File photo. Picture. Twitter/@etv
Two e-mails arrived one after the other last week: the first from e.tv announcing WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) will no longer be airing on the e family of channels from next month, followed directly by SuperSport saying it has signed a new multi-year agreement to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in more than 50 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa from August 28.

Marlon Davids, managing director of e.tv Channels, said the decision not to renew the WWE contract was not taken lightly: “e.tv has been the home of WWE in South Africa since 2001, but international rights contracts like this are complex. After reviewing our renewal options, we decided to focus instead on the direction our entertainment line-up has been taking over the last 12 months.

“As sad as we are to see WWE leave its home in South Africa, we’re confident that our audience will keep embracing the channels’ new direction and continue to be entertained by the fresh and engaging content which e.tv and the e family of channels currently hosts - and has plans to expand.”

WWE programmes will be replaced by back-to-back family movies on Saturdays and Sundays from September. Weekdays will be replaced by medical drama House. The series originally ran on the Fox network in the US for eight seasons, from November 2004 to May 2012. It previously aired here on M-Net channels, and is also available in its entirety on Showmax. If you’ve still not seen it, this is great news for e.tv viewers.

On SuperSport, subscribers will be seeing WWE’s flagship shows Raw and SmackDown as well as WWE specials, including WrestleMania and SummerSlam.

“WWE is a global phenomenon, so securing the broadcast rights for SuperSport is a terrific coup,” said Gideon Khobane, chief executive of SuperSport. “The athletes involved are larger than life figures who command huge followings. At long last our viewers will get to share in this entertainment spectacle in high definition. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with WWE.”

SuperSport channels S3, S4, S9 and SS10 will televise Raw on Tuesdays and SmackDown on Wednesdays, offering live telecasts and same-day re-airs, and will broadcast all WWE specials live, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. All programmes will be available with English commentary and on demand. To celebrate the new partnership, SuperSport will televise the prior week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown on Monday, August 28.

COME DINE WITH ME

BBC Worldwide has confirmed that after a three-year break, a new 12-part season of the critically-acclaimed ratings hit Come Dine With Me South Africa will be coming to BBC Lifestyle early next year. The ITV Studios Global Entertainment format has been commissioned in partnership with the award-winning Johannesburg-based production company Rapid Blue and demonstrates BBC Worldwide’s ongoing commitment to providing high quality original productions for its audiences in South Africa.

The first three seasons of the Safta-winning dining competition have become firm favourites with audiences. Each episode follows four strangers as they step into each other’s homes with the hope of being wined, dined and entertained and also be in with the chance of winning R10000. When filming begins later this year, the new series aspires to be bolder, bigger and better than ever.

Episodes will be filmed in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Applications to become a contestant are open to South African residents and information on how to apply can be found at www.bbcsouthafrica.com.The application process will close on August 6.

TONIGHT

The Queen (Mzansi Magic, 9pm): For more suspense, intrigue, spice and comic relief, and more Khoza family antics and the shenanigans, The Queen has been extended to broadcast every night Mondays to Fridays, beginning tonight. “The Queen has become one of the channel’s most popular shows. As it stands, it broadcasts from Monday to Thursday, but its immense acclaim demands that we make it a full five-day a week show. Viewers just can’t get enough of the twists and turns in the story, so we are giving them more,” said Reneilwe Sema, M-Net’s director of local channels. Some new faces will be joining the cast as well. Rami Chuene wil add some hot sauce into the Khoza potjie, portraying the character of Gracious; and Thato Molamu plays successful up-and-coming prosecutor Bakang - good-looking, charming and a hit with women. Old time favourite Magic Hlatshwayo returns as Kwanele’s supportive dad Alpheus.

SUNDAY

Too Posh To Parent (BBC Lifestyle, 8pm): The phrase “too posh to push” has long been used to describe women who prefer to have a Caesarean section rather than undergo natural childbirth. Here we look at those who choose to opt out of actual parenting, which begs the question: why even have a child? Apparently, “parental outsourcing” has become big business; from etiquette training, to professional potty trainers that will guarantee results in just three days, modern parents have never had so many experts to choose from if they can afford it. Some believe parental support services are a necessity of modern life, enabling quality time between parents and their children. Others strongly feel it’s simply a by-product of lazy parenting. There are without a doubt two sides to this story, in this day and age when parents have to work as well as raise their families. This documentary explores this controversial subject.

IN THE WEEK

Being Mary Jane (BET, Monday at 9.30pm): Season four premiered in January in the US, and it began here this Monday past. Award-winning actress Gabrielle Union (NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special) reprising her role as Mary Jane, Lisa Vidal as Kara, Micheal Ealy as Justin and Chiké Okonkwo as Lee. This season is filled with even more nail-biting moments and unstoppable drama.

Apple Tree Yard (M-Net 101, Tuesday at 10.40pm): Academy Award-nominee Emily Watson stars in this provocative psychological thriller about a married woman who embarks on a passionate affair that ultimately spirals dangerously out of control.

Salvation (M-Net 101, Wednesday at 8.30pm): Humanity hangs in the balance in this suspense thriller that centres on a staggering discovery: an enormous asteroid is just six months away from colliding with the Earth.

False Flag (Fox Africa, Wednesday at 9pm): Receiving critical acclaim on its release in Israel in 2015, this espionage thriller was inspired by the real life assassination of a Hamas leader by Mossad agents. False Flag has received several accolades and won awards around the world.

The synopsis reads as follows: “Five Israeli citizens find themselves plunged into a gripping international espionage affair overnight. These ordinary people, going about their daily business, wake up one morning to discover that they are implicated in a ruthless kidnapping operation following the disappearance of the Iranian defence minister while on a secret visit to Moscow.

False Flag is being marketed as “the new Homeland” - the global hit starring Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison.