’13 Garibaldi Street’ a rare Tunisian TV series outside Ramadan

The new TV series is a police drama that engages the audience in the search for a murderer.
Thursday 18/02/2021
Tunisian Actor Khaled Houissa  plays the role of the prosecutor in “13 Garibaldi Street” . (Facebook)
Tunisian Actor Khaled Houissa plays the role of the prosecutor in “13 Garibaldi Street” . (Facebook)

TUNIS--Tunisian private channel Attessia will start broadcasting a new police series titled “13 Garibaldi Street” this week.

The series, directed by Amine Chiboub, is a rare TV series broadcast by a private Tunisian channel outside the Ramadan drama season.

For about three decades, TV drama productions have been broadcast mostly during the thirty days of the holy month of Ramadan when viewership traditionally spikes.

Last January, the  Elhiwar ElTounsi TV channel broadcast a weekly comedy series titled “God willing, Congratulations” (“Inshallah Mabouk”) directed by Bassem Hamraoui.

“13 Garibaldi Street” comes amid competition for TV ratings outside of the Ramadan season.

Weekly episodes of the new series are scheduled to be shown every Thursday evening from now until next Ramadan, which begins in April.

The first part of the series contains 15 episodes, each featuring a mysterious murder. The main investigator (actor Lasaad Ben Abdallah) and his assistants (Bilal Sultania, Ibaa Hamli and Ziad Ayadi) seek to decipher the mystery of the homicide with the help of the audience, which casts a vote on the culprit’s identity. The murderer’s identity is revealed the next day in an epilogue to the first episode.

Khaled Houissa, one of the series’ main actors, told The Arab Weekly, “I play in the series the role of the prosecutor, who represents the judicial authority of the state, and with each episode lives an internal struggle with himself and with those around him, especially the investigator who coordinates with him at times and disagrees with him at other, in order to identify the killer and the circumstances of the crime.”

Actress Iba Hamli, who plays the role of detective Hanan, said, “It is expected that a sequel to the series will be produced following the first episodes, before and after Ramadan, so that the series goes on throughout the year, involving more than 250 actors.”

Actress Iba Hamli plays the role of detective Hanan. (AFP)
Actress Iba Hamli plays the role of detective Hanan. (AFP)

The concept for “13 Garibaldi Street” is reminiscent of a popular Tunisian series titled “Search With Us” (“Ibhath Maana”) that was broadcast on local Tunisian television in the mid-1980s. Both series engage the audience in the search for the killer at the end of each episode, whether through phone calls in the case of “Search With Us” or by casting votes in “13 Garibaldi Street.”

Director Amine Chiboub said he relied on mobile cameras and close-up shots at times to give the production an added sense of mystery and suspense and instill a quick drama tempo.

In a poll conducted by Arab magazine Sayidaty regarding the top Tunisian programmes broadcast during  the 2018 Ramadan season, Chiboub won awards for best director, best screenplay and best introductory song for the series “Afrit Al-Dhuhr,” shown in 2017 and 2018 on “Wataniya 1” (public TV), which recorded high ratings in the young director’s first drama production.