Sorisha Naidoo on Divas of Jozi.
Sorisha Naidoo on Divas of Jozi.

#SABC: 80% local to be 100% hit?

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Jul 5, 2016

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So this is what local content looks like. No more Survivor and no more The Amazing Race. That is what the SABC’s 80 percent local quota for its channels means, especially SABC 3. That means that those two long-running and famous reality shows will never be seen on South African free-to-air television, unless, of course, e.tv realises they are sitting on a goldmine.

The same goes for Days of our Lives, which has also been purged from the channel. TV as we know it has come to an end. But it’s not all bad. It could actually be a genius move that will finally take local TV to where it should be. SABC has been fighting a losing battle with DStv when it comes to content.

Unlike in the 1990s, where SABC 3 had the best TV shows from the US and the UK and its tagline was “Quality Shows”, it has gone on to be the channel where you are sure to find old TV shows that have been cancelled in their original territories. A running joke between critics was when the channel presented Ugly Betty as a new show two years after it was cancelled in the US.

It has also become one of the most confused channels. Two years ago it re-branded to attract a younger, aspirational audience, putting it in competition with DStv’s Vuzu and Vuzu Amp. But it didn’t have the shows to prove that it was geared towards a younger audience. And although it wasn’t the channel’s fault, especially since it could not compete with DStv, it still became a channel where shows went to be forgotten.

But with this move to air more local content on the channel, SABC 3 has a chance to once again stake its claim as one of the best channels in South Africa – whether on free-to-air or satellite. Looking at the shows the channel has, many of which start tomorrow, what is on offer is a mix of much-needed daytime fare and some night-time TV with potential to be great.

These are the shows we are really looking forward to seeing on air, ones we hope will change the fate of SABC 3.

Divas of Jozi: Mondays at 8pm

Two years ago there was much fanfare when it was revealed that South Africa was finally having a local version of the hit Housewives franchise. It was called Real Housewives of Joburg. So when we saw nothing on our screens, even though episodes of the show had been shot (I was even at Sorisha Naidoo’s surprise birthday party in 2014, which was shot for the show), South Africa soon forgot about it. With Diski Divas, a local reality show focusing on the Wags of soccer players, filling up the void, there were few who missed it. But with the news that the show is back in production, our interest is piqued.

It stars actress and media personality Sorisha Naidoo, sometime actress and presenter Stevie French and infamous housewife and Puleng Spies of Come Dine With Me South Africa fame. The other three ladies on the show are: Aimee Sadie, Christie Swanepoel and Nazley Delport. I spotted the ladies shooting at the Gateway Preview Fashion Show and Concert last Saturday and they looked like they were having a good time. Let’s hope that viewers had an even better time watching the show on Monday night..

Larger Than Life: Mondays at 10pm

For years I have been hoping that someone at the SABC is brave enough to once again get us a late-night talk show in the vein of The Tonight Show or The Graham Norton Show. Finally, it has happened. The last time SABC 3 had a local late night show it was with Paul Viv back in the mid 2000s. (I’m not going to count that Darren Maule show, Last Say on Sunday, because it was more of a satirical show.)

Larger Than Life is hosted by comedian Jason Goliath as he interviews a number of celebrities on the show.

The best part? There’s a studio audience.

I really hope that the producers will have great content and well-thought-out questions for the host and the guests. I hope they remember that we do have access to the best late-night talk shows in the world, so they better give us great content.

Real Talk With Anele: Weekdays 4pm from July 21

Anele Mdoda has always been outspoken. She has never cared whether you like her opinion or not.

She takes no prisoners and she gives as good as she gets. These characteristics all make her the ideal host of a talk show.

She hosted 2014’s Tongue In Cheek, the disastrous panel talk show which had Anele sharing a table with Shashi Naidoo, Michael De Pinna and Carolyn Steyn. But even though the show was bad, Anele stood out and I’m so glad that she’s getting her own talk show. So obviously I expect this show to be like the Wendy Williams show – a mixture of good gossip, celebrity interviews, lifestyle trends and Anele showing off her gift of the gab.

It’s exactly what we need and Anele should flourish with this show. She’s made for it.

Top Chef South Africa: Tuesdays 8pm from July 12

When M-Net decided not to renew MasterChef South Africa, so many fans of chef shows nearly lost their minds.

Judging from the comments that littered social media, people were upset, so maybe their hearts will mend with this show.

The SA version of Top Chef, hosted by Lorna Maseko, has a lot to do to impress the difficult South African audience.

The Weekend Edition: Saturday 6.30am from July 9

Phat Joe and Khanyi Mbau together? It should be a masterpiece.

But it’s a weekend breakfast show in the vein of Expresso and Afternoon Express. SABC 3 recently tried it with Na Week, which was an Afrikaans lifestyle breakfast show. But Phat Joe is an amazing broadcaster and knows how to host a show, and Khanyi Mbau has amazing chemistry with him.

Sober Companion: Monday 9pm

Chris Beasley is back on TV. As in, in front of the camera, so I’m excited. Sober Companion is a dramedy about sober companions – which is a “cool” term for a coach or a sponsor – helping recovering addicts as they try to get their lives back to normal. Hosted by Trevor Gumbi.

These shows all have great potential. On paper they can definitely take SABC 3 back to being the best that it was. Now if only the SABC would make news for its good content, rather than unnecessary drama.

Sunday Tribune

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