Friday, June 12, 2020

SABC1's Skeem Saam shuts down because of Covid-19 infection fears, crew and cast go into self-isolation as studio and offices are disinfected.

by Thinus Ferreira

Skeem Saam has abruptly shut down production on the highly-rated SABC1 show because of Covid-19 fears as cast and crew are going into self-quarantine following a crew member who came into contact with a relative who tested positive for the coronavirus.

M-Net's The River on 1Magic (DStv 103) also recently shuttered production because of Covid-19, making Skeem Saam the second locally-produced South African TV show to shut down again after the film and TV industry halting started to reopen since May following the country's national lockdown period that started at the end of March.

Skeem Saam has already completed episodes available and the show will continue to broadcast uninterrupted on SABC1 in its 18:30 weekday timeslot.

"The Skeem Saam cast and crew has ceased filming until further notice," the show confirms, saying that it "was with dismay that we can confirm that a colleague has come into direct contact with a relative that has tested positive for Covid-19."

"Therefore, for the safety and health of everyone, we have taken the decision to pause shooting until further notice. The crew member and everyone else that they have been directly in contact with have all been tested and are awaiting results."

"The rest of the cast and crew have been asked to urgently self-quarantine while necessary health procedures and testing are being arranged in accordance with government legislation. Whilst our doors stay closed, our studio and offices will be disinfected and santised," the show says.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has brought feelings of doubt and fear to our doorsteps but we can still fight it. This is the only time we can come together separately and give everyone that is affected our love, understanding and support. They are not in this alone," says Skeem Saam.

Skeem Saam has continued its phenomenal ratings surge during lockdown for another month in May 2020, climbing to the second-most watched show on SABC1 and on all of South African television.

In May Skeem Saam once again managed to surge past Generations to clinch the second most-watched spot in the TV ratings increasing from an already astronomical 8.84 million to 9.013 million viewers.

This isn't the first time that Skeem Saam pulled more viewers than Generations, but the show's phenomenal ongoing ratings gain is noteworthy, and the 9 million viewers for Skeem Saam is a new ratings record for the show itself as well.