The Queen – a fascinating local telenovela produced for one of the M-Net’s channels provided to MultiChoice’s DStv satellite pay-TV platform – remains a hugely under-reported success story in South Africa’s television industry, although it typifies everything that the new generation of South African television production can and should be.
The Queen – with its most watched episode in June that pulled 955 891 viewers to Mzansi Magic in its 21:00 timeslot – is the little TV locomotive that could, produced by the wife and husband team Connie and Shona Ferguson and their Ferguson Films outfit.
The telenovela made its debut on Mzansi Magic at the beginning of August 2016 and the past few months production and production capacity has been ramped up to adjust for the additional weekday episode from 31 July 2017.
“The Queen has become one of Mzansi Magic’s most popular shows,” says Reneilwe Sema, M-Net’s director of local channels.
“As it stands, it broadcasts from Monday to Thursday, but its immense acclaim demands that we make it a full five-day a week show. Viewers just can’t get enough of the twists and turns in the story, so we are giving them more.”
With the additional weekday episode the cast is expanding with Rami Chuene joining in the role of Gracious, and with Thato Molamu added in the role of up-and-coming lawyer, Bakang. Magic Hlatshwayo returns as Kwanele’s supportive dad, Alpheus.
Meanwhile viewers can’t get enough of the flamboyant character Kgosi (played by Sello Maake ka-Ncube) who has created a new iconic South African TV character for the ages.