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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist


‘Recipes for Love and Murder’ finds global success despite lower local ratings

Recipes for Love and Murder was more popular with the international audience than its Mzansi viewers.


It’s rightfully said that charity begins at home, but rewards tend to be reaped elsewhere…it’s been the case for M-Net TV show Recipes for Love and Murder, which performed okay in Mzansi but saw great numbers internationally.

“Ratings in South Africa didn’t quite meet expectations, but we found that our international partner in this instance not only saw so much value in the show but had so much success selling it outside of our territories, outside of Africa,” Director for Premium Channels (M-Net and kykNET) Waldimar Pelser told The Citizen.

Recipes for Love and Murder first aired in March 2022 on M-Net and made its international debut in September that year after being picked up by Acorn TV.

“We’re very proud of Recipes for Love and Murder, it was an excellent series and we’re proud and happy that it’s coming back for a second season.”

“It’s just that all the partners need to see a certain value, and we do.  But in this case, internationally the success was on another level,” averred Pelser.

Pelser spoke to the publication at a media breakfast hosted by MultiChoice Group General Entertainment CEO Noma Philiso. The breakfast was centred around storytellers, and featured creators in television.

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Demand for second season

Recipes for Love and Murder is a dark comedy mystery television series based on the Tannie Maria Mystery novels by Sally Andrew. The show stars Irish actress Maria Doyle Kennedy and former Isidingo actor Tony Kgoroge.

Acorn approached M-Net and insisted on the creation of another season.

Pelser said M-Net was willing to invest a certain amount in the creation of the second season and Acorn covered the rest of the production costs.

“From an accountability point of view, if you were in the position of a channel, where you have to allocate resources…you don’t allocate too many resources to a show that will ‘do its job’ but it might not exceed the previous season’s performance,” said Pelser explaining how creating a second season makes sense for the channel if someone else is covering some of the costs.

“So, the first season worked internationally, you wouldn’t tinker [a lot]. You would try to think what are the components that allowed it to travel-keep those things there,” said Pelser.

The Director of Premium channels said the second season has begun shooting and there won’t be many tweaks to it.

“There might be a different directorial approach in the second season. There’s some new director input in the second season. The intent is [that] it always has to work for this market first, and it will work for this market, it’s just that there was this big difference in how it performed here which was fine versus internationally.”

He said the setting of the Karoo, the characters and that the series is based on a book that’s quite popular abroad is what made the TV show popular overseas.

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