Thursday, February 7, 2019

Cash-strapped SABC appears to dumps The Bold and the Beautiful from SABC3's March schedule for Scores of repeats.

The cash-strapped SABC appears to plan dumping the long-running American soap The Bold and the Beautiful from March from the schedule of SABC3 - the South African public broadcaster's most troubled TV channel - filling it with a repeat of the old local Keeping Score telenovela that was on SABC2, while the future of other legacy international shows are also hanging in the balance.

While promising that the American drama series NCIS would start in January on SABC3 as it moved over from SABC2, and SABC3 started running on-air promos - embarrassingly - a new season of the show never materialised.

That followed the pattern of the erratic playout of often-botched, often announced and then delayed seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race that are all apparently under threat because of the SABC and SABC3 that has seemingly run out of money to buy and hold on to the last remaining international content it had.

Neo Momodu, SABC spokesperson, so far hasn't responded with answers to questions in media enquiries made this week regarding the future of The Bold and the Beautiful on SABC3 after March.

Bold getting scrapped from the latest March SABC3 schedule comes two years after SABC3 lost Days of Our Lives in September 2017 to rival

The Bold and the Beautiful, produced by Bell-Phillip Television Productions Inc., is the last remaining American soap opera left on the SABC's channels and has remained a very strong performer on SABC1, as well as with its move to SABC3.

It's not clear whether The Bold and the Beautiful is taking a temporary schedule break due to the SABC's inability to pay for it, or whether Bold is gone from SABC3 permanently. The SABC was asked but hasn't responded with any answers to multiple media enquiries about the future of the show at the SABC.

Despite multiple disastrous timeslot changes in successive do-over relaunches and schedule changes on SABC3, The Bold and the Beautiful has remained a strong performer for the channel over the past three years.

Although it did suffer a knock because of all of the ill-advised moves, it is still one of SABC3's most-watched shows, luring 635 000 viewers in December 2018 as the second most watched TV show on all of SABC3.

The SABC still hyped up local fanfare and gave massive attention and time on both the public broadcaster's radio stations and multiple SABC3 TV shows in September 2018 around the South African visit of The Bold and the Beautiful star Katherine Kelly Lang but now the show is bizarrely gone from the end of this month.

While the SABC would do fawning nationwide campaigns when stars of The Bold and the Beautiful visited South Africa the past two years, the same broadcaster also over the past few years made multiple disparaging public comments about the show in parliament, with previous SABC CEO's infamously calling The Bold and the Beautiful old and "outdated", also saying that the SABC is locked into a so-called "evergreen" contract with Bold that it can't get rid of, and that The Bold and the Beautiful should be taken off of SABC3.

Besides the local weekday talk show Real Talk that has also been cancelled, the SABC appears to weirdly be padding and filling up the March schedule of SABC3 with repeats dusted off from the SABC archives.

Currently, from Monday 4 March, SABC3 plans to repeat SABC2's old local telenovela Keeping Score in the 18:30 timeslot where Bold used to be, preceded by a repeat of another old local comedy series, Taryn & Sharon at 18:00.

Keeping Score will also take over The Bold and the Beautiful's repeat timeslot from Tuesday 5 March at 10:00 on SABC3.

The SABC further plans to replace Real Talk from Monday 4 March at 17:30 with a show titled Democracy Gauge, a probable filler as a politics talk show in the run-up to the national elections that will take place in May.

Meanwhile there's no indication of when NCIS, that the SABC moved from SABC2 to SABC3 with a false start, will actually - if ever - start.

Concern is also growing around stalwart SABC3 titles like Survivor and The Amazing Race.

The SABC was asked what the situation is regarding these legacy American programming and some of the last remaining rating-grabbers on SABC and whether any of these programmes will continue to be shown on SABC3 after March 2019.

The SABC didn't respond with any written answers.

The Bold and the Beautiful is running on EVA (DStv 141) but with episodes that are two years behind SABC3.