ("Pumzi")

“I was approached a year and a half ago to shoot the pilot after successfully pitching for it some years back… It is owned by Turner Broadcasting. I’m not sure what they want it for. They commissioned the production of the pilot through Awali Productions, a company I co-own with Rebecca Chandler. We wrapped up the shoot on Saturday (Sept 24).”

Words from Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu (director of Pumzi, a Focus Features Africa First sci-fi short film we’ve talked about many times on S&A); Wanuri spoke with Capital FM, a Nairobi, Kenya-based broadcast network.

So… apparently, she’s been working on a pilot project for Turner Broadcasting. And as we all might already know, Turner Broadcasting is a collection of cable networks (and others properties) including TBS, TNT, CNN, TCM and others…

The question now is where exactly this project, which centers on the daily workings of a newspaper in Kenya, fits within the collective.

A fascinating idea actually, and an interesting move if this actually lands on any of the above cable TV channels; though this doesn’t seem like a fit for any of them – definitely not TCM, nor CNN, which leaves TBS and TNT.

I should note that Turner Broadcasting is owned by Time Warner; and Time Warner owns HBO – a channel I think would make more sense for something like what is being proposed here.

But, we’ll see. I’d love to have this come to fruition.

We’ll reach out to Wanuri directly and see what more we can learn, and share here once she replies.

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Greg Gross

What I want to know is why BET behind programming like this. Oh wait, I forgot…it’s BET we’re talking about. Never mind…


Waiting for the follow up with Wanuri. I would not be discouraged because of No. 1 Detective Agency’s demise. It’s all about timing, luck and damn good story idea–of course chemistry with the actors etc, etc.

Can’t wait to see what happens next.


I looovvvved No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency! They could have continued it. I’d feel more optimistic about this pilot if that show was still on the air. Hopefully, the 1.5 year delay doesn’t signify any major problems.

Keeping fingers crossed.


Pumzi was very impressive, so this should be good.


I’m not sure if this would be a sucess on HBO either. I just keep thinking of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I would like to see a majority black backed production be a success on network television, but it seems thats not possible nowadays if your name doesn’t end in Perry. Sigh.


I really enjoyed Pumzi. I can’t wait to see what more she has in store.

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