Sunday, July 22, 2018

SABC1 expands the gospel show genre with new music and lifestyle show, Gospel Unplugged, that aims to spice up TV praise and worship.

SABC1 says the channel is trying to expand the gospel music TV show genre with its new weekly gospel show, Gospel Unplugged, with presenter Mmatema Moremi that will include interviews, performances as well as a karaoke insert.

Gospel Unplugged from Sunday 22 July at 17:30 on SABC1 is a new local, contemporary gospel music show that will have both talk and lifestyle elements to it.

The show will cover urban gospel music from hip hop, to house and R&B gospel music. The show has a karaoke insert, while invited guests will open up about their life journeys with God and singing their favourite songs.

"It's really fresh. It's really young. We've spiced it up. There will be a karaoke session, we do interviews with gospel singers, we sing along with them. It's hip, it's young, it's authentic," says Mmatema Moremi. "As young Christian people we can find a space where we praise God however we want, appear however we want in a young contemporary and urban way. Gospel Unplugged is that platform."

Friday, July 20, 2018

SABC1 on its new 'quite different' format music competition show The Remix SA that will be taking on Idols: 'For us it's a test actually'.

SABC1 says the public broadcaster's latest bet on a local version of a format music reality competition show, The Remix South Africa, is going to be a new test for the channel.

It comes as SABC1 gears up to do battle with pay-TV channels supplier M-Net and its Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel's long-running juggernaut reality singing competition show Idols on Sundays at 17:30.

SABC1 has scheduled The Remix SA's "performance episode" - the second episode of every week's two-parter edition, for Sundays at 18:00 in a testing-the-waters counter-programming move.

The Remix SA that is not from the United Kingdom or America but from Turkey sees contestants having to "remix" and come up with new versions of popular songs in a different genre.

In The Remix SA - with two weekly episodes on a Friday at 18:00, starting 20 July, and on Sundays at 18:00 with a half hour "performance" episode in front of a live audience - the SABC and SABC1 is hoping to find its own Idols after years of losing all of its big reality competition shows to and M-Net and not following up initial investments in other format competition shows with further seasons.

The past decade the SABC has seen a flurry of marquee tentpole shows from SA's Got Talent to Strictly Come Dancing SA and others switch from SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 to and M-Net, while the broadcaster failed to do further second seasons of show like The X Factor SA on SABC1 that it would mount for a first season but not cultivate further.

Now SABC1 hopes to try again with The Remix SA, with co-presenters Rouge (Deko Barbara-Jessica Wedi) and KG (Kgaugelo KC Mokholwane) with Mo Flava and Kelly Khumalo as the judges, and Relebogile Mabotja as the show's musical director.

"The Remix South Africa for us is part of our continued commitment in unearthing and investing in youth talent and trying to be on par with where the culture is at," says Sane Zondi, SABC1 head of programming.

"It's a different format from all the other talent reality formats that have been in the landscape and that we're used to in that the formation of groups - although I don't want to call them 'groups' since they're not quite groups - that are on the show and competing to be South Africa's next big entertainment offering.

"It is quite different, structurally. It's quite a variety of skills within the entity that we're looking for - there's DJ skills, there's producing skills, mixed with vocal skills, and just general entertainment," says Sane Zondi.

"When you watch the show on a Sunday, which is the live performance, entertainment aspect of it, you'll see that there's quite a big production value that's expected of each of the ensembles that are entering and who are competing."

"So it feels like a concert that is being delivered on-air, on television, week in and week out."

"We're very excited about how it's actually going to be received. For us at SABC1 it's a test actually. Traditionally we've looked for formats in the typical territories of the TV world which is the United Kingdom and the United States, and we've gone and we've done something different."

"The Remix South Africa is a format that comes from the Asian part of the world, from Turkey specifically, and when we found it, we automatically and instinctively, we knew The Remix would make sense for SABC1," says Sane Zondi.

"This is where the trend is at. It's been a 2-year journey to have this thing on air so we're very excited about that."

'Have you ever heard that song this way?'

"You see groups of very talented people in groups of 3's and I look at these groups and think, 'Man, you can literally be the next best thing in South Africa," says co-presenter KG. "And that takes me back to my auditions standing in long queues where you're hoping to be the one".

"The contestants will have to remix songs that are already big and they have to come and go, 'Hey man, have you ever heard it this way?' Like you get a soul song and have reinterpret it as a gqom song."

His co-presenter, the hip hop artist Rouge says she can empathise with the contestants that viewers are going to see on The Remix SA.

"It's really, really tough purely because you are trying to do something that's almost impossible by remixing songs that are really out there and massive and making them yours so that people can really find your sound".

"So we let them know that it's really not easy, but when you get it right, you really get it right. Everyone's got to take songs that are original right now - whether it be hip hop, gqom or whatever genre - and they have to remix it within the genres that we tell them to remix it into."

"The beautiful thing about it is that the contestants are so talented. We have guitarists, we have people who play saxophone, we have amazing vocalists. We have amazing rappers. It just goes from one genre to the next."

Animation series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, revived for a new season by Lucasfilm and Disney for Disney's new video streaming service in 2019.

The Force is strong with this one: Like out of carbonite, Lucasfilm and Disney are reviving the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars that was abruptly cancelled in 2013, with creator and writer-director Dave Filoni stunning the audience at Comic-Con 2018 in San Diego with the announcement that the show will return.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be back in 2019 with 12 new episodes that will become available on Disney's new as yet unnamed video-on-demand streaming service.

"It's an anniversary - it's 10 years," Dave Filoni told the audience who waited with breathless anticipation as he continued: "And you guys deserve something for being so great - a present, if you will. We got together and thought, 'If there is one thing we could give you, what would it be?'"

His announcement at the panel discussion about the show's 10th anniversary was met by standing applause.

The beloved animation series that won several Emmy Awards came to an abrupt end after 5 seasons on Turner's Cartoon Network after it started in 2008.

It will now seamlessly resume where the unresolved storylines left off with the same characters like Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the same voice actors and at the same time period in that galaxy far, far away, set between the period of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

"I honestly didn't think we would ever have the opportunity to return to The Clone Wars," said Dave Filoni.

"Thanks to the relentless fan support and the team behind Disney's direct-to-consumer streaming service, we will now get to tell more of those stories. We feel a tremendous responsibility to make something that lives up to the legacy that George Lucas created with the original series, and I think our team, many of whom worked on the show from the beginning, has risen to the challenge."

A new Star Wars: The Clone Wars teaser trailer was released at Comic-Con.

The teaser trailer starts with various members of the Clone army talking and then text saying: "A war left unfinished ... until now." At the end of the trailer Ahsoka Tano, the then-padawan learner of Jedi Anakin Skywalker appears. She says to him through a hologram: "Hello master, it's been awhile."

China's StarTimes and StarSat in South Africa adds the BRICS TV channel as a permanent addition just before the 2018 BRICS summit of the 5 emerging economy nations.

StarSat has added the BRICS TV channel to the pay-TV operator's line-up, with the channel that will be covering events, news and showcasing trade opportunities between the 5 emerging economies group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Besides StarTimes and On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat, the BRICS channel, done by Moja Media, will also be carried by StarTimes in the rest of South Africa, StarSat's pan-African Chinese parent group.

The BRICS channel is a permanent addition to StarSat and StarTimes on channel 509, although its launch on Friday, 20 July at 13:00 comes just before the 2018 BRICS summit taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 25 and 27 July that will surely be covered on this channel.

StarTimes says the BRICS channel will have various shows dedicated to "the vision of the BRICS countries" and is a "communication and advertising platform" for businesses and brands and for the latest business news from the various BRICS nations.

The channel will "strengthen peoples to peoples relations" and will showcase trade and industry and business opportunities, show bilateral agreement and conferences and events, have entertainment, culture and sport aspects related to BRICS, and highlight investment opportunities as well as what development funds there are from BRICS and the BRICS bank.

"ODM is a broadcaster dedicated to a developmental paradigm in the broadcasting space. We believe that access to information to the most ordinary and rural communities will ensure a better educated society," says Debbie Wu, ODM CEO.

"In order to bring such information and opportunities in reach to everyone, StarSat is delighted to work with Moja Media to deliver this important channel."

Laurence Mitchell, Moja Media business development executive, says "For years the people of Africa in general, and in South Africa in particular, raised concerns that BRICS is a concept only understood by government people".

"It is for this reason that Moja Media decided to initiate the first-ever BRICS channel on a TV-platform, so that we bring opportunities closer to the people and not only decision-makers of BRICS and its governments. This open the door for the creative arts and for filmmakers and producers to come forward to us with their concepts."

Skolopad warns artists about exploitation after she's shamed to cut her appearance fee: 'Start knowing how much you're worth'.

The South African artist Nonhlanhla Qwabe, known as Skolopad, told an amateur promotor to take a hike after she was shamed into lowering her appearance asking fee for an event, making the discussion public and warning South African entertainers that artists shouldn't allow this type of exploitation that often start with event organisers.

An unidentified event organiser contacted Skolopad on Whatsapp to do an event appearance and amateurishly then started complaining after she stated that her appearance fee was R8 500.

The promotor then tried to get her to lower it to R4 000, and then proceeded to try to emotionally blackmail her in accepting less than half her asking fee, by saying  things like "I am happy to remove you from this event" and "It's either you take R4 000 or the deal is off".

The famously underwearless Skolopad, known for her buzzworthy performance art and racy outfits on South African red carpets, says exposure doesn't pay artists and performers' bills and that local entertainers need to stop the shameless exploitation that often start with event organisers themselves.

Before trying to get her to lower her price, the amateur event organiser foolishly wanted Skolopad to also post about the event on social media, after which she reminded the person "thanks, but I can post on my timeline after the [payment of the] 75% deposit of the amount agreed upon".

She was then asked her fee and after she said R8 500 - excluding accommodation for her an her style team entourage of 4 people in 2 hotel rooms - was told the event organiser can't afford it.

That's where it all should have ended, but the promotor then started to try and "shame" Skolopad down in her price and doing so in a message discussion instead of a personal call - two things that proper professional promotors and event organisers simply don't do.

'It's either you take R4 000, or the deal is off'
"I don't think you were being reasonable and fair to me. How do you charge me R8 000 and still expect me to book 2 rooms for you and your entourage and still feed and entertain all 4 of you? The other 3, what is going to be their role playing in this event, nothing!"

"So, you think I will pay R8 000 and still book hotel rooms for the 4 of you. That will never happen and I am happy to remove you from this event," the organiser told Skolopad.

The organiser had the audacity to tell Skolopad further that she should be happy with less money because "You might be a brand ambassador for it and we are all happy". 

"Not so long ago you came to perform in the Vaal for R1 500 and yet you charge me R8 000, please don't. It's either you take R4 000, or the deal is off".

Skolopad responded with a perfect Bye, Felicia: "It's ok my dear".

After making the discussion public, Skolopad wrote "The exploitation thing start from the event organisers. Not knowing when they exploit us, the other people automatically get exploited. Start knowing how much you're worth, then people will respect you. Building a brand is not easy."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AMC says Yvette Nicole Brown is taking over as interim host of Talking Dead on Sundance TV.

Yvette Nicole Brown is taking over as the interim host of the Talking Dead aftershow series on AMC and Sundance TV (DStv 108) after AMC last month pulled Chris Hardwick and Talking Dead off the air  following allegations of abuse from one of his ex-girlfriends.

Shows like Talking Dead about The Walking Dead seen on FOX (DStv 125 / DStv 131 / Cell C black 201) and Fear the Walking Dead seen on AMC and Sundance TV, have been shown on AMC and Sundance TV.

Yvette Nicole Brown will host the Talking Dead season 9 preview on 5 August and the regular Talking Dead season when it returns following the premiere of the second part of the 4th season of Fear the Walking Dead on 12 August (from Monday 13 August at 21:00 in South Africa and Africa).

"Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of The Walking Dead season 9 preview special and Talking Dead when it returns following the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick," says AMC in a statement.

Yvette Nicole Brown is a well-known fan of The Walking Dead and has made numerous appearances so far on Talking Dead.

Interior design reality competition show, Win a Home, returning to SABC3 for a 5th season, will again be a stand-alone show during prime time, now looking for design pairs.

The interior decorating and design reality competition show, Win a Home, is returning to SABC3 for a 5th season and will once again become a stand-alone show during prime time at 19:30 from 20 September.

The first two seasons of Win a Home were stand-alone shows, after which the 3rd season folded into SABC3's Afternoon Express as a weekday insert.

Win a Home then became a stand-alone Friday afternoon show for its 4th season on SABC3 in 2017.

Win a Home producers are now looking for 3 pairs of aspiring interior designers to participate as contestants in this year's design challenges.

The 5th season of Win a Home produced by Cardova Productions will be based in the Western Cape, with the 3 design duo contestants who will be tasked with decorating 3 identical "white-box" penthouse apartments at the Paardevlei Lifestyle Estate in Somerset West as the compete for the grand prize of R100 000.

People older than 18 can enter if they have less than 5 years' professional experience working as a designer and at least one contestant of the design duo must hold a tertiary degree in design or a related creative field like architecture, fine art,production design, interior decoration, fashion design or art direction.

Contestants must also live in Cape Town or relocate to Cape Town, and be able to transport themselves to the Somserset West development for the duration of the competition and be available during 13 August to 10 December 2018 for the show.

Applications for Win a Home's 5th season will close on Friday 27 July at 12:00 and interested people can email a photo, a 10-page document portfolio of design work you have done, a short bio and contact details to

The Cape Town based production company, Okuhle Productions, reaches a new milestone with 7 concurrent shows on TV across SABC2, SABC3 and

The Cape Town based production company, Okuhle Productions has reached a new milestone in its 15-year history, with the concurrent broadcast of 7 TV shows at one time on South African television across SABC2, SABC3 and

Okuhle Productions is now responsible for Neill Anthony - Private Chef (SABC3), the daily live youth strands Hectic on 3 (SABC3) and Hectic Nine-9 (SABC2), the game show Beter Assie Bure (SABC2), the children's programmes Yum.Me (SABC3) and Siyabonga Gogo (, and the teen drama series, Signal High (SABC2) currently in its 3rd season.

Meanwhile Okuhle Productions is also busy with the production of the second season of the small-town talent search competition show, Showville, that will be returning to SABC2 within months.

"We are very proud of this accomplishment," says Wilna van Schalkwyk, Okuhle Productions managing director and executive producer.

"It's not easy to provide a consistent level of production quality, creativity and attention to detail across 7 shows, all in production at the same time.This is a testimony to an extraordinary team of dedicated writers, creatives, producers and, of course, the functional life blood - our line producers and administrative team," says Wilna van Schalkwyk.

Okuhle Productions says that a strategic growth plan, started in 2017, has seen the production company achieving significant success across many aspects of its business that operates in the tough and volatile industry that is South Africa's film and TV industry.

"The South African film and TV industry, provider of local and international quality entertainment,is a valuable and vital source of job creation, social upliftment and skills development. Okuhle remains committed to its values and vision of contributing significantly towards the film and television industry's growth and success," says Wilna van Schalkwyk.

SABC News press corps covering the president furious that they've been sidelined, also complain about the leadership style of the alleged 'Hlaudi enforcer' Sophie Mokoena.

The SABC press corps that used to cover the South African president are reportedly furious that they've been sidelined by the South African public broadcaster that is now making use of an international wire service.

They're also angry over the abrasive management style of the caustic Sophie Mokoena.

In 2017 Sophie Mokoena was identified during parliament's inquiry into the SABC as one of the alleged so-called "Hlaudi Motsoeneng enforcers" at the broadcaster.

The Sunday Times first reported that SABC News reporters Mzwandile Mbeje, Ntebo Mokobo and Tshepo Ikaneng are angry that they've been sidelined from covering president Cyril Ramaphosa in favour of the SABC using the Foreign Service Network.

In a meeting they also complained to Phathiswa Magopeni, the SABC's head of news and current affairs, Nothando Maseko, the head of SABC TV news, and to Sebolo Ditlhakanye, the head of SABC radio news, about the leadership style of Sophie Mokoena.

Sophie Mokoena who is the SABC's foreign editor has apparently also resigned as the SABC's acting political editor.

The SABC declined to comment when asked for a response.

Sophie Mokoena told The Sunday Times "I am tired of you South African men, in particular you South African journalists, for mistreating and conniving against me since 1994 because I'm the first female to be in that political field and to this day you men are fighting me".

The troubled former Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba now claims that he wanted to quit the Mzansi Magic show but was forced to stay; M-Net says he's lying.

The troubled former Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba who derailed his promising music career now claims that he wanted to quit the [SIC] Entertainment produced show during the height of the fateful 13th season on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) in 2017 but that he was forced to continue - with M-Net saying that Mthokozisi Ndaba is lying and that there's never been Idols contestants who wanted to leave without being voted out.

The troubled, faded star scandalously flamed out with shocking behaviour directly after Paxton Fielies was announced as the previous Idols winner.

He is also on the outs with Gallo Records with whom he got a recording deal but who says the troubled runner-up was simply not co-operating and difficult to contact.

The KwaMashu singer (26) was engulfed in controversy immediately after he stormed off stage after Paxton Fielies was announced as the winner of the 13th season of the FremantleMedia and [SIC] Entertainment produced reality singing show, and refuse to attend the post-show press conference and the prize-giving ceremony and after-party - the first runner-up ever to simply duck and flee.

He remained cloistered in Johannesburg and received help from medical professionals only for a charge of assault to then be laid against him just before he flew back to Durban, by Neo Tsele who posted graphic photos of her battered and bruised face and accused Mthokozisi Ndaba of hitting her and slamming her against a wall in a Braamfontein flat. She has since decided to drop the case.

In an interview with DRUM Mthokozisi Ndaba is now accusing Idols producers [SIC] Entertainment and M-Net of refusing to let him leave when he wanted to quit while he was in the Top 10 of the 13th season.

"Once I was in the top 10 I became greedy," says Mthokozisi Ndaba. "Day by day I was losing myself, I was emotionally weak and drained and I didn’t want to be there anymore. I was homesick and there was too much pressure. I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to pull out of the competition but the Idols team said no".

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net for local entertainment channels, told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry seeking comment about Mthokozisi Ndaba's claims, that contestants are not forced to remain part of Idols.

"Participation in Idols is purely voluntary and contestants are welcome to leave the show at any point they might deem it necessary to do so. In the past 13 seasons of Idols South Africa we have not had a contestant who wanted to leave without being voted out of the show."

If Idols contestants are receiving psychological and emotional support, what is the quality or nature of this support, if Mzansi Magic and [SIC] Entertainment couldn't pick up during the show that Mthokozisi Ndaba has problems, allegedly wanted to quit, felt "emotionally weak and drained" and was under too much pressure?

"Idols top 16 contestants receive different types of support during their stay in the show and this ensures that they are physically and medically prepared to do their best in the show - some contestants have even requested the opportunity to see preachers in order to receive spiritual support," says Nondumiso Mabece.

"Idols and Mzansi Magic are not at liberty to discuss the nature and extent of medical assistance Mthokozisi Ndaba was offered and received, as that goes against his right to privacy."

MultiChoice dumps Tencent's VOOV from DStv after just 9 months as the failed VOOVTV flopped in audience engagement and ratings.

MultiChoice is dumping Tencent's failed VOOV after just 9 months with the failed VOOVTV channel that went nowhere and was a flop in audience engagement and ratings.

VOOV - that you probably never heard about - is getting canned at the end of July after MultiChoice added the what-is-it-exactly? channel in November 2017. VOOVTV failed to market or publicise itself and couldn't get traction on DStv.

VOOV, a social live streaming mobile app, launched in July 2017 in South Africa, with MultiChoice that then decided to run packaged content from VOOV as part of "VOOVTV". VOOV is owned and operated by Tencent in China, that is part of Naspers.

"While VOOVTV offered a fresh take on TV, and produced learnings that are already influencing the future of TV production, it didn't gain the traction anticipated. As from 31 July 2018, VOOVTV will stop airing on DStv," says MultiChoice in a statement.

SABC1 introduces a new programming line-up after the 2018 World Cup, including new drama and reality series, as well as a dedicated Sunday night local drama miniseries slot.

The SABC's most-watched TV channel is introducing a new programming line-up and content following the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with some new SABC1 drama and reality shows, new seasons of local series, and some scheduling changes like a dedicated Sunday night local drama miniseries slot.

"We will be introducing a slate of brand-new shows, new seasons, as well as revamped popular shows," says Clara Nzima, SABC1 channel head. "We are very excited with our innovative Sunday drama slate and feel confident that the new offering is nothing like what audiences have seen before. The channel is also upping the ante on the entertainment side with new shows, new presenters and revamped popular titles."

Social Fabric  Wednesday 18 July 18:00
This licensed international entertainment reality series takes viewers on a humorous and enlightening journey into the world of modern street wear.
The eccentric designer Kyle Ng embarks on a series of adventures around one global and iconic fashion staple, including plaid, cowboy boot, camouflage and the suit. Starting from the simple question, "Who wore it first?", Kyle dives into the lives of craftsmen, collectors, celebrities and eccentrics who share a passion for what they put on.

One Mic II  Thursday 19 July 18:00
A second season of this local reality competition show looking for the country's best underground young rap artists.
Each week 4 upcoming rappers go head-to-head in a sing-off battle to find one winner. Rappers are judged by hip hop legends Siyabonga "Big Zulu" Nene and Arnold "Aewon Wolf" Phillips, including a guest judge per episode. The presenter is hip hop DJ and artist Khethiwe "Doowap" Morgan.

Now or Never VI  Mondays 18:00
The docu-reality series is back for a 6th season with men and women who have made life changing mistakes and who are now using their painful past as a tool to help other people.

Thandeka's Diary V  Mondays 19:30
This comedy series is back for a 5th season about the growing pains of a teenage girl from Kagiso in the West Rand.
Her boastful dad is a mechanic and her protective mom is a self-employed seamstress. Her 7-year old sister is like all annoying 7-year olds, nosey and mischievous. Thandeka lives in a big house which her dad inherited from his parents, but her dad's eldest brother who never moved out and never lifts a finger to do any work. With every diary entry, every week is an adventure for Thandeka.

Nyan'Nyan VI  Tuesdays 18:00
Presenter Luyanda Potwana is back in a 6th season of this factual series.
This emotainment series takes young couples on a journey where they confront secrets in their relationships that they have kept hidden. As the shocking truth is brought to light, couples can hopefully build a more solid relationship.

Shuga Naija VI  Wednesdays 19:30
SABC1 is now rebroadcasting the latest 6th season of this drama series from Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) that was shown in March on MTV Base on DStv.
Filmed in Nigeria, the stories in the edutainment series incorporate messages about sex and sexual health using young Nigerian characters living in Lagos.
New new season has new characters with stories revolving around friendships and relationships being tested as well as secrets that could break families apart. With Timini Egbuson, Jemima Osunde, Sharon Ezeamaka, Nobert Young, Alvin Abayomi and Helena Nelson.

Raw Silk II  Thursday 19 July 21:00
A second season of this local reality competition show that follows 13 township-based fashion designers who have talent but no opportunities to be recognised.
The aspiring designers from across South Africa compete for a prize in Johannesburg as they have to battle each other in weekly fashion design challenges. Pearl Modiadie is the presenter, with the judges Ole Ledimo, Yasmin Furmie and Nthato Mashishi.

The Remix South Africa  Friday 20 July 18:00
This reality competition show will have episodes on Fridays and Sundays at 18:00 and looks for best singer-DJ/producer team.
The Remix SA is a South African version of an international reality format from Turkey.
Contestants have to create a new version, in another music genre, of well-known songs. With a live audience dancing on the beat of the music, teams are given songs based on episodic themes which they then have to remix. The presenters are Rouge and KG with Mo Flava and Kelly Khumalo as the judges.

Live AMP  Friday 20 July 19:30
A new-look for this music magazine show produced by Urban Brew Studios with presenters Lamiez Holworthy and DJ Speedsta replacing Lerato Kganyago and DJ Warras.

Friends Like These  Saturday 21 July 18:00
Trevor Gumbi is now the presenter of the new season of this game show.
Each week two teams of best friends - 5 guys and 5 girls - take each other on in a series of challenges to win holiday prizes.

Gospel Unplugged  Sunday 22 July 17:30
This new local and contemporary gospel music show that incorporates both talk and lifestyle segments is making its debut on Sunday 22 July at 17:00 with singer Mmatema Moremi as the presenter.
The show will cover urban gospel music from hip hop, to house and R&B gospel music. The show has a karaoke insert, while invited guests will open up about their life journeys with God and singing their favourite songs.

Africa by Women III  Sunday 22 July 19:30
A 3rd season of 10 episodes of this drama series of individual South African short stories created and produced by young black female filmmakers, in partnership with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).

Emoyeni  Sunday 22 July 20:00
This new 4-part drama series follow the journeys of individuals plagued by loss, fear, guilt, pain and desire. Viewers will meet Phakamile, a drunk man responsible for his daughter going missing.
Bonga is a popularity-hungry fashionista running away froma calling, and Zen is a water-spirit who desperately wants to be human.
Hitso, a grieving-widow, is saddled with her cheating husband's illegitimate son. Each of these individuals' lives are shaken when they come into contact with the world beyond.
SABC is introducing local miniseries on Sundays at 20:00 in a series strand called "Woza Nazo".

Verified  Friday 28 September 18:00
This new reality entertainment show will give the creative content creators behind video clips that often go viral, the change to compete to find the "most valuable player".
Online content creators who claim to be the best in the game get the chance to settle the score in the content-creation space and to be "verified" as the creators of the best social media feeds. The presenter is Nehemiah Tjatji.

Side Dish  Sunday 19 August 20:00
This new local drama miniseries revolves around a group of 4 married friends who go on holiday, with one of the women who invites her much younger "Ben 10" lover over. Things take a turn for the worse when the Ben 10 sleeps with one of the friends.
After an argument ensues, Ben 10 is accidentally killed. Faced with the dilemma of whether to report the death or not, the ladies decide to bury ben 10 as they see it as their only way to keep themselves out of prison and to save their marriages.

Emjindini  Sunday 16 September 20:00
This new local drama miniseries revolves around Amos who works in a 100-year old gold mine.
His lack of focus results in a minor tremor in the shaft he and his team is working in. While struggling to come out of the shaft, he finds a bag of old gold coins.
The treasure could help his young family out of poverty must he must first find a way to smuggle the gold coins out of the banned mining shaft.

1's and 2's V  Sunday 30 September 18:00
The reality competition show is back for a 5th season that looks for a superstar DJ and music producer.
The show will have an as-yet-unannounced new presenting and judging team, a new set and going for broader appeal, by incorporating elements of other music genres like gqom. Hopeful DJs from across South Africa will get another chance to battle it out against each other in the hope of becoming the next big thing behind the turntables.

iKani  Sunday 30 September 19:30
This family drama series mixes elements of mystery and fantasy. It tells tells the story of Khanya Hlophe, in search of her true identity and how she ultimately comes full circle with her roots.
In a first for the SABC and for South African television, iKani will be the first local drama series on the SABC filmed in the isiNdebele language.

Tbo Touch to expand Touch HD in October with the launch of THD as a new video-om-demand service to take on competitors like DStv and Netflix.

Yet another new video-on-demand (VOD) service plans to launch before the end of 2018 with Thabo Molefe, better known as Tbo Touch, planning to start his THD service within months as a competitor in the tightly-contested space.

THD set for launch in October - an expansion of Tbo Touch's existing Touch HD online radio station - will compete with rival services like Naspers' Showmax currently run by MultiChoice, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and DEOD in a field that already saw VIDI, Altech Node, MTN's VU and recently PCCW Global's bail out and shutter.

In an interview with the website TechCentral, Tbo Touch said that he had secured millions of rand in seed investment from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Pricing for THD will be released later, but the entrepreneur said his VOD service will offer video priced more aggressively than competitors and through apps and the internet.

Tbo Touch said THD will produce local documentaries, TV series and films as well as offer movies and series from Hollywood and that he also sees MultiChoice's DStv as a competitor "because of the abundance of choice we are offering on this platform as well as the quality".

"I have met numerous content creators, we have added 18 videographers and directors in partnership with the IDC. They have pumped good money into the business to accommodate our innovative plans for the next 24 months," Tbo Touch said.

The SABC's inquiry into SABC News editorial interference now open to the public, final report to be made public as well, after an out-of-court settlement with Media Monitoring Africa and the SOS Coalition.

The SABC that initially decided to keep testimony from various people before its inquiry into editorial interference at the South African public broadcaster's SABC News division private and secret has decided to open its inquiry to the public following an out-of-court settlement with Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and the SOS Coalition, two non-profit civil society organisations.

Last week MMA and the SOS Coalition filed an urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, demanding that the SABC open its in-camera inquiry into editorial interference to the public.

"The issue of editorial independence at the SABC is of particular interest to the public given the fact that the SABC is obliged to report news fairly and objectively without undue political interference," the MMA and SOS Coalition argued in its court papers.

The MMA and SOS Coalition further demanded that the SABC must make the schedule and details public of when former and current SABC board members will be appearing before the SABC's inquiry into editorial interference.

MMA and the SOS Coalition also accused Dr Joe Thloloe, chairperson of the SABC's editorial interference inquiry, or reneging on his earlier promise that the inquiry that started on 2 July would be open to the public.

In a statement MMA and the SOS Coalition says that in the out-of-court settlement "the SABC agreed to open some parts of the inquiry to the public and the media".

"In terms of the agreement, written and oral submissions by the SABC's current or former board members and senior executives, and those of third parties will be open to the public and the media. Other staff members and whistleblowers will continue to be protected by the confidentiality that was promised when the inquiry was set up."

"Where a staff member wants his or her written submission to be public he or she is entitled to make their written submission public in their private capacity and/or to give interviews on the contents of their submissions, written or oral."

"Such individual staff members will be responsible for any legal or other consequences arising from the publication of their submissions and the SABC undertakes not to invoke any confidentiality or other similar clause in their employment contracts."

The full version of the final report prepared by the commission of inquiry will also be made public but the identities of confidential witnesses may be redacted from the final report.

The full transcript of all oral hearings conducted by the commission, except for those relating to confidential witnesses, will be made public as well, and the commission's schedule is to be open to the public as well.

"We are delighted that following the discussions all parties have reached an agreement that in our view allows issues of confidentiality to be protected but also ensures that some aspects can be open to the public," says William Bird, MMA director.

SOS Coalition coordinator, Duduetsang Makuse, says "Considering the much publicized turmoil that our public broadcaster has been on, as well as the long road of recovery that lies ahead, it was crucial that this process be open, transparent and inclusive of the South African public, to whom the SABC belongs".

SABC2's small-town talent-seeking competition show, Showville, renewed for a 2nd season, now seeking more rural contestants.

SABC2's small-town talent-seeking competition show Showville that has been renewed for a second season, has started its second batch of national auditions and is now looking for new rural contestants.

The first local season of the international format show Showville was broadcast in 2016 with the second season's format remaining the same.

The second season, again produced by Okuhle Media, does auditions in small towns across South Africa with people, having all kinds of talents, who can line up for auditions to perform. Finalists are chosen and are then coached by mentors in preparation for a big show performance in front of their families and the town's audience. The winner gets R10 000 and a trophy as the star of their town.

Presenters Lorcia Cooper and Morena "The Squire" Sefatsa are replacing Rob van Vuuren and Bontle Modiselle, who are scouring small-town South Africa for weird, wonderful and unusual acts and performances.

The Showville production will be visiting the following South African towns during July and August: Louis Trichardt (Makohado) (19 July), Tzaneen (23 July), Phalaborwa (26 July), Lydenburg (Mashishing) (30 July), Sabie (2 August), White River (6 August), Baberton (9 August), Ermelo (13 August), Piet Retief (16 August), Volksrust (20 August), Standerton (23 August) and Bethal (27 August).

People older than 16 can enter individually or in a group of up to 4 people, and need to show up at the Showville audition venue from 10:30 for registration and then perform for the producers.

Adventurous dating reality show, The Longest Date, coming to SABC3, looking for single, romantic contestants.

A branded new adventurous dating reality show, The Longest Date, produced by Brandgen, is coming to SABC3 and is now looking for contestants to partake in heart-racing outdoor activities set in the Mpumalanga province.

Chris Jaftha will be the presenter.

The Longest Date on SABC3 will feature "extreme dating" with 16 contestants, 8 couples, who will spend 14 days in Mpumalanga".

Contestants will partake in abseiling, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping" as they compete against other couples with the winning couple getting R100 000.

Contestants need to be single and older than 25, and the closing date for entries is 31 July 2018.

The rebranded eNCA dumps Africa from the TV news channel's new look without any explanation as to why - and a lot of unanswered questions.

The rebranding of eNCA (DStv 403) introduced this week Monday on eMedia Investments' TV news channel has seen eNCA dump Africa - literally - as in doing away with the 11-point hendecagon symbol representing the African continent.

In May longtime eNCA insiders told TVwithThinus that the outline of the African continent done in blue from the second rebrand - and that was formed out of the tiles of the first eNCA rebrand when the logo changed from the eNews Channel look - will be a gonner when eNCA rebrands in July.

This has now been confirmed with viewers that can see that Africa as far as eNCA's new on-air look is concerned, is indeed gone.

eNCA hasn't explained the news channel's new logo and hasn't explained why the Africa silhouette has been deleted.

eNCA and didn't respond to any media enquiries made last week about eNCA's on-air rebranding.

According to eNCA insiders who spoke out in May, a top-level eMedia Holdings executive allegedly said in a meeting that he wants the Africa logo removed from the eNCA logo since Africa is synonymous with famine and corruption.

TVwithThinus asked Vasili Vass, eMedia Investments group head of corporate affairs, as well as Michael Pocock, publicist about this in a written media enquiry and what the company's comment is about this but neither responded.

According to an insider eNCA - formerly an abbreviation of "eNews Channel Africa" - allegedly also "no longer stands for anything. It's now just letters". eNCA and were asked about this, what eNCA stands for now - or maybe still - but chose to also not to comment and respond.

eMedia Investment's removal of Africa from the eNCA logo fits in with eNCA's dramatic downsizing of first-hand Africa news coverage over the past 3 years, including the shuttering of its Africa bureaux, firing of correspondents, cancelling its news and current affairs shows specifically covering Africa, and largely making use of international wire news service content when there's news in Africa further removed from its Hyde Park, Johannesburg studios in South Africa.

A lot of unanswered questions
A lot of questions about eNCA's latest rebrand - the news channel's third in its 10 year history - remain unanswered.

eNCA didn't explain why the afternoon strand News Day was canned, or why News Night was moved an hour earlier to now start at 17:00, or why Moneyline was dumped. 

The eNCA on-air rebrand comes amidst a wave of defections from eNCA the last few months with staffers who said that "morale is at an all time low". No word on what eNCA makes of that.

What exactly is eNCA's view and relationship towards Africa regarding news and covering it with breaking news stories when it happens as well as investigative first-person, on-the-ground stories in the way CNN International (DStv 401) and Sky News (DStv 402) do? Why the lack of investment in this area? Because eNCA doesn't want to, or can't afford it?

How will eNCA on MultiChoice's DStv be different than eMedia Investment's new sister TV news channel, OpenNews, that it will be launching on Openview within months and what are the differentials between the two (since eNCA rebrand now presumably took in account that it can't "rebrand" yet again in a few months come November)?

How does eNCA and eMedia Investment execs feel about its ongoing business relationship with MultiChoice that carries eNCA on DStv and what is the future, and long-term future outlook of the channel and this relationship? There are some very clear signs of relationship strain bordering on dislike between the two.

Will eNCA's dalliance with political parties and the way eNCA is courting politicians continue into 2019 - a general election year? How will eNCA try to maintain a semblance of impartiality and objectivity when political leaders are put in eNCA's anchor chair to apparently create social media viral moments instead of bringing the audience news - and will there be more similar "must-see TV" stunts during South Africa's election year?

Finally there's the litany of complaints regarding the new on-air look that eNCA seems to ignore. Was this tested beforehand? Did someone sit down and look how everything would look on camera beforehand? It feels as if eNCA decided to roll it out to viewers as a live on-air test without actually sorting the myriad of issues viewers are complaining about, first.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 and the SABC silent over the drop-off danger and the threat of disappearing audiences in South Africa's digital terrestrial TV switch-over.

South Africa's two biggest free-to-air broadcasters - and the SABC - are both silent over the looming danger, and the horrific implications for their respective audience ratings, when millions of viewers nationwide could be disappearing in the country's switch-over to digital terrestrial television (DTT) as the government warns that it is nearing the point where it will start shutting down analogue signals for entire provinces.

With South Africa's stalled decade-long switch from analogue to digital TV broadcasting - a process known as digital migration - moving forward with lurching imprecision, the department of communications last week announced that it plans to switch off all analogue TV signals to the entire Free State province.

Also of concern is that the minister of communications's new Broadcasting Digital Migration Advisory Council that have representatives from broadcasters and the TV industry, doesn't include any members who are directly representing the South African viewing public or civic organisations that are representing public broadcasting interests.

Nomvula Mokonyane, the minister of communications, last week warned that in the "the countdown to the Free State Province switch-off by December 2018" that people in this province need to get their set-top box (STB) they need to continue watching the SABC and's free TV channels.

The South African government, after missing the international June 2015 deadline to complete the process, is now under pressure to try and make its next self-imposed deadline of June 2019 to switch off all analogue TV signals nationally.

Only people receiving social grants and those earning less than R3 200 per month qualify for a free, government subsidised STB.

Struggling South African families in the so-called "middle income group" - those earning more than R3 200 but less than R6 500 - as well as those earning more, are getting no government support and will have to buy a STB costing around R700 or a new integrated digital TV set.

Many of these TV households don't know that they qualify for a free STB, don't know that they need to buy one or about the DTT process, or can't afford to suddenly buy a STB even if they earn more than R3 200.

TV households who don't switch will be cut off and lose the existing free SABC, and community TV channels they've been watching when analogue signals get cut.

The looming problem comes in when the department of communications starts to cut off whole provinces, like its plan for the Free State come December 2018, when thousands of TV households either haven't switched to using a government-subsidised STB, or haven't bought one because they don't know about it or can't afford it.

How many will disappear from the TV ratings universe?
That will not just lead to analogue TV households losing public access to existing free-to-air TV channels, but and the SABC as broadcasters losing swathes of viewers who will completely drop out of existence from the overall so-called "TV universe" - the sampling of South African households with a TV set making up the matrix used for compiling the country's national TV ratings.

The South African government is supposed to keep both analogue and its parallel DTT signals going - a process known as "dual illumination" - until the bulk of existing analogue TV households have migrated and it's safe to switch analogue off.

With its announced December 2018 shut-down deadline for the Free State, it appears that the department of communications will switch off analogue signals even if the bulk of Free State province TV households have not switched to DTT in just 4 months' time.

It's not clear how TV ratings services and the Broadcasting Research Council of South Africa (BRCSA) - overseeing radio and television audience measurement research and TV ratings for broadcasters, as well as the advertising and marketing industry - are going to handle the issue of the potential drop-off and disappearance of millions of viewers watching public TV channels when their access to analogue signals are taken away.

A week ago Vasili Vass, eMedia Investments group head of corporate affairs, was asked for comment as to whether it's a concern for, given that a sizeable chunk of TV audience watching are making use of analogue TV signals and might simply disappear if they have not switched to DTT. was also asked for the broadcaster's view on how the switch from analogue to DTT might impact in terms of possible loss of its available audience because of the swith, but Vasili Vass didn't respond to the written media enquiry.

Last week the SABC was asked the same questions regarding the viewing audience of the public broadcaster watching SABC channels through its analogue signals, and the threat of audiences vanishing when analogue is switched off before viewers have switched over.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago likewise didn't respond to the written media enquiry.

'A real problem' William Bird, director at Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), told TVwithThinus that it's a problem that the public interest isn't represented on the minister of communications' Digital Broadcasting Advisory Council.

"This is indeed a real problem - it means that the public interest is likely to be marginalised in favour of what works for big industry. This is a real problem. We are working on it," he said.

Speaking about DTT and STBs William Bird said "the real question is whether DTT is already dead in the water".

"MMA's view is that its time has passed and we need to be looking to other methods, specifically satellite and broadband to ensure connection for all and to ensure that all people have access to free-to-air services."

"Satellite is already in more than 50% of all homes in South Africa. The costs for reaching all people with DTT are massively prohibitive and will also involve upgrading equipment that is already out of date as well as doing more work on the actual spectrum."

"We see form international experience that DTT will be gone from many countries in the not too distant future."

Meanwhile Marian Shinn, the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party's member of parliament looking after telecommunications, says the Broadcasting Digital Migration Advisory Council "seems to be aimed only at delivering the short-term goal of analogue broadcasting switch-off to the Free State by December 2018, as well as chalking up a pre-election 'achievement for the 2019 general election".

According to Marian Shinn, the minister of communications Nomvula Mokonyane, "ducked out of a joint meeting of the portfolio committees on communications and telecommunications and postal services scheduled for 5 June to discuss the status of the broadcasting digital migration programme".

"The committees' last had a progress report from the former minister of communications, Faith Muthambi, in September 2016".

"The DA once again repeats the callfor a 2-day public hearing in parliament to comprehensively review the entire broadcasting digital migration programme," she said.

"The hearings should look at the full cost of implementing the programme and how this will be funded, determine whether the corrupted government-sponsored STB-programme should be scrapped in favour of integrated digital TV sets [and] how the programme will be funded".

"We also need to know whether to upgrade signal distributor Sentech's terrestrialdigital transmission infrastructure, which has been largely unused since it was erected to meet the International Telecommunications Union's analogue switch-off deadline of 17 June 2015, or switch the entire digital broadcasting programme to satellite transmission."

"The switch-off of the analogue broadcasting signal is extremely urgent to free up desperately needed spectrum for mobile broadband use, but it would be foolish and probably wasteful to focus only on ways to now fast-track an outdated, corrupted, and inadequately-funded process," Mariann Shinn said.

Discovery Channel does Shark Week from Monday 23 July, including a DStv on-demand boxset and exploring what killed 5 Great Whites off the South African coast.

Discovery Channel (DStv 121) is set for its annual Shark Week in South Africa and across Africa on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform from Monday 23 July until Sunday 29 July with new shark stories taking viewers into the mysterious world of these sea predators.

Discovery Networks' Shark Week follows exactly a week after National Geographic's SharkFest week of programming this week.

Discovery says its 2018 Shark Week will bring viewers access to some of the most exotic places in the world, including a team of renowned shark experts and scientists, as well as celebrities including Lindsey Vonn, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary and Bear Grylls.

Discovery says it is working with nearly two dozen of the world's most respected marine biologists and science institutions to bring brand-new, groundbreaking shark research technology and compelling insight on some of the most unique shark species in the world.

"From using improved shark cam technology to investigate the private lives of bull, and hammerhead sharks to searching for gigantic sharks in Cuban waters that were previously closed to outsiders, Shark Week 2018 delivers brand-new innovative shark stories that will once again take viewers to places, cameras have never been before".

Alongside the linear programming on the Discovery Channel, DStv subscribers will also get access to Discovery's new video-on-demand (VOD) boxset, offering a curated selection of 30 Shark Week shows.

Here's Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming line-up:

Bear vs Shark Monday 23 July 19:00
Bear Grylls has survived the most extreme environments, from the frozen peaks of Everest to blazing sands of the Sahara Desert, but what will happen when he goes head to head with sharks when they have the home field advantage? It will be his greatest test of wits and skill as the ultimate survivor faces off with the ocean’s apex predator.

Shark Week's 30 Best Bites  Tuesday 24 July 19:00
A countdown of 30 great shark moments with celebrities like Craig Ferguson, Tracy Morgan, Andy Samberg and more.

Uncaged: Shark vs Ronda Rousey  Wednesday 25 July 19:00
The WWE star Ronda Rousey is trained by shark conservationist and shark attack survivor, Paul de Gelder, to face her fiercest opponent yet: the fastest, bitiest shark in the world, and the ultimate fighter of the sea, the Mako shark.
First, Rousey, in a cage, dives into the ring with several lightweight shark species in the waters off Fiji and then moves onto the main event in New Zealand where she will "free dive uncaged" with the heavyweight Mako shark.    

Shark Tank Meets Shark Week  Thursday 26 July 19:00
The stars of Shark Tank USA - Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary - are each paired with an oceanic organisation to uncover the issues they are facing like threats of habitat destruction and overfishing.
They then return to the Shark Tank studio and are joined by fellow Shark, Robert Herjavec to pitch to each other why their organisation deserves the big prize.   

Shark Cam Strikes Back  Friday 27 July 19:00
The show celebrates the remarkable discoveries the team have made in the last six years and takes a look at some of the disasters from napping great whites to SharkCam being attacked.

Air Jaws: The Hunted  Saturday 28 July 19:00
In 2017 five full grown Great White sharks washed up dead on beaches in South Africa. 
The necropsy revealed they were eaten alive. What is the only massive sea predator that has the ability to capture, kill and devour a group of Great White sharks? Orcas. Leading the case is shark biologist Alison Towner.
She teams up with conservationist Chris Fallows and filmmakers Jeff Kurr and Andy Casagrande to find out how these Great Whites are being wiped out and what can be done to save them.

Naked & Afraid of Sharks  Sunday 29 July 19:00
Stranded on a barren island in the middle of the most shark-infested waters on earth, five Naked & Afraid All-Stars must survive for 14 days on what the ocean provides.
Ky Furneaux, Ryan Holt, Chris Fischer, Steven Lee Hall and Eva Rupert are separately inserted by boat on an island in the Bahamas. They may be Naked & Afraid veterans but here they are in Shark territory.

A+E Studios' 10-episode Knightfall drama series coming to SABC3 from 26 July about the mysterious medieval world of the Knights Templar.

After it was scheduled and then abruptly yanked earlier this year, SABC3 has now rescheduled the drama series Knightfall for a new premiere date of Thursday 26 July at 21:30.

The 10-episode series from A+E Studios filmed in the Czech Republic and Croatia and broadcast last year on the History channel in America, revolves around the world of the Knights Templar and takes viewers inside the medieval politics and warfare of this secretive group - the mot powerful, wealthy and mysterious military order of the Middle Ages who were entrusted with protecting Christianity's most previous relics.

Knightfall begins after the fall of the city of Acre, the Templar's last stronghold in the Holy Land, where the Holy Grail is lost. Years later, a clue emerges suggesting the whereabouts of the Grail and sends the Templars, led by the noble, courageous and headstrong Templar Knight Landry (Tom Cullen) on a life-or-death mission to find the lost Cup of Christ.

From their battles in the Holy Land, to their clash with the King of France, to the dark events leading to the demise of the Templar Order on Friday the 13th, 1307 - a date which became synonymous with bad luck - the story of the Knights Templar has never been fully told.

Knightfall goes deep into the clandestine world of this legendary brotherhood of warrior monks to fond out who these knights were, how they lived, and what they died believing.

Sony Pictures Television starts production on new drama series, Reckoning, for its international Sony channels; doesn't want to say whether it will be seen in South Africa.

Sony Pictures Television has started production in Australia of a new 10-episode drama series, Reckoning, that Sony says it will broadcast worldwide on some of its Sony branded international channels.

Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN) was asked through its PR agency in South Africa last week whether Reckoning will also be shown on The Sony Channel (DStv 127) carried on MultiChoice's DStv and GOtv in South Africa and Africa, as well as on Cell C's black subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service on channel 203, but Sony didn't respond with any answer.

Sam Trammell (pictured) known for his role on True Blood that was seen on M-Net and Aden Young, are two of the actors who will appear in Reckoning that, although filmed in Sydney, Australia by production company Playmaker, is set in California in the United States.

Reckoning is described as a psychological thriller drama,written by David Hubbard, with David Eick as the showrunner.

Sony Pictures Television Networks in a statement that it didn't want to release in South Africa for Africa, said Reckoning will be wholly produced and post-produced in Australia and will premiere on some of SPTN's international channels.

Reckoning revolves are around two dads who are secretly both serial killers. Both try to suppress their urges, but then a local teenager is murdered and sets them on a course of mutual destruction in their seemingly quiet suburban community.

"Aden Young and Sam Trammell and the fantastic ensemble cast are crushing it in rehearsals. We're thrilled that production has started in beautiful Sydney," said Marie Jacobson, Sony Pictures Television Networks executive vice president for programming and production.

David Taylor and David Maher are the executive produce for Playmaker and said "We are excited to have Aden Young and Sam Trammell leading a talented ensemble cast to bring this riveting and suspenseful thriller to life".