by Thinus Ferreira
The longrunning Afrikaans soap 7de Laan has reached 5 000 episodes with SABC2's current affairs show Fokus that will give viewers a behind-the-scenes at the production and its milestone this evening, Wednesday 13 January, at 19:00.
The fictional Hillside set soap, currently in its 22nd season, broadcast its 5 000th episode last week Thursday that was recorded on 26 October 2020 at Sasani Studios in Highlands North, Johannesburg.
The episode that was directed by Francois Lensley who also plays the role of Marko Greyling, was scripted to be the unveiling of the remodelled Oppiekoffie set with the fictional coffee shop that was blown up and destroyed in an explosion late last year.
The Danie Odendaal Productions cast officially celebrated the 5 000th episode with a cake ceremony a month ago in early-December 2020 with the event that was done under strict Covid-19 screening and when South Africa was still under Level 1 lockdown restrictions.
While no longer the massive ratings grabber it once was, the 2-decades old soap still pulls a sizeable weekday audience to SABC2, and lured 1.44 million (3.72 ARs) viewers in December 2020 for its most-watched episode, making it the 6th most-watched show on SABC2 last month.
Overall, 7de Laan was the 46th most-watched show on South African television across all TV channels in December 2020.
The revamped Oppiekoffie now has a new look with new lighting, colour and decor for a more modern feel.
"The cast and crew of 7de Laan are humbled by the unyielding support of its viewers," says Thandi Ramathesele, 7de Laan executive producer.
"Nothing but the best is good enough in this competitive television market and if viewers weren’t crying with laughter, we know they were weeping with nostalgia. We dedicate the 5 000th episode to the viewers of 7de Laan and South Africa, our beautiful diverse country."
In Wednesday evening's episode of Fokus the current affairs show goes behind-the-scenes of 7de Laan for interviews with the show's cast and crew to give a retrospective view of 7de Laan over the years.