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SABC3 will still be showing viewers the world tonight at 20:00 - it just won't be the world they're expecting. Instead of the new reality show Expedition Impossible by reality TV's Mark Burnett, viewers will get a repeat of the Miss World 2011 pageant as the broadcaster is battling behind the scenes to secure Expedition Impossible - with the real possibility that the show might not even start next week, 21 November, on SABC3 - if at all.
This past Friday SABC3, realizing that the promised new reality show simply cannot start on Monday because of several problems, furtively searched for replacement programming for Monday nights timeslot. Expedition Impossible with host Dave Salmoni was set to start after the conclusion of Survivor which was followed by the local The Ride.
Expedition Impossible was, or is, supposed to be the new major primetime reality show on SABC3 which the broadcaster wants to position as a new triple-play tentpole to alternate with seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race in the same timeslot.
Because of complex issues SABC3 once again went into crisis mode towards the end of last week - and will remain there this week. According to sources who I spoke with over the weekend SABC3 could even end up with Expedition Impossible not starting next Monday either - or in the weeks after. It will create embarrassement for the broadcaster who already sold the show not just to the press but also to advertisers. Meanwhile the timeslot has also been suffering with sagging viewership which is one of SABC3's prime remaining TV jewels on its schedule.
The big problem preventing the start of Expedition Impossible tonight on SABC3 is the lack of anything to show. Once again - as happened a year ago with Survivor, SABC3 simply doesn't have the material to play out, and there's other reasons to.
Answering a media enquiry made by TV with Thinus over the weekend, Lefa Afrika, SABC3 programme manager says ''the reasons are complex, but relate to lack of timeous delivery of broadcast material.''
''SABC3 would like to apologize for not being able to broadcast the first episode of the much anticipated Expedition Impossible. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to many of our viewers.''
''Although still uncertain at this stage, we will do our utmost best to ensure that the series starts on the 21st of November 2011. During the course of the week, we shall keep our viewers and the public updated on developments through various communication channels, including on-air communication.''