15 episodes of 'The Academy' reality TV series were produced and broadcast across Nigeria in 2006. 26 episodes of 'The Station' dramatic TV series were produced and broadcast nationally during 2006 and 2007. 26 additional episodes of 'The Station' have been produced and will be broadcast during 2008 and 2009. The primary funders of the program are Nestle Nigeria, UNDP, and the foreign aid agencies of the UK and Sweden. The primary implementer is Search for Common Ground's Common Ground Productions
September - December 2006
On August 6, 2006, Search for Common Ground's production company aired the first episode of its Nigerian reality show 'The Academy,' with 20 ethnically and religiously diverse actors competing for a lead role on an upcoming television drama. This drama, also produced by Search For Common Ground (SFCG) and titled 'The Station,' was then featured on CNN on September 23rd during a panel discussion on religious reconciliation featuring President Bill Clinton, Queen Rania of Jordan, and Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres as part of the 2006 CGI Annual Meeting. The panel was witnessed by over 186 million households in more than 200 countries. Since the debut of 'The Academy' and its sister show 'The Station,' SFCG's production company has received over 10,000 communications from Nigerians about the two shows, both of which aim to promote peaceful alternatives to dealing with ethnic and religious conflict.
During the second half of 2006, 15 episodes of The Academy reality TV series and the first, 13-part season of the dramatic series, The Station, were broadcast on Nigerian television to great popular acclaim. Together, they generated about 300,000 SMS, email, and cell phone messages. Production is now complete for Season II, and Seasons III and IV are in pre-production
Following delays in production, the 15-part, reality TV series, called The Academy was finished during Q1 2006, and is ready for broadcast is Nigeria. Filming has also been completed of the first 13 episodes of the dramatic TV series, The Station, and editing is currently in its final stages. Broadcast is expected to start in the third quarter of 2006.
The commitment to Search for Common Ground was for $1.5 million to produce seasons 3 & 4 of a dramatic TV series in Nigeria that stresses inter-religious and interethnic tolerance. Nestlé has already provided $1 million for seasons 1 & 2 and to produce a reality TV series that precedes it. Thus, it is not expected that Nestlé will provide the actual funds for its commitment until 2007. However, production is continuing apace for the reality series and Seasons 1 & 2 of the dramatic series. Broadcast for the reality series has started in late December 2005, and the dramatic series is expected to be aired in the second quarter of 2006.
- Started broadcast of 'The Academy', a 15-part reality TV show, with responses being very enthusiastic.
- Completed filming the first 13 episodes of the dramatic TV series, 'The Station', and editing is currently in its final stages. Broadcast is expected to start in the third quarter of 2006.