Contrary to what you thought, the Nigerian TV market filled with quality TV series.
The lineup of new quality TV series produced by Nigerians is building up.
The last 20 years has seen an
evolution in the progression of TV series from the quality to the
plot. The 70s to the 90s saw a supreme reign of Nigerian TV
programmes. Perhaps it was because there was no 24hour TV
programming, limited and no access to Internet, and no
DStv Pay-TV platforms.
There were a lot of popular dramas back then - the 60s to 80s had popular series like “Cock Crow at Dawn”, “The Village Headmaster” which both aired on NTA.
Along with the 90s came even more engaging TV shows like “Check Mate”, “Tales by Moonlight”, “I Need To Know”, “Papa Ajasco”, “ Family Circle”, “Fuji House of Commotion" and “Everyday People”. This era was tagged the ‘Golden age of Television’.
The 00s era saw a influx of foreign TV series - the telenovelas. Nigerian shows like Wale Adenuga’s “Super Story” was still popular, and represented the local flavour amidst the continental offerings. M-Net/Africa magic recognised this absence and in 2008 created “ Tinsel”, a drama about two competing film production houses.
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However Pay-TV platforms and access to the Internet altered the taste buds of Nigerian viewers. American TV series became and still is the most requested meal on the menu. The Nigerian cuisine became less and less popular.
Filmmaker Tope Oshin told Pulse Nigeria this year; in the past TV dramas and soap operas were more popular then because we didn't have a lot of options.
"The industry was small, the industry was just beginning, there were just a few people who were doing these things. Right now, If you turn on the TV for instance, we have so many local channels, we have so many cable channels, we have so many satellite cable providers as well. So, everybody is not watching the same thing at the same time. There's several soap operas, several sitcoms, so, it's very very difficult for one to become that popular or become what everyone is watching," she said.
With the latest releases we’ve seen in the last couple of years, it’s clear directors, producers, and scriptwriters are now aware of the millennials obsessed with American TV sitcoms, telenovelas and Indian series. As such we are seeing Nigerian TV dramas with ardent suspense and drama to grab the attention of their viewers.
The new productions cover several different genres - If you are into comedy, there’s “Jenifa’s Diaries”, “Do Good” and “Skinny Girl in Transit”. If you like romance, you’ll love “Before 30”. Craving political thrillers? Try “Sons of The Caliphate”, and “Hush”. Want drama “Tinsel” and “Hotel Majestic” will definitely be your thing.
Nigerian TV series are slowly regaining their popularity once more. It’s evident that the tide is slowly rising towards the golden era once more.