This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

August 30, 2009

Missing No. 1 Ladies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — pprscribe @ 5:32 pm

Usually—along with the cooling temps, shortening sunlight hours, and back to school sales—fall, for me, means looking forward to the new seasons of my favorite television shows. “Heroes is all set September 21st to begin down the road to redemption; “Nip/Tuck” appears ready for more delicious guilty outrageousness in October; Sports-wise, a couple of weeks of US Open grand slam tennis starts tomorrow and the NFL is preparing to use this football season celebrate the 50th anniversary of the AFL—with, hopefully, particular attention to the league’s pioneering Black players.

For me, the only thing missing is “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

All through the summer, I feared that the program would not be coming back. No promos for HBO’s fall line-up featured show. On No. 1 Ladies’ discussion boards and Facebook pages fans lamented the lack of word and commitment about the show’s return. Little by little the C-word began to leak out. Was the show…canceled?

Well, apparently not—though what exactly is the show’s status is not entirely clear:

The acclaimed BBC-HBO adaptation of the popular series of mystery novels by Alexander McCall Smith, starring Broadway veteran Jill Scott as Precious Ramotswe, a lady detective “of traditional build” in her native Botswana, is still alive HBO president Michael Lombardo told Canwest News Service at the semi-annual gathering of the TV Critics Association.

Despite strong reviews, the series did not fare as well as other recent HBO dramas like True Blood and Hung, or established programs like Entourage and Big Love, all of which will return with new seasons.

True Blood is averaging 11 million viewers for HBO, and is the pay cable channel’s most-watched series since The Sopranos.

It would be “an incorrect assumption” to think that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has been cancelled, though, Lombardo said, even though it was pointedly left out of HBO’s programming announcements for the 2009-’10 season.

“We’re actually in conversations now and are trying to figure out the next step,” Lombardo told Canwest News Service.

Two of the series’ original creators, feature-film directors Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, passed away shortly after production began on The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective‘s first season.

“It’s been a challenge because, as you know, the creative vision behind that show unfortunately passed away,” Lombardo said. “So we’re trying to figure that out.”

HBO’s programming president, Richard Plepler, concurred.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency did very well for us critically and with audiences, and we’re very proud of it,” Plepler added. “So we’re going to try to figure out a way to get it back.” [Source]

I hope they figure out a way PDQ. I really miss Precious and Rose and all the rest. And I do not know if I can continue to justify paying for HBO for “True Blood” alone.


  1. “And I do not know if I can continue to justify paying for HBO for “True Blood” alone”

    I once had to have HBO becuase of it’s boxing events. In the last few years, boxing has taken a hit. All the programing you mentioned never grabbed. Hence, I no longer have HBO. I go to my rich son’s house if I now need to watch HBO *lol*

    It appears that “black series” struggle on HBO. I wonder if that has anything to do with economics? The Wire had a five year run …but dang it, it’s central focus was drugs, violence and police curruption **Knock-knock, someone give Denzel an Oscar**

    PPrscribe, I hope your No. 1 Ladies Detective makes the line-up. I know how much you enjoyed watching it.
    As with all series, after a time they lose their punch. But I wonder if that process (losing it’s punch) would/has increased with the passing of Pollack and Minghella – 2 great minds. I hope not but I am feeling “yes”.

    Comment by careycarey — August 31, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

  2. Yes, Carey, I’m sure that the deaths of those two had a lot to do with it. But had two of the creative leaders behind, say, “The Wire” passes, I am sure they would have found a way to make it work.

    In this case I do not think the show being Black has much to do with it. It is because, as you alluded to, it is not filled with violence and cursing and gratuitous sex. It is not thought to be “edgy” enough for today’s audiences. I guess being critically acclaimed doesn’t pay the million dollar mortgage.

    We’ll see. I really really hope the series comes back—or at least a 2-hour movie or something.

    Comment by pprscribe — September 1, 2009 @ 7:38 am

  3. […] HBO are said to be “in conversations” to figure out a way to bring it back. I really do miss The No. 1 Ladies and hope that these discussions will be fruitful. Until then, I know what I will be rooting for if […]

    Pingback by Images for No. 1 Ladies « This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life — January 8, 2010 @ 10:21 am

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