South Africa’s MultiChoice and its flagship channel, M-Net, have teamed up with German public broadcaster ZDF to produce a TV adaptation of the novel Trackers.
From South African author Deon Meyer, Trackers weaves together three story strands into a thriller about a violent conspiracy involving organized crime, smuggled diamonds, state security, black rhinos, the CIA and an international terrorist plot.
Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) serves as showrunner on the six-part drama, which will start filming in and around Cape Town in early 2019 with a local and international cast. Delivery is planned for fall 2019.
Three River Studios’ Jonathan Drake and Isabelle Helle of Helle Media brokered the deal, which marks the first co-production between MultiChoice and ZDF.
MultiChoice CEO of general entertainment, Yolisa Phahle, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with major international player ZDF on this incredibly exciting project. We are the leading African storyteller on our continent and this deal is a fantastic way to diversify programming for our subscribers across Africa. Ultimately our vision is to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provide compelling new stories for global audiences beyond African shores.”
ZDF’s head of international fiction, Simone Emmelius, added: “ZDF is delighted to be on board this exciting series. Deon Meyer has a large and loyal fan base in Germany, so the expectation and curiosity factor is going to be significant. Trackers is an intelligent crime story and that, combined with the exhilarating South African locations and the great talent, both in front of and behind the camera, is guaranteed to enthrall viewers while, at the same time, introduce a huge television audience to Meyer’s work.”
Drake, CEO of Three River Studios, commented: “This co-production represents the first in a new wave of stories and international series coming out of South Africa’s vibrant and creative production community. Three River Studios and our scripted production arm, Three River Fiction, are proud to be a part of that.”