Friday, September 8, 2017

FOX Upfront 2017: 'Less flesh' Turkish telenovelas coming to FOX Life soon as FOX Africa adds Turkish delights for SA and African viewers.

Smoking-hot, beautiful people. Heart-wrenching romance. Love and loss for the ages. But not so much lust and also a little bit more cloth over the collarbone.

Get ready for Turkish telenovelas that will soon be sweeping up South African and African viewers in passionate stories on FOX Life (DStv 126 / StarSat 133).

On Wednesday in Johannesburg at FOX Networks Group Africa's FOX Upfront 2017, Tracey Gilchrist, director of content, scheduling and acquisitions at FNG Africa, revealed that FNG Africa has acquired and is scheduling Turkish telenovelas - a genre that's recently been taking the entire TV world by storm.

Tracey Gilchrist said the exclusively acquired Turkish telenovelas that are currently being translated and dubbed into English, will run on weekdays at 18:25 on FOX Life - FNG Africa's recently started female-skewed channel that has just turned one year old.

FNG Africa didn't provide a specific starting date for the telenovelas, but TVwithThinus understands that it will kick off within a month as a more modest counter to the more provocative, more skin-baring South American telenovelas seen on channels like Telemundo Africa and EVA on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

To kick off, FNG Africa will show the "less flesh" Turkish telenovelas like Heartbeat and Lodestar (originally known in Turkey as Rüzgarın Kalbi and Coban Yildizi respectively).

According to sources, Heartbeat will be FOX Life's first Turkish TV delight if the dubbing is completed in time, with Heartbeat that is scheduled for a start on weekdays on FOX Life from Monday 2 October at 18:25.

Universal Cinergia Dubbing started work on dubbing both telenovelas into English, both made for FOX Turkey, just weeks ago.

FNG Africa didn't announce or explain why it decided to add Turkish telenovelas for South African and African viewers, but according to insiders FNG has market research indicating that there's viewers who like to watch telenovelas but ones that are slightly "safer" with less glaring, glistening skin that the often ribald Brazilian and Mexican are known for.

From Greece to Pakistan, from Chile to Afghanistan and even Ethiopia, the world is catching on to the well-produced and mesmerising "Turkish super soaps" that's starting to beat South America on their own TV genre turf and driving record ratings in almost every country they're being aired.

Interestingly, although owned and funded by men, several of the Turkish soap productions actually have women as scriptwriters.

In September last year, the the BBC reported on the world's growing fascination with Turkey telenovelas.

One South American viewer told the BBC that "the Turkish productions are very high quality and don't have the Hollywood cliches and stereotypes. When I started to watch these dramas, I realised how tired I was with all the violence and sex of American TV."

In Heartbeat the handsome Rüzgar is in love with Meltem but she dies just before their wedding day and her heart is donated to a sick girl.

Zeynep, discovers her fiancé is cheating on her and heads to a small town. Rüzgar and Zeynep fall in love - not knowing that Seynap is the recipient of his first love's heart.

In Lodestar, an ongoing telenovela, Zühre, the most beautiful girl in Kapadokya is being forced to marry a man she doesn't love.

On her wedding night she runs away, but is spotted by the man's son, Zekkar, a nightclub boss from Istanbul. He doesn't realise she's supposed to be his "stepmother" and falls.

Meanwhile Zühre is being protected by Seyit, a handsome stonemason who also falls in love with her.

FOX Networks Group Africa will kick off with shorter Turkish telenovelas on FOX Life to first test the African waters with drama series that doesn't have the long and stretched out episode order runs of South American telenovelas.