GREATER ACCRA – Tuesday, June 2, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Proudly produced by Finesse-LXG, RTP 2013 best television series award winner – X.O.X.O., (title inspired by a youth digital slang for hugs and kisses) an urban-centred programme that stands out for its compelling themes and scenes as well as an array of beautiful young ladies is returning for its lockdown edition and 4th anticipated issue on June 4, according to Writer and Producer, Edward Seddoh Jnr.
But the rules have now changed, as XOXO seeks to go digital, as opposed to mainstream TV broadcasts. Hence the 13-week episode path, under theme “Network Lockdown”, would not be on the agenda for now. Rather, a more flexible digital channel broadcast accessible on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and as well on pay-per-view platforms such as it’s resident channel on the MTN Shortz platform, would be the way to go now.
Timelines between episodes would be more flexible now in order to embrace not only the new normal in the wake of the current global situation, but also to allow for interactive contributions from the fans into the storylines. Just as it was from the very beginning when the fans had to text ‘X’ or ‘O’ for the episodic outcome, future episodes of Season 4 would take that route, apparently, even making room for fan and celebrity cameo casting over time.
The season premiere storyline takes the form of the world in lockdown and how members of the defunct Network group (Josh, Akua, Roy, Nana Yaa and co) have had to wake up from their quarantine slumber to respond to a call about the deal of a lifetime coming all the way from Ukraine, where their longtime friend and member of the group, Parker, is now based. As with XOXO, there are more exciting surprises to come after this, and hopefully, sponsorship would not be far off.
“Though, it hasn’t been all rosy behind the scenes in terms of raising sponsorship for the series. Indeed we had expected to finish the series at Season 4 in grand style. Alas, it was not to be, with one delay after another in sponsorship promises. We didn’t just want to end the series the usual way. We wanted it to be special; something that would be memorable for years. In December of 2016, the crew and cast had returned to set for the much awaited Season 4, only for the intended sponsor to make a U-turn, in the wake of a business emergency. Product placements from the sponsor was already part of the plan. Shooting had to be suspended. – The writer/producer stated
In its third season since its inception about a year ago, the plot is untypically unpredictable and often inspired by feedback from viewers in the form of text messages on which direction they want the story to go, depending on dilemma questions asked at the end of each episode where viewers get to text X or O to MTN shortcode 1756.
Currently, the story mostly revolves around the central character, Josh (Harold Amenyah), the ladies’ man whose personal life is beginning to take a toll on his working life and is on the verge of losing everything, thanks to a plan hatched by two aggrieved guys working in the shadows, both of whom not only consider Josh a threat to their own personal relationships, past and present, but would also publicly label him as one of Accra’s Baddest Boys in an online publication.
THE CROWN: Netflix’s Biggest Shows Set Wrap Up After Its Fifth Season
Earlier this year, it emerged that The Crown, one of Netflix’s biggest shows, would wrap up after its fifth season. But it has reversed course, as it’s returning to creator and writer Peter Morgan’s initial concept of a six-season run for the Royal Family drama.
“As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons,” Morgan told Variety in a statement. “To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail.”
By the time it ends, The Crown will cover Queen Elizabeth II’s life up to the early 2000s. So, it won’t touch on more recent events, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the Royal Family.
Filming on season four wrapped up just before the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK. That season is expected to hit Netflix later in 2020, a year or so after season three premiered. It’ll bring an end to Oscar-winner Olivia Colman’s two-season stint as Queen Elizabeth II, as Imelda Staunton is taking over the role for the final two seasons.
Leslie Becomes First Black Actor To Be Batwoman In A Live-action TV or Film Production
The CW was left empty-handed after Ruby Rose left her role as Batwoman. The network has announced that Javicia Leslie will take over for the second season. Leslie will assume the role of Ryan Wilder and will be the first Black actress to be Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production, The Hollywood Reporter details.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Leslie.
Rose announced her departure from the show in May after the show was renewed for a second season.
“The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months,” said the CW, Warner Bros. TV, and Berlanti Productions in a joint statement at the time.
Rose issued a message of congratulations to Leslie after the announcement.
‘Mad Men’ Will Stream For Free Starting July 15th
Mad Men departed Netflix a few weeks ago, but you won’t have to wait too much longer to stream the all-time great drama once again. Best of all, you won’t have to pay a penny to watch the series if you’re in the US.
All 92 episodes of the show will land on IMDb TV starting July 15th, as part of a deal Amazon struck with Mad Men producer Lionsgate Television, Variety reported. It’ll join several Disney-owned shows that stream for free on IMDb TV, including Lost, Malcolm in the Middle and Desperate Housewives.
Amazon scooped up some international rights to Mad Men as well. It’ll hit Prime Video in Europe, Australia, Latin America and other territories on Friday, and the Canadian version of Prime on October 1st. Starting on the latter date, StarzPlay will start streaming Mad Men in Europe, Latin America and Japan.
Meanwhile, Mad Men’s original network AMC also snagged some streaming rights. It’ll bring the multiple Emmy-winning show back to its cable networks and streaming services in October, the network confirmed to Engadget. IMDb TV will have an exclusive streaming window till then.
There will be one noticeable change to the series. There’ll be a title card on a season three episode to explain why Roger Sterling (John Slattery) appears in blackface.
“This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America,” the disclaimer reads. “One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963. In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety.”
Over the last several weeks, episodes of other shows — including 30 Rock, The Office, Community and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — have been edited or removed from streaming services due to depictions of blackface. HBO Max also temporarily removed Gone With The Wind from the platform to address the movie’s racism. It soon returned with videos that discuss its handling of race.
Netflix African Original Series, ‘Blood & Water’ Readies For A Second Season
Netflix recently announced that its African Original Series, Blood & Water is set to return for a second season. The teen-led drama, directed by the award-winning Nosipho Dumisa, was the first-ever African original Series to be ranked first on Netflix in ten different countries including the US after it premiered on May 20th. Details around when exactly the second season will premiere are still to be released by the streaming platform.
Just a few months ago, Netflix announced that its debut African Original Series, Queen Sono, a six-part spy-thriller starring Pearl Thusi, would be returning for a second season. Now it’s been confirmed that Blood & Water will be following suit.
Given Blood & Water’s irrefutable success on Netflix and rave reviews from fans on social media, the announcement does not come as much of a surprise. With a fresh-faced cast including Ama Qamata, Dillon Windvogel and Khosi Ngema and film veterans such as Sello Maake Ka-Ncube and Getmore Sithole, Blood &Water was able to spotlight themes of grief and loss in a way that resonated with a broad audience.
Speaking to Dumisa in a recent interview on Okay Africa, she said;
“When we created Blood & Water, we were really hopeful that it would resonate with a lot of the world.” Dumisa went on to add that, “We definitely wanted it to resonate with South Africans and Africans. I think the fact that it reached number one in South Africa and countries like and Nigeria, was such a big deal for me. That was like a dream come true and it felt like a blessing. It still feels like a blessing. I get giddy every time I think about it.”
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