BBC Studios Drama Productions Pacts with EbonyLife’s Mo Abudu


BBC Studios Drama Productions has entered into a development partnership with the Nigerian television pioneer Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, founder and CEO of EbonyLife Media.

The partnership will see BBC Studios Drama Productions develop a new action-adventure series with Abudu’s EbonyLife Media. Titled Reclaim, the six-part heist thriller follows the story of a team of art thieves looking to return artworks stolen by the British Empire 125 years ago from the Kingdom of Benin back to its rightful home in Nigeria.

Reclaim will tackle issues of colonialism, race and cultural ownership. The series is written by Rowan Athale (The Rise, Strange But True, Little America) and is based on an original idea by Abudu, Heidi Uys and Bode Asiyanbi.

Priscilla Parish, head of drama at BBC Studios, said: “I am thrilled to announce this collaboration with EbonyLife. Mo Abudu has an extraordinary track record in bringing previously unheard stories to a wide audience. Reclaim’s breathtaking action-adventure is underpinned by thoughtful and timely themes and declares our shared intention to create stories that have both local and international resonance. Rowan Athale is the perfect writer to bring this story to life, having written both commercial hits and arthouse breakouts. I cannot wait to start production on this event series.”

Athale said: “It is a great pleasure to be working with Mo Abudu and BBC Studios on Reclaim. The moment I heard EbonyLife’s pitch, I knew I had to join the team. I am excited and honored be writing Reclaim, and I look forward to sharing our ground-breaking series with a global audience.”

Abudu said: “Reclaim is our first big-budget, global series, set partly in the U.K. It is a dream come true for two reasons—first, it is a partnership with BBC Studios; second, the project will debut under EbonyLife Productions UK. We set up EbonyLife in London because our global strategy includes expansion to the U.K. and the United States. As Nigerians and Africans, we should see ourselves as world citizens and our storytelling, locations and networks should extend to every corner of the globe. I am delighted with this opportunity to extend our reach into the U.K. with a great story and a formidable partner.”