Monday, March 7, 2011

BREAKING. SABC3 moving the longrunning glam magazine show Top Billing from Thursdays to Tuesdays from April.

You're reading it here first.

I can exclusively break the big news that SABC3 channel execs have decided to move the longrunning glamorous lifestyle magazine show Top Billing from Thursdays to Tuesdays and that the day change will happen from April.

TV with Thinus has learned that the Top Billing move from Thursdays to Tuesdays from April (the timeslot of 19:30 remains unchanged) is part of a massive primetime schedule overhaul by SABC3 with the broadcaster planning several drastic changes to timeslots, days and for shows. Currently in its 18th season, Top Billing holds the record as the longest continuously running TV show in South Africa television history.

Over the years the longrunning Top Billing produced by Tswelopele Productions, has moved from TV1 to SABC2 (basically the channel's name changed), to SABC3, from Fridays to various other weekdays, back to Friday and back to weekdays, as well as a myriad of timeslots. Top Billing still endures as a buzzmaking TV show close to the centre of South African television popular culture and a loyal core audience seems to somehow manage to find it wherever the magazine show gets shifted to. The last time Top Billing moved was from Fridays to Thursdays at the beginning of 2005.

However Top Billing has never been on a Tuesday before - a psychologically ''earlier'' weekday, when the potential TV audience is more reluctant, more resistant and less available due to time and work responsibilities for ''indulgent'' television programming as is the case with Thursdays and Fridays when audiences start to unwind and are more receptive to escapism programming that's the cornerstone of the Top Billing format.

M-Net meanwhile is canceling its own glamorous weekly entertainment magazine show All Access with the last episode going out on 1 April although the show ironically won as the best magazine show in South Africa at the recent 5th South African Film and Television Awards.