SABC WANTS R3 BILLION BAILOUT

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Isidingo on SABC3 going for more 'real drama'; soap adds Richard Lukunku from e.tv's Ashes to Ashes to the cast as a new doctor.

Desperate to claw its way back to relevancy, the weekday soap Isidingo on SABC3 is promising viewers more "real drama" and added e.tv's Richard Lukunku from Ashes to Ashes to the SABC soap's cast.

The ratings challenged weekday soap on SABC3, once a critical and viewer darling, slipped the past few years, eclipsed by e.tv soaps Rhythm City and Scandal!, and lately by SABC1 telenovela Uzalo and e.tv's Ashes to Ashes as buzz-watch local South African fare.

With stale stories the Endemol South Africa produced weekday soap slipped in buzz and viewership since the devastating fire in 2012.

The past few years Isidingo didn't make headlines so much for what it's been putting on screen as the behind-the-scenes drama of cast defections, firings, writers' room tumult and turn-over, bad story directions and angry actors leaving saying as recently as last month that they will "never return to Isidingo ever again".

Several jarring timeslot changes the past two years on SABC3 hasn't made it easier for viewers to find, or stay with the lethargic soap which recently celebrated its 17th birthday in a low-key fashion.

In a somewhat tacit admission that what Isidingo has been giving viewers the past while wasn't real drama, executive producer Pumla Hopa is now promising viewers a return to "real drama" in terms of storylines.

Richard Lukunku who had a role on rival e.tv's popular Ashes to Ashes has been added to Isidingo's roster of new cast members as a French speaking doctor.