'Agency' recognizes Minghella and Pollack


Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack will receive executive producer credits as the BBC moves forward with its six-part TV series based on Alexander McCall-Smith's "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency."

The series, officially announced Monday, continues the vision of Minghella, whose feature-length adaptation of the first book premiered to huge success in the U.K. shortly after his death in March. Pollack, whose Mirage Enterprises — a co-venture with Minghella — co-produced the telefilm, died two months later.

Filming has begun on location in Botswana on six 60-minute episodes, which will chronicle the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of Botswana's only female-owned detective agency.

Grammy winner Jill Scott will reprise her role as Botswana's first female sleuth, joined by Anika Noni Rose, Desmond Dube, Lucian Msamati and Paterson Joseph.

The series was commissioned by outgoing head of BBC Fiction Jane Tranter and will be produced by Timothy Bricknell and exec produced by Richard Curtis. Charles Sturridge and Tim Fywell will direct.

Tranter said she was "deeply proud" of the project and hopes it will be a fitting tribute to Minghella's "beautifully vibrant film," which drew almost 7 million viewers when it aired in March on BBC1.

The series is a Mirage Enterprises and Cinechicks production in association with the BBC, HBO and the Weinstein Co. (partialdiff)