First, M-Net took authentic South African story-telling to the next level with Trackers, the action-packed adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel, which is taking the world by storm on HBO’s sister channel Cinemax. Hot on its heels came the beautiful family saga Still Breathing. Now, M-Net is expanding its slate of world-class series with more dynamite drama– this time in the form of a classy, first-of-its-kind South African telenovela called Legacy.
With startling storylines set in the fast-lane world of investment billionaires and a sterling, diverse cast, this new daily, designed for DStv’s Premium audience, is destined to become the talk of the town when it launches in September 2020.
“Imagine the Machiavellian mega-rich characters living dysfunctional lives in the award-winning HBO series Succession in a fresh, distinctly South African context," says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. "Add a daily dose of The Bold and the Beautiful, colour the concoction with pure escapism in the topical and aspirational style of the best Brazilian telenovelas, and you have Legacy in a nutshell.”
This is the first time in many years that M-Net viewers can come home to the magic of a daily local drama. Legacy is M-Net 101’s very first telenovela.
“Moving into this popular genre is an exciting step for the channel,” du Plessis adds. “ We managed to sign up the most acclaimed production company currently working in this field as well as a cast that combines top-flight established soap stars and hottest up-and-coming talent. We’re also pulling out all the stops to ensure that Legacy will be remembered for its arresting plots and new ways of filming. Expect all kinds of innovation to cement M-Net and MultiChoice’s reputation as Africa’s most loved storyteller.”
Legacy’s locus of conflict is an upmarket investment empire that was established decades ago by Sebastian Price, the patriarch of the super-wealthy Price family. Now he is a silver fox approaching retirement and it is clear that a family member will soon have to take over the reins. But who will it be? And, at what cost? Sebastian’s bitter ex-wife and ruthless first-born daughter will do whatever it takes to ensure that Sebastian's second wife, Dineo, does not push her playboy son into the position of CEO.
Of course the power struggle turns nasty. A witches’ brew of betrayal, secrets, lies, and revenge.
Stepping into the roles of the current Mrs Price, Dineo, and Sebastian’s ex-wife, Angelique, a former lawyer who is now a woman of leisure, are two of South Africa’s most formidable leading ladies: Kgomotso Christopher and Michelle Botes, both known for creating unforgettable soap characters. After a long stint on Isidingo, Kgomotso this year clinched a SAFTA award (her third) for her performance in Scandal. She is cut out for the role of Dineo, a beautiful yet tragic second wife with a heart of gold beneath all the Gucci. Michelle rose to fame in the eighties with star turns in series like Arende and Konings, and ruffled the feathers as At Koster’s wife in Binnelanders. And who will ever forget how she called the shots as Isidingo’s super-bitch, Cherel de Villiers?
In Legacy, Mary-anne Barlow will be the villain everybody loves to hate – Felicity, Sebastian’s eldest daughter. Mary-anne has proved her mettle in shows like Egoli, the British drama Wild At Heart and 1 Magic’s The River, for which she scooped a Best Supporting Actress SAFTA award.
Seasoned film, television and theatre actor Deon Lotz is Legacy’s Sebastian. Deon had a starring role in Skoonheid – South Africa’s Academy Award entry for 2011, and the first Afrikaans film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm Award. He also played government kingpin Kobie Coetsee in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and boasts a long list of accolades for his work in kykNET films.
The charming stud who will set the hearts aflutter with his dazzling good looks is Sebastian’s wastrel son, SJ. The role fits Anton David Jeftha like a glove. He has made international inroads in US series filmed in South Africa – most notably Strike Back, Homeland and Dominion.
The rest of the cast will be announced in due course.
Legacy is the brainchild of Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon from the multiple-award-winning production company Tshedza Pictures. Their latest feat, The River, made a clean sweep at this year’s SAFTA awards with ten Golden Horns. Johnny Barbuzano (Still Breathing) shares director's duties with Catharine Cooke and Krijay Govender. Trevor Brown is the director of photography.
Legacy will be screened in September 2020 on M-Net Channel 101. DStv Premium viewers can also catch the series on Catch Up, or stream the episodes live via their mobile devices on DStv Now. Follow all the breaking news around the show on our website, and join the conversation using #LegacySA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@MNet).