Generations – The Legacy cast members are out the door just seven months after joining the soap with the show now asking viewers to please stay tuned to the reset show watched by millions less viewers than before.
In October 2014 the beleaguered Mfundi Vundla soap Generations on SABC1 abruptly shut down production and restarted in December under a new name after firing the entire principal cast of 16 actors for demanding better contracts.
The shocking derailment of the SABC's biggest show and money-spinner as the public broadcaster's top executives failed to successfully intervene and keep the show on the air, sent shockwaves through South Africa's TV industry and inflicted big brand damage and reputational harm on the SABC, creator Mfundi Vundla, as well as the soap.
Generations – The Legacy has since been overshadowed by Uzalo, the Duma Ka Ndlovu and Gugu Zuma Ncube produced telenovela set and filmed in KwaMashu and on a Newlands sound stage in Durban.
Last month Uzalo for the first time started to pass Generations – The Legacy in the ratings race in an upward climb while Generations – The Legacy is still millions of viewers below its erstwhile perch as the most watched TV show in South Africa, a title it held for almost two decades.
Now the Generations – The Legacy producers, in a statement, are imploring viewers to stay tuned to the SABC1 weekday soap, saying "we promise new and exciting story developments will be taking place".
Asanda Foji, criticised by viewers for her stilted acting in the role of Simphiwe, has been cut with her contract which has not been renewed, with Mfundi Vundla expressing "well wishes for the talented actress".
Jaqui Archilleas, Generations – The Legacy commissioning editor, "praises Simphiwe for the value she brought to the show" in the statement.
Also out is Mary Gumede who played Denise Zimba and who wanted to be released from her contract. "Her professionalism in aiding us to mount a new show was exemplary. We wish her the best in her endeavours," says Mfundi Vundla.
'We ask that our viewers stay tuned'
Generations – The Legacy is now asking viewers to please stay tuned to the soap.
"Our goal is in advancing the story and keeping our viewers entertained and that's the reason we keep introducing new and fresh stories," says Generations – The Legacy publicist Gaaratwe Mokhethi.
"We promise our fans stories that are filled with high drama and intensity, stories that will leave them begging for more."
"As we near the second half of this year, we have new and exciting storylines. Twists and turns that weren't expected are still set to take place. We ask that our viewers stay tuned to see how the story keeps developing."
The soap says Lebohang Mthunzi who plays Angela and Ivy Nkutha who plays Gog' Flo are not leaving.
"These two actresses will still be part of the upcoming season of Generations – The Legacy."
'Pity that Generations has failed to deliver'
"Uzalo has garnered a great following in a short time," Cheryl Dube, media strategist at Carat SA tells TV with Thinus.
"It's important to note that these two shows do not fall into the same timeslot, so it's not necessarily that Uzalo has taken viewers from Generations – The Legacy," she says. "It's a shock but definitely not a surprise that a new show has surpassed Generations."
"Viewers that Generations had lost have opted to watch other shows like Ashes to Ashes on e.tv as they both compete in the same timeslot and we have seen that Ashes to Ashes has also built up a strong and loyal following," says Cheryl Dube.
"The storylines for Uzalo and Ashes to Ashes reflect our society a lot better than Generations – The Legacy does at present."
"The characters are more relatable and exciting and it's such a pity that Generations – The Legacy has failed to deliver on this because it is something that they used to do well," says Cheryl Dube.