The production was initially envisaged as a film rather than a television adaptation. The pilot episode was shot on location in Botswana. It is the first major production to be filmed in Botswana and the government reportedly provided five million dollars of funding for the project. It is reported that the producers signed a 10-year-lease in 2007 for the area at the bottom of Kgale Hill in Gaborone locally known as "Kgalewood" where the detective agency set is locate
As a young girl growing up in the African nation of Botswana, Precious Ramotswe was encouraged by her father to follow her dreams, no matter what. Now in her mid-30s, Precious is doing just that — by opening her country's first and only female-owned detective agency for the benefit of those who need help the most.
Like McCall's novels, the series chronicles the adventures of Precious Ramotswe (Jill Scott), the cheerful, eminently sensible proprietor of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, located in the Kgale Hill Shopping Center on the outskirts of Gaborone. Aided by her efficient yet high-strung secretary Grace Makutsi (Anika Noni Rose), Precious investigates a variety of cases, helping townspeople solve mysteries in their lives, from missing children to philandering husbands to con-artist scams.
The pilot (which debuted on the BBC in 2008) is the last film directed by Anthony Minghella ('Cold Mountain,' Best Director Oscar® for 'The English Patient'), who co-wrote its script with Richard Curtis (Oscar® nominee for 'Four Weddings and a Funeral,' Emmy® winner for HBO's 'The Girl in the Café'). The pilot was produced by the late Sydney Pollack (Oscar®-winning director of 'Out of Africa' and 'Tootsie'), Timothy Bricknell ('Cold Mountain') and Amy J. Moore.
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