by Thinus Ferreira
Similar to Sky in the United Kingdom M-Net (DStv 101) has now acquired from WarnerMedia's HBO Max both the Sex and the City sequel series, And Just Like That, that will start in December; as well as the Game of Thrones prequel spinoff series, House of the Dragon that will be broadcast in 2022.
There is no word yet on whether M-Net will be picking up the Harry Potter 20 year cast reunion special, Return to Hogwarts - also an HBO Max Original - similar to what Sky did, although it's extremely likely given that M-Net acquired the Friends reunion earlier this year from the same American studio.
The 10-episode And Just Like That will debut in America on HBO Max and on Sky on 9 December with M-Net (DStv 101) that will start showing it a few days later from 13 December at 20:30 with a double episode premiere.
And Just Like That episodes will be available on DStv Catch Up as an Express from the US title on Fridays from 10 December for DStv subscribers using the DStv app or a connected DStv Explora decoder.
And Just Like That will be placed on Showmax later once its run on M-Net is done.
And Just Like That is billed as the "next chapter" for Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her New York friends, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and some new friends as they find themselves facing love, life and friendship in their 50s.
The cast also includes Sara Ramírez, Sarita Choudhury, Nicole Ari Parker, Karen Pittman, Chris Noth, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg, Willie Garson, and Evan Handler.
According to sources M-Net also acquired the Game of Thrones sequel spinoff series, House of the Dragon that has no broadcast date for 2022 yet.
Based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, the series - which is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones - tells the story of House Targaryen, with Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen.
The M-Net rollout will very likely follow the same broadcast procedure as Sky with House of the Dragon that will be an Express from the US title for M-Net and be available on DStv Catch Up with the series that will move to MultiChoice's Showmax later as a second pay-window.
A magical return
Meanwhile, WarnerMedia is working on Return to Hogwarts that reunites the Harry Potter cast - Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint - 20 years after the first film was screened.
Sky has already picked up Return to Hogwarts that is set for a 1 January 2022 release date on HBO Max but with M-Net that hasn't yet made any announcement about having secured it. M-Net didn't respond with an answer to a media query made last week about it.
While author J.K. Rowling won't be joining the stars in the surprise-filled special, the American filmmaker Chris Columbus will be part of it as well to discuss the films and to explore their creation in depth.
"Fans will be invited on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time", HBO Max says, with the cast returning "to where the magic started".
The Return to Hogwarts special will also include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton and Tom Felton.
Casey Patterson, executive producer, says "There's magic in the air with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago. The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films".
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