Thursday, September 4, 2014

SABC dumps Eastern Mosaic; beloved Indian entertainment and lifestyle magazine show on SABC2 cancelled after 14 years.

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The SABC has dumped yet another iconic brand with the long-running Eastern Mosaic on SABC2 which has been quietly cancelled after almost 14 years on the air.

A new show for Indian viewers, Mela - named after the Sanskrit word for market or fair - was supposed to start this past Sunday 31 August as a new Indian entertainment and lifestyle show on SABC2 but didn't and will now start this coming Sunday, 7 September at 10:30.

There's been no notification from SABC2 that Eastern Mosaic had been cancelled, nor any explanation as to why the storied brandname has been dumped.

Although Eastern Mosaic has been cancelled and no further season or new episodes have been commissioned, SABC2 is not using the word cancelled.

SABC2 told TV with Thinus on Thursday in response to a media enquiry that "Eastern Mosaic was not cancelled, the season ended and therefore the channel took the decision to commission a brand-new lifestyle-inspired magazine show called Mela".

For nearly 14 years Eastern Mosaic, produced by Saira Essa and Mark Corlett from Red Carpet Productions, was the voice of South Africa's Indian community, with viewers tuning in for presenters Imraan Vagar and Candice Moodley who became households names.

Several new presenters were added during presenter searches in later years and last year Imraan Vagar left as anchor of Eastern Mosaic but remained involved as creative director behind the scenes.

Eastern Mosaic was actually much older than 14 years, following a reset in 2000 to rejuvenate the show into what viewers knew it as over the past years.

Like a lot of the few remaining longrunning SABC programming, Eastern Mosaic was also subject to the vagaries of the SABC's programming department. The show was moved and shunted between various timeslots and eventually also moved from SABC1 to SABC2.

In a Facebook posting Imraan Vagar noted the cancellation of the show, saying "Eastern Mosaic was of great significance to me personally, but I also feel that it was an important show to countless others because it did so much to celebrate and highlight the Indian community in South Africa - a community that had felt largely overlooked and marginalised by the mainstream media and the broader South African public in general".

"Naturally it's always sad to see an iconic brand reach the end of its run but I believe that the show's goodwill will live on in the memory of the people who welcomed it into their homes and hears - and the benchmark that it has set for similar shows in the future".