Variety reports that the new series, penned by Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient," "Cold Mountain") and Richard Curtis ("Love Actually," "The Vicar of Dibley"), will star recording artist Jill Scott in the central role of female detective Precious Ramotswe.
Rose has been cast as Ramotswe's secretary with actor Lucien Msamati ("Ultimate Force") as Ramotswe's love interest. In addition to writing the screen adaptation of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," Minghella directed the two-hour pilot, which was filmed on location in Botswana.
HBO has ordered 13 episodes of the screen work that marks a joint venture between HBO, the Weinstein Co. and the BBC. HBO plans to air "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" in early 2009, with filming of the remaining episodes scheduled to resume in August.
Alexander McCall Smith's popular five-novel series follows Precious Ramotswe, who starts up Botswana's first all-female owned and run detective agency. The work has been described as an African-set folksy take on Miss Marple.
Anika Noni Rose earned a Tony Award for her performance in Caroline, or Change. She starred as Lorrelle Robinson in the hit film of the musical Dreamgirls. The award-winning actress currently plays Maggie in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.