The Philanthropist is an American action drama television created by Tom Fontana, Charlie Corwin and Jim Juvonen and filmed primarily in South Africa that follows the heroic adventures of Teddy Rist, billionaire playboy-turned-vigilante philanthropist.
The series aired in the USA on NBC from 24 June to 12 August, 2009. There are eight hour-long episodes in the series.
The Philanthropist premiered in South Africa on SABC3 on Sunday 4 April 2010, at 20h30. New episodes air weekly.
Filmed in South Africa, Mozambique and Prague, The Philanthropist follows the heroic adventures of Teddy Rist (James Purefoy), billionaire playboy-turned-vigilante philanthropist, taking him across the globe from Haiti to Myanmar, Kashmir to Paris, Kosovo to San Diego.
But the story starts off in Nigeria.
Teddy loves money, women and power, but following a severe flood in a Nigerian town, he is haunted by the memory of a young boy he rescued.
Teddy is spontaneous and impulsive and quickly decides to channel his passion, power and money into helping those in need.
The danger and risk to his life is the only way Teddy can feel genuinely alive and he'll do anything in order to achieve his goals and keep the adrenaline pumping; putting his business head and money-making skills to good use through bargaining with the self-righteous, making deals with drug barons, and trading with the nefarious.
But these actions are not just about helping others - Teddy is purging his soul to help exorcise the inner demons that have been festering ever since his young son died and he lost everything he truly loved.
Purefoy takes on the lead role of Teddy Rist, Jesse L. Martin plays Teddy's business partner and friend, Phillip Maidstone; and Neve Campbell plays Olivia, Phillip's wife, who also runs the charitable foundation set up by the two billionaires.
Purefoy and Martin are supported by a lineup including Lindy Booth, Michael Kenneth Williams and newcomer James Albrecht.
The series is based on a concept developed by Charlie Corwin, CEO of Original Media, and Jim Juvonen.
The Philanthropist is a Carnival Films production in association with Original Media for NBC Universal. The executive producers are Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, Charlie Corwin, Peter Horton, Gareth Neame and Teri Weinberg.
The pilot was written by Tom Fontana and directed by Peter Horton.