WHAT do you expect from TV? After a long day at work, as you prepare to face another one, if you have the time to sit down, what do you look forward to watching?
These are the questions which we will be asking the SABC when we next tune in. All three channels announced their changes about a fortnight ago, and today we take a look at what that entails.
We start with the good. SABC1 did well by bringing new shows that are locally brewed. These range from dramas which include Skeem Saam (airs at 6pm Mondays to Fridays), Mfolozi Street (8.30pm on Mondays), Sticks & Stones (8.30pm on Wednesdays), Shreds & Dreams (8.30pm on Fridays) and Soul City 12 (8.30pm on Tuesdays). Most of these shows are meant to take over from where Generations leaves off after 8.30pm during the week. The slot is heavily contested by Mzansi Magic’s giant drama, Isibaya.
Then come the entertainment shows which include Stumbo Stomp Pantsula (6pm on Tuesdays), Take Me Out SA (9pm on Tuesdays) and 1s AND 2s (7.30pm on Fridays). These also look as if they are trying to get fans of Mzansi Magic’s silly yet addictive shows like Ka-ching and Cula Sibone. In all fairness, after Jika Majika and Jam Alley lost the plot, SABC1 hasn’t really had anything to write home about in this department.
Also, the Nguni News has been moved to 7pm and the channel has undergone a makeover which will include 3D imaging, crisper sound, new promo templates and new depth.
Then comes SABC2 which also went through a couple of changes to beef up its programming. To start with, we now have a Kenyan telenovela, Mali, at 7.30pm from Mondays to Wednesdays. This obviously comes after the success of the telenovelas on DStv. This is actually a good idea given that after reality TV, telenovelas seem to be picking up in South Africa, whether home-made or imported.
Then come Saturdays when at 9pm we have a movie slot which will be showcasing all the favourite blockbuster movies in September. This slot can only be popular if they do one of two things – show us recent movies or air classic great films.
Friday (7pm) is the new slot for Afrikaans variety with a new season of Mooiloop! Noot vir Noot will retain its traditional 7.30pm spot on Fridays, and Voetspore’s new episodes will move to the 6pm slot on Sundays.
Then there is SABC3 which has gone on a huge rebranding campaign. The channel is taking a new direction, shifting towards targeting a younger demographic.
This explains why this season of Strictly Come Dancing 7 is showing on SABC3.
The channel will also welcome some Afrikaans content migrating from its sister channel, SABC2. So you now have entities like 50/50 (5.30pm on Sundays), Swartwater (9.30pm on Wednesdays), Fokus (Sundays) and Afrikaans News (7.30pm on weekdays).
Will it take off? It’s two weeks into the change and time will tell.