Citizen TV’s popular show Maria is set to air for the last time on Thursday, March 18, an act that will draw the curtain on the family drama that first aired in 2019.
A source familiar with the producers and the show disclosed that the Royal Media Services station was angling towards a new show, Zora, that is expected to pick up as a fan’s favourite, a tag Maria maintained since its premiere.
Maria show was rated as the most-watched in the country by various poll firms and saw Citizen TV maintain the slot as Kenya’s top television station.
“The show will come to an end on Thursday, March 18. The producers felt its plot was exhausted, and the scriptwriters felt there was no need to extend it,” the source told Mtaa Buzz.
One of the producers and Jiffy pictures CEO, Citizen TV anchor Lulu Hassan, had downplayed ending the show during a recent Q&A with her fans on Instagram. On Tuesday, February 9, she said that the show still had more twists and turns in store for the audience.
However, insiders detailed that this was a plot to keep the fans guessing as her production work moved towards releasing the new show Zora, which will replace Maria on Citizen TV.
Zora, starring former Tahidi High actress, Sarah Hassan will be aired from Monday to Friday from 7:30 pm to 8 pm. The same time slot had been allocated to Maria for the past two years.
On her Instagram page, on Wednesday, March 17, Lulu also indicated that Maria was ending, urging fans to expect the climax.
“The race doesn’t always belong to the swift nor the battle to the strong. It belongs rather to those who run the race, who stay the course and who fight the good fight. Could this be it, will this be the much anticipated happily ever after for both Maria and Luwi?” Lulu posted.
Maria won the Best TV drama with Maria (Yasmin Said) scooping the Best Lead Actress in the TV Drama category at the Kalasha 2020 Awards held on Saturday, December 12, 2020. Brian Ogana (Luwi) was also nominated for Best Lead Actor.
Lulu Hassan won the best producer in the TV Drama Award during the Women in Film Awards 2021 (WIFA) ceremony held on Wednesday, March 10.
In an interview in 2019, Lulu, wife to Citizen TV co-anchor and co-producer Rashid Abdalla, said that they took a risk with Maria, and was grateful that their experiments paid off.
For the show, the duo sought new blood which debuted in the film alongside veteran casts such as Ogana and Bridget Shighadi (Sophia).
The actors are one of the most followed in the country with several social media fan pages created by their followers for engagement and interactions.
Yasmin Said (Maria), the lead actress in her first media interview with Mtaa Buzz in 2019, lauded Lulu and Rashid for their passion and zeal to produce local drama. Other than Maria and Zora, the duo is the face behind popular shows Kovu, Moyo and Aziza.
” At a point, I feel like I will pursue acting further. I want to use this opportunity to scale heights and to have other doors open for me in the film industry. The name Maria might also stick with me as most people love it.
“I always appreciate Lulu and Rashid, each and every day. Their personalities speak volumes of how great they are destined for success,” Yasmin then said.