Thursday, August 13, 2015

TOLDJA! The Voice South Africa coming to M-Net: Local version will start in early 2016; already called M-Net's new 'Game of Thrones'.

TV critics and advertisers are already calling it "M-Net's new Game of Thrones": The local version of the singing reality show The Voice South Africa that will start on M-Net (DStv 101) early in 2016 and which the pay-TV broadcaster announced yesterday.

TV with Thinus was first to spill that The Voice SA is on its way after the pay-TV broadcaster finally crossed the t's and dotted the i's to make a first local season of the show. South Africa is now the 60th country in the world to make a local version of The Voice.

It doesn't mean the end of Idols though, currently in its 11th season on M-Net and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) - the pay-TV broadcaster announced that Idols has been renewed for a 12th season for 2016 which will again be a co-production between both those channels in the M-Net stable.

The announcement of The Voice SA was made at M-Net and DStv Media Sales' content showcase for advertisers held in Johannesburg onWednesday afternoon.

"As we approach our 30th anniversary, I'm thrilled to share with you of a major new series we will bring to M-Net in 2016, The Voice SA, exclusive to channel 101," Yolisa Phahle, M-Net South Africa CEO told the packed crowd of TV critics and ad buyers.

"It's the most successful talent reality show in the world and I think it's the perfect show to take M-Net into its next 30 years," said Yolisa Phahle. "Sunday nights are going to be a whole lot more magical from next year."

Behind her a black curtain parted to the sides to reveal one of the iconic red swivel chairs used in the show with Kahn Morbee of The Parlotones who sat in the chair, got up and belted out a song for the audience in a magical moment.

"With its impeccable international track record and blend of undiscovered talent, star power and spectacular sets, it's the perfect fit for a channel that puts a high premium on great family entertainment," said Yolisa Phahle.

"A show of this magnitude is also a fantastic platform for some of our biggest local recording artists. Apart from the panel of four coaches, several guest coaches will also make guest appearances to hone our talent."

The names of the four South African coaches who will dedicate themselves to developing the singers in their team mentally, musically and technically, will be announced later this year.

After the announcement, advertising executives were quick to storm the stage to take selfies sitting in the seat, as well as a pic from a professional photographer in another red swivel chair in M-Net and DStv Media Sales' circus tent outside.

Ad executives and the media were quick to call The Voice SA "M-Net's new Game of Thrones" - alluding to the popular American fantasy drama from HBO which M-Net has the rights to and is showing on M-Net Edge (DStv 102).

"The Voice South Africa will be looking for a class act singer with a unique sound - the kind that will make you stop to listen closely or create awe-inspiring moments," says Harrie Linders, the managing director of AMPN, the production company which will be creating the show for M-Net in conjunction with international format right holders TALPA International.

"Instead of judging someone on his of her looks personally, it's all about the voice and it doesn't matter what your musical background is. The Voice encompasses a wide variety of music genres," says Harrie Linders.

Entries for The Voice SA is open for any South African older than 18, and there's no upper age cut-off. Open auditions will be held in South Africa's biggest cities. Singers will also be able to submit a song online for a possible "fast track" to the front of the audition queues.

M-Net will announce the prize package, the audition dates and venues in early September and on