The Africa Channel announced that it will make television history with the soft launch of a new morning show on Friday, July 18, the birth date of Nelson Mandela. The weekday show, “Expresso,” will be the first series to ever air live on the African continent and then on tape the same day in the U.S. upon its official premiere in the fall.
The July 18 soft launch special — a tribute to the life of Mandela — will air live on tape in the U.S. the same day it airs in Africa, giving viewers a taste of what’s to come in the fall. Throughout the summer, The Africa Channel will present “Expresso Previews, which will highlight various segments from the series — leading to the morning show’s official premiere in the fall, when it will be seen every Monday through Friday from 6 am to 8:30 am ET, with a repeat from 9 am to 11:30 am ET.
Lee Gaither, General Manager/Executive Vice President, The Africa Channel, said, “As one can imagine, this project involved significant technical hurdles, but we have a great team both here and in Africa that was able to work through the logistics. It will prove to be well worth the effort as ‘Expresso’ will be a signature show for our network.”
“Expresso” will be broadcast live in Cape Town, South Africa, before airing on tape in the U.S. The morning show will serve up a fresh blend of lifestyle programming with young, multicultural hosts, including Katlego Maboe, Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, Graeme Richards, Leigh-Anne Williams and Ewan Strydom.
The show will present a refreshing perspective on topics from fashion to food, travel to technology, green living to gadgets, and music to medicine. Doctors, journalists, chefs, sports fanatics, stylists and techies fill out the program’s presenter pool — and The Africa Channel’s viewers will come to know and love “Expresso’s” new brand of celebrities, talent and experts.
“Expresso’s” soft launch special on July 18 will be part of The Africa Channel’s week-long celebration of the life of Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary and president of South Africa, who died in 2013 at the age of 95.
Other Mandela Week programming on The Africa Channel will include documentaries, specials and new episodes of returning series, all dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela.