Thursday, March 31, 2011

BREAKING. Public protest and picketing coming to M-Net's media launch of its new soap The Wild this Sunday over actors' rights.

The Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) plans to picket and publicly demonstrate at the planned glitzy media and press launch of M-Net's new soap The Wild this Sunday afternoon 2 April at 16:00 at Montecasino and to hand a manifesto to the pay broadcaster about actors' rights in South Africa.

- Earlier in the month I broke the news RIGHT HERE about the wild drama behind The Wild where actor Tony Kgoroge decided to quit the drama after a contract dispute.
- He was then replaced by Putla Sehlapelo with all the scenes in which Tony Kgoroge appeared that had to be reshot from the beginning.

- And just last week I brought you this story of actors Rika Sennett and Sulette Thompson both saying on television that actors in South Africa are growing old poor because of the payment system. that actors in South Africa in general have to endure.

Now CWUSA plans a public picketing demonstration at specifically M-Net's launch of The Wild. ''We held a press conference this morning [Thursday 31 March] on the issue of the actor's unfair dismissal. He refused to sign the M-Net contract which would have required him to sign away all commercial exploitation rights and the right to residuals,'' says CWUSA president Kid Sithole.

''If he had signed the contract M-Net would have taked away his cash cow. When he didn't sign the contract he was dismissed. We engaged with M-Net management but to no avail. By picketing the launch of The Wild CWUSA is sending a strong message to broadcasters not to tamper with actors' rights. As part of the picket we will present a manifesto to M-Net.''

Meanwhile the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) has set up a meeting with M-Net for 14 April to specifically discuss and talk about contractual issues and residuals.

The Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) has added their voice to the risigin frustration saying they ''support this protest action unequivocally and without reservation''. ''MWASA unreservedly supports the legitimate claims for the paying of residuals by South African broadcasters,'' says Tuwani Gumani, MWASA's general secretary.

''The broadcasters actually make obscene profits from the professional work of these creative workers,'' he says. ''We have witnessed some of our comrades live the lives of beggars whilst their works were the toast of the broadcasters. We have witnessed the joy and enjoyment the creative workers bring to our screens big and small. Their works have consummately educated, seamlessly entertained and indelibly enriched our lives beyond measure. We have witnessed many who have passed on paupers whilst their works continue to bolster profit margins for broadcasters.''

I reached out to all the major South African broadcasters today that produce local TV content with urgent media enquiries to ask them about their policy on residuals and the money - if any - they pay actors for rebroadcasts and their views about this issue today. SABC failed to respond. said it was sourcing answers but didn't respond in time for this article either.

M-Net's communications manager Lani Lombard responded and said M-Net's current standard contract with actors compensates them for their services ''and is inclusive of fees for residuals, royalties and repeats''.

''When we determine the renumeration of actors for their services we take this into account, and as a result we pay above average renumeration. The details of the renumeration levels are confidential, but we believe the levels are more than fair. One must also remember that we work via agents when engaging actors, and thus we contract directly with the actor's agent.''

Lani Lombard said M-Net ''pride ourselves in boosting the local television industry by creating and commissioning as many local productions as possible. M-Net commissioned productions are fully-owned by M-Net for broadcast on all our platforms.''

BREAKING. SABC3 adds reality show First Class All The Way about traveling jetsetters and concierge craziness to Thursdays in April.

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I can exclusively break the news that SABC3 has just added the hour long reality show First Class All The Way to the primetime schedule from Thursday 7 April at 19:30.

First Class All The Way is a reality show in 6 episodes following the dramatics of Sarah Duffy who runs a high class concierge service for the rich elite who make all kinds of crazy demands as they travel the world. Her gaggle of girls and one gay guy has to look after and sort out the travel and other crazy requirements of her well-heeled clientele as the jet set travel from France to Capri.

First Class All The Way just got added at short notice, while the broadcaster at this very late stage still has one reality TV timeslot left to fill on the April schedule.

BREAKING. Now there WILL be Royal Wedding coverage on M-Net; Carte Blanche working on a wedding special for Sunday 24 April.

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M-Net won't be broadcasting the Royal Wedding on 29 April and MultiChoice and M-Net also won't be having it even in high definition (HD) on M-Net HD but I can exclusively reveal that the pay broadcaster now will have Royal Wedding coverage: the weekly M-Net magazine show Carte Blanche is working on a Royal Wedding special.

I'm told that Royal Wedding coverage of the 29 April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will now be seen on M-Net on the longrunning Sunday night show. The M-Net Royal Wedding coverage will actually precede the wedding and will be in the Carte Blanche episode of Sunday 24 April at 19:00. The whole Carte Blanche episode will most likely be Royal Wedding special related, although its not absolutely confirmed yet.

''It should take up the entire episode,'' I'm told ''but that has yet to be confirmed.''

TOLDJA! Top Billing on SABC3 moves from Thursdays to Tuesdays at 19:30 in April starting this Tuesday 5 April.

With nothing ever being announced or admitted by either SABC3 or Twelopele Productions producing the glam show, exactly as I broke the news RIGHT HERE at the beginning of the month Top Billing is moving to Tuesdays at 19:30 from next week. And you don't need to be a TV critic to wonder: How do they actually think a lot of viewers will know about the change if nobody talks about it?

''From next week we come to you on Tuesday nights at 19:30,'' purred a purple Ursula Chikane at the end of tonight's episode, quickly adding: ''That is our new timeslot. So until then, do take care, and goodnight.''

You'd want to say that the marketing for the Top Billing timeslot change has been incredibly bad; but in fact its been non-existent. How viewers who don't happen to read trade TV stories (has anybody written about this besides me?) and missed tonight's episode are supposed to know that their show has switched nights is utterly mind-boggling.

ALSO READ: SABC3 moving the long-running magazine show Top Billing from Thursdays to Tuesdays at 19:30 from April.

BREAKING. SABC3 finally gets Royal Wedding fever; add 3 Royal Wedding documentary slots from Saturday 16 April.

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SABC3 is starting to feel the Royal Wedding fever for the upcoming wedding on 29 April of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and I can break the news that SABC3 is adding special ''Royal Wedding Documentaries'' timeslots to the schedule leading op to 29 April.

SABC3 is making space on its April schedule for hour long Royal Wedding documentaries that will be broadcast from Saturday 16 April at 18:00 - the first of three. (The first one gets repeated on Tuesday 19 April at 13:00.)

Programming note: The special 4 part ''Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure'' to start on SABC3 on Wednesday 13 April.

''We're going to Australia!''

I can be first to reveal that the special 4 part Oprah Winfrey Show ''farewell season'' visit to Australia - named ''Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure'' - will start in South Africa on SABC3 on Wednesday 13 April at 17:30.

The 4 part episodes will follow each other exactly as originally scheduled in America and will roll out on consecutive days in South Africa on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (from next week Oprah will have brand-new episodes on Fridays as well exactly as I said would happen last year) and Monday from 13 April.

Wednesday 13 April will see Oprah Winfrey and her studio audience arriving in Australia. Thursday 14 April there's some amazing visits and journeys by the studio audience who are broken up into different groups exploring different parts of Australia.
Friday 15 April sees Oprah Winfrey doing her show from the Sydney Opera House and an open-air audience of 6 000 people. On Monday 18 April Oprah Winfrey talks so Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Bono, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

R2,4 billion: That's the extent of the SABC corruption that led the broadcaster to pay this amount to businesses over 3 years.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) that's been investigating the South African public broadcaster and several serious corruption charges has told parliament that R2,4 billion worth of corruption-related transactions have been found.

The SIU's head Willie Hofmeyr has told parliament's portfolio committee on justice about the staggering corruption found in the SABC. The SIU's investigation into the massive corruption within the SABC has uncovered ''serious criminality'' within the broadcaster.

According to the SIU's submission to parliament, R2,4 billion has been paid between the 3 years of 2007 and 2010 to businesses in which 20 people who at the time have been working for the SABC held personal interests.The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is currently pursuing criminal cases against some of these accused.

Dalen Lance to present's new Step Up Or Step Out reality show; nationwide audition details announced.

Dalen Lance will be the presenter of's new reality show Step Up or Step Out looking for the best South African dance crew. He was previously the presenter of M-Net's reality show High School Musical: Spotlight South Africa that became mired in controversy in 2008. Step Up or Step Out starts on on Sunday 8 May at 18:05 and is produced by Endemol SA. has also announced the specifics of the 3 auditions dates and venues for dance crews to enter Step Up or Step Out. Registration for all of these auditions start at 08:00:
The first nationwide audition will take place this coming weekend in Johannesburg on 2 and 3 April at the Park Station Blue Room at the cnr of Rissik and Plein Street in Braamfontein.
Step Up or Step Out's Cape Town audition will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 April at Theatre in the District, 106 Chapel Street, District 6.
The Durban Step Up or Step Out audition will take place on Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 April at the Durban Natural Science Museum's Research Centre at 151 KE Masinga Road (cnr. Of Wyatt Road).

ALSO READ: The judges of Step Up or Step Out on announced.
ALSO READ: announces its brand-new reality show Step Up Or Step Out looking for the best dance crews.
ALSO READ: looking to produce a brand-new local dance reality show entitled Step Up Or Step Out.

BREAKING. ESPN International extends its broadcasting rights agreement for Major League Baseball in South Africa.

ESPN International (DStv 230) is extending its broadcasting rights agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) in America which means that South African DStv subscribers will be seeing more baseball on the channel from April (tomorrow).

The agreement between ESPN International and MLB means that South African viewers will get to see more regular MLB season baseball games. Viewers will get more Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball as well as the All-Star Game, the playoffs and the World Series.

''This new deal builds extends the relationship as we continue to bring millions of baseball fans the most comprehensive coverage of MLB to every corner of the globe,'' says Tim Bunnell, senior vice president, programming and marketing for ESPN International in a press statement.

ESPN International will now add live coverage of the All-Star Game and the World Series in Africa/South Africa, and also add live coverage of the division Series and League Championship Series in Africa/South Africa, as well as live coverage of the Homerun Derby. The sports channel will continue to show Baseball Tonight in Africa/South Africa as will show the weekly baseball magazine show This Week in Baseball as well.

BREAKING. South African television watching is increasing, especially in rural areas, and mostly driven by SABC1.

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South African television viewing - the percentage of people watching television in the country - is increasing, largely driven by SABC1 and more rural viewers who watch TV.

That's according to the South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf) that just released the brand-new AMPS data, December 2010 (January to December 2010) that represents 13,3 million households in South Africa where 84% of households now have access to a television set in the home and which is up from 82% since the previous survey's data, AMPS June 2010, was released last year.

In South Africa TV viewing is increasing. AMPS Dec 10 shows that 88,5% of all South African adults now watch television in any given week, up from 86,8% in the previous survey. Television viewing has increased especially in settlements and rural areas and especially in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo. According to AMPS Dec 10, the driving force behind the overall ascendance of the medium was SABC1.

SABC1 grew its weekly viewership (the percentage of people who indicate they've watched something on the channel within a 7 day period) from 75,6% to 76,8%. The SABC1 audience grew in settlements and rural areas in Limpopo, but the channel lost ground in the Western Cape.
SABC2 remained stable at 66,8%, with growth in East London. viewership remained stable at 66,2%.
SABC3 remained stable at 54,7%, growing in settlements and rural areas, and in the North West.
M-Net is at 6,5%, declining in the Northern Cape.
DStv in total (excluding terrestrial channels such as SABC/ now stands at 20,2%, growing in large urban areas and in the Free State.

I asked Saarf about TopTV that started its commercial pay TV service in May 2010. Mpho Mokone, technical support executive at Saarf tells TV with Thinus that TopTV can't be included in the full year AMPS data yet, but will be soon.

TopTV was only incluced for the first time in the AMPS questionnaire from July to December 2010, while the AMPS Dec 10 cover a full 12 month period. TopTV has only been on the AMPS questionnaire for 6 months. ''New entrants on the AMPS questionnaire for 6 months are published in the 6 month report that will be released later this year. TopTV will be included in this report.''

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BREAKING. launching a brand-new kids block called ''Little e'' on Monday 4 April just as M-Net ends its KTV timeslot.

You're reading it here first. is launching a brand-new kids block aimed at 6 to 11 year olds from Monday 4 April in part of the exact timeslot of 14:30 to 16:00 on weekdays in which M-Net is retiring its long-existing KTV kids block from the same date as well as on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Little e enters some of the timeslot space where KTV used to be on M-Net in which place viewers will now see repeats of weekday shows and movies from April on the pay broadcaster.'s brand-new ''Little e'' will broadcast from Mondays to Thursdays from 14:30 to 16:00, on Saturdays from 06:25 to 09:00 and on Sundays from 09:00 to 10:00.'s teen block Craz-e will follow at 16:00 on weekday afternoons. Craz-e is geared towards viewers between 15 and 18. About the addition of Little e to says Monde Twala, group head of channel division, ''The aim of our youth offering is to mainly empower, educate and entertain children. We're looking forward to the results.

Shows on the schedule for Little e from April include Cool Catz, Sibo & Friends, Ripley's Believe It or Not, The Doodlebops, Gerald McBoing Boing, The Little Lulu Show, Mona the Vampire and Skunk Fu. Later in the year Little e will have Lazytown and new seasons of Pokemon.

Little e will also feature ''e.toons'', a variety of 30 to 60 second animated programmes such as The Adventures of Lerato & Alex and Deep & Dylan's Curious Minds - South African produced content.

BREAKING. The birth of the Atlantis legend coming to BBC Knowledge in May in the splendid Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend.

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Not to miss! I can reveal that BBC Knowledge (DStv 251) the visually stunning docu-drama Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend that will start on BBC Knowledge on Sunday 1 May at 21:30.

This amazing BBC production - a feature length drama - will immerse South African viewers in the world of Europe's first great civilization, the Minoans, and tell the story of how the greatest disaster of the ancient world gave rise to one of the most enduring legends of all time.

In 1613 BC a gigantic volcano in the Aegean Sea stirs from its fifteen thousand year slumber and violently erupts, tearing apart an entire island and ultimately triggering the end of the Minoan civilisation. Minoan society was the cradle of Western civilisation, predating classical Greece by a thousand years. A growing number of scientists now believe that the Minoans and the Thera eruption provided the historical inspiration for the legend of Atlantis.

Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend, is a dramatic adaptation of the documentary evidence and tells the story through the eyes of 5 different characters right up to their last moments - from the earthquakes, the eruption sequence and the inevitable tsunamis.

"Atlantis will immerse the viewer in a world they've never seen before, in a brand new, exciting way,'' says Ailsa Orr, executive producer. ''The world of the Minoans and the disaster that wiped them out has been created using visual effects that have, to date, only ever been used in Hollywood movies.''

On Monday 2 May at 22:25 on BBC Knowledge (DStv 251) there will be a companion documentary, Atlantis: The Evidence that looks at the Atlantis legend and that will ''present compelling new evidence that Plato's story was based on the greatest natural disaster of the ancient world''.

This documentary will feature interviews with the world's leading experts and delve into the amazing lost world of the Minoans and highlights the startling parallels between Bronze Age Thera and Plato's Atlantis.

BREAKING. SABC3 postpones Expresso's morning timeslot extension that was planned to kick in from April.

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I can exclusively reveal that the planned half hour timeslot extension to SABC3's morning breakfast show Expresso that was planned to kick in from 1 April as I revealed in February RIGHT HERE will no longer be happening. The broadcaster now needs more time to implement this schedule change and selling airtime.

Expresso was set to be extended to 08:00 on weekday mornings from 07:30 from April, but sources just told me the scheduled extension just got postponed since the SABC's airtimes sales division needs more time.

Therefore, for April Expresso that is doing very well viewership wise and is being produced by Tswelopele Productions, will remain on weekday mornings from 05:00 to 07:30 for at least April. May is now the new month that is being considered for the timeslot extension.

BREAKING. With Glee getting shunted off M-Net, Glee's second season will start on Vuzu on Monday 18 July at the earliest.

I broke the shocking news RIGHT HERE earlier this month that Glee and 90210 on M-Net are gonners ... in a shocking move all the youth centered shows are getting shipped off to Vuzu from April (in line with the other dramatic scheduling changes coming to M-Net and the analogue/digital channels split).

I can now exclusively break the news that Glee's 2nd season will most definitely start on Vuzu (DStv 123) and that it will be starting on Vuzu on Monday 18 July at 20:30. There will be 22 episodes in the second season (and in America the producers are currently discussing supersizing one to 90 minutes). The second season of Glee will start after the 2nd season of The Vampire Diaries ends.

ALSO READ: Shocker! M-Net moving all of the channel's youth centered shows like Glee and 90210 to Vuzu from April.

Remarkable DStv Mobile service continues its channel roll-out; will add E! Entertainment, CNNi and Sony Max from April.

The innovative and excellent DStv MOBILE that becomes a pay service from 1 April is continuing its channel roll-out and will be adding CNNi, E! Entertainment and Sony Max as three new TV channels from April.

CNNi, E! Entertainment and Sony Max will join the 9 existing channels - eNews Channel, Channel O, Africa Magic, Cartoon Network, Trace Urban, SuperSport 1, SuperSport 2, SuperSport 3 and SuperSport Blitz - that was introduced in November last year.

The incredibly impressive and user friendly DStv MOBILE service that will cost R36 from April, allows users to watch these DStv TV channels on a DVB-H enabled cellphone or through MultiChoice's astoundingly nifty mobile TV decoder, the Drifta.

This progressive new DStv service is furthering MultiChoice's ''platform agnostic'' mantra with the pay TV operator that wants to be available on all platforms and screens irrespective of what device a DStv subscriber might use. DStv MOBILE's Drifta device currently has limited reception and is only for large metropolitan areas, but this is being expanded.

The Drifta decoder that works with WiFi connects to laptops, PC's, tablets and smartphones, iOS devices such as iPhones and iPods. Blackberry OS, Symbian 3 and Android applications are currently in development.

''We have seen strong demand for more general entertainment [on DStv MOBILE],'' says Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice's head of content regarding the decision to add the 3 additional channels, saying that the ''sports channels have proved to be very popular.''

''A key driver of mobile television is the availability of suitable content for on-the-go consumption and we believe our improved bouquet is a step forward in this regard,'' says Mark Rayner, general manager of DStv MOBILE South Africa.

ALSO READ: MultiChoice delights with a truly great new gadget for true mobile television in South Africa.'s Step Up Or Step Out and SABC1's Class Act announce more judges as reality production season blooms.

It's reality production season for South Africa television and two shows announced more judges with's Step Up Or Step Out and SABC1's Class Act making more names available, and M-Net's 7th season Idols set to announce its final guest judge for its final nationwide audition round for Johannesburg happening this coming weekend.

SABC1's Class Act has added James Ngcobo for the golden couch for the show currently in its 2nd season and having its final nationwide audition this Saturday and Sunday 2 and 3 April at Shine Studios in Johannesburg.

Meanwhile announced the judges for its new dance crew reality show Step Up Or Step Out starting on 8 May on the free-to-air commercial broadcaster. Kwaito singer Arthur Mafokate, dancer Penelope Thloloe and hip-hop artist Emile Jansen will be the judges in this show looking to find the best South African dance crew.

BREAKING. Jacob's Cross receives 5 nominations as the only African TV show up for awards at the Monte Carlo Television Festival 2011.

The drama Jacob's Cross on Mzansi Magic (DStv 107) has received 5 nominations at the annual Monte Carlo Television Festival that will be taking place from 6 to 10 June this year in Monaco as the only African TV show.

Jacob's Cross received nominations in the categories for best international TV series, outstanding international producer for Desiree Markgraaff, outstanding actor (for both Hlomla Dandala and Anthony Bishop) as well as outstanding actress (Xolile Tshabalala). Jacob's Cross is produced by Bomb! Productions for M-Net.

Executive shape-up at Universal Networks International, Roma Khanna quits, Kevin MacLellan takes over international television.

Kevin MacLellan has been named president of international television at Universal Networks International that runs NBCU's overseas channels like the Universal Channel (DStv 109) in South Africa.

That comes after Roma Khanna has quit as president of Universal Networks International. Kevin MacLellan who's based in Los Angeles will now move to London as he oversees sales, networks and production. Belinda Menendez, who's been appointed as president of NBCU International Television distribution and Universal Networks International is also moving from LA to London. Rowan Conn will become the new chief financial officer.

''I'm very optimistic about NBCUniversal's continued expansion into the international market, where I believe there are many opportunities. Our structure and talent position us strongly for significant future growth,'' says Jeff Shell, president of NBCUniversal International in a press release detailing the executive changes.

BREAKING. FX renews its funny animation spy show Archer for a 3rd season of 16 episodes.

FX (TopTV 110) just announced that the channel's comedy animation spy caper Archer has been renewed for a 3rd season.

FX in South Africa is close on the heels of the current second season episodes of Archer being shown in America. FX announced a season order run of 16 episodes for the 3rd season.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SABC on its new 24 hour news channel: ''We might go on MultiChoice; we might not. Nothing is definite. We're negotiating.''

Last month was the last time I wrote about the SABC's new 24 hour news channel venture that it wanted to start on 1 April and the sense of irony of it not being lost on actual SABC News staff (who had to sign confidentiality agreements on that as well as the broadcaster's new funeral coverage plans for Nelson Mandela).

The SABC is only prepared to tell me that the broadcaster is now negotiating with MultiChoice to possibly have the news channel on DStv in the future. The SABC announced plans for a new news channel in March 2010.

''We are negotiating with MultiChoice,'' Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesperson tells me. ''There's possibilities,' he says. ''We might go with MultiChoice; we might not. Nothing is definite. We're negotiating.'' The new 24 hour news channel is envisioned as a local, domestic news channel covering news within South Africa.

Kaizer Kganyago says MultiChoice is the only TV platform the SABC is talking to at the moment regarding the 24 hour news channel that will be replacing SABC News International. ''Once contracts are finalized we will communicate it. The channel is not starting on 1 April. The channel doesn't have a name yet. How would we have started on 1 April and not have done any marketing for it yet at this stage?''

ALSO READ: SABC talking to operators about its new domestic 24 hour news channel it wants to start.
ALSO READ: SABC plans a new 24 hour, domestic news channel.

SABC staff attending a big Turnaround Strategy about what the public broadcaster wants to do with structures and staff.

SABC staff are in a big Turnaround Strategy presentation and meeting this morning to hear more about what the broadcaster has planned regarding structures, personnel, divisions and of course budgets. SABC top brass is also attending.

Monday, March 28, 2011

BREAKING. MSNBC has full live and massive coverage plans for the Royal Wedding of Prince William on 29 April.

MSNBC (TopTV 410) just announced that the 24 hour news channel will, too, have full live coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday 29 April, and also have major coverage on the news channel on the weekend, and the week, leading up to the Royal Wedding.

MSNBC will broadcasting the Royal Wedding live on Friday 29 April but will already start wedding coverage on the preceding Sunday, 24 April with various stories that will be done from London and a slew of NBC reporters.

The following MSNBC shows will also be done from London in the week leading up to Friday 29 April:

Exactly as I've already said right here last month Martin Bashir of his self-titled hour long show Martin Bashir weeknights on MSNBC at 21:00 will be doing his show from London live from Monday 25 April.

Willie Geist of Way Too Early with Willie Geist weekdays at 11:30 (South African time) on MSNBC will be doing his show live from London from Monday 25 April through Thursday 28 April.

Morning Joe weekdays at 13:00 (South African time) on MSNBC will be done live from London from Monday 25 April through Thursday 28 April, with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist.

Chris Jansing will be doing her regular MSNBC weekday show Jansing & Co. live from London at 16:00 (South African time) on Thursday 28 April and Friday 29 April.

• MSNBC's live Royal Wedding coverage will start on Friday April 29 at 09:00 (South African time) with anchors Martin Bashir and Chris Jansing. Two hours later at 11:00 (SA time) Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist will take over, with Martin Bashir and Chris Jansing contributing.

The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams seen in South Africa on CNBC Africa (DStv 410) weeknights at 00:30 (South African time) will be coming from London from Wednesday 27 April. Stories during the week on this major American nightly news bulletin will include coverage of the Royal Wedding preparations, how the city of London is faring, the security concerns surrounding this public event, and a special look at the wedding itself.

BREAKING. E! Entertainment announces major coverage and several TV specials for the Royal Wedding of Prince William.

E! Entertainment (DStv 124) just announced Royal Wedding coverage fit for a king. The entertainment channel says it will also be live streaming the Royal Wedding on 29 April online on its website at E! Online with wedding news.

E! Entertainment's daily news show E! News will be done from right in front of Buckingham Palace by Giuliana Rancic from Monday 25 April leading up to the wedding day.

• Then E! Entertainment plans to show the NBC special Inside the Royal Wedding (no South Africa time yet) on Thursday 28 April.

• E! Entertainment will have that live Royal Wedding Arrival special anchored by Giuliana Rancic.
E! Entertainment says this special will run for 5 hours, live from London and that it will be starting at 10:00 (South African time). After the 5 hours, the Royal Wedding Arrivals special will immediately repeat again.

• E! Entertainment is planning to show that E! News Special: Road to the Altar I told you about last month on Saturday 30 April at 03:00 (SA time, but it could change). It's a one hour special.

• A special wedding-themed, one hour episode of Fashion Police is scheduled for Saturday 30 April at 04:00 (SA time, but it could change) presented by Joan Rivers, Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos.

• E! Online will present a live stream of the Royal Wedding, as well as breaking wedding news, comprehensive photo galleries, wedding-related videos and other special interactive features leading up to, during and after the event.

BREAKING. E! News coming from right in front of Buckingham Palace in London from 25 April for a week leading up to the Royal Wedding.

The daily entertainment news show E! News will be coming to viewers around the world right from the front of Buckingham Palace from Monday 25 April, daily, as part of E! Entertainment's (DStv 124) extensive coverage leading up to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April.

E! Entertainment just announced that E! News with Giuliana Rancic who will be in London, will originate on location from Buckingham Palace for the whole week leading up to the wedding day.

The hour long E! News (with shorter dispersed bits during the day) is broadcast in South Africa on E! Entertainment daily at 02:25.

ALSO READ: E! News' Giuliana Rancic going to London to cover the Royal Wedding for E! Entertainment.

Programming note: The Oprah Winfrey Show back - and actually 5 minutes earlier - from next Monday, 4 April at 17:30.

While there's no new episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show today since the show is still in the 21:30 timeslot due to the cricket but got pushed out today because of the Survivor Gabon finale and reunion episodes, there will be more new Oprah episodes from tomorrow/Tuesday.

From Monday 4 April The Oprah Winfrey Show will be back in its regular SABC3 timeslot, and actually 5 minutes earlier at 17:30.

On Tuesday 29 Mach (tomorrow) Oprah talks to Tyler Perry who's speaking out about his childhood sexual abuse.
On Wednesday 30 March Lisa Marie Presley is on Oprah to talk about the death and in her words ''misunderstood'' marriage to her ex popstar Michael Jackson.
On Thursday 31 March Oprah is about a mom, Diane Downs, who killed her own three children.

ALSO READ: The final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show to be broadcast in America on Wednesday 25 May.

BBC announces more TV presenters for its live coverage of the Royal Wedding on 29 April on BBC Knowledge.

The BBC has just revealed more TV presenter information regarding the Beep's coverage of the Royal Wedding on Friday 29 April of Prince William and Kate Middleton which the BBC will be showing live in South Africa on BBC World News (DStv 400 / Top TV 400) with a newsier slant, and on BBC Knowledge (DStv 251) with more straight-forward special event entertainment coverage.

ALSO READ: BBC World News to do live coverage of the Royal Wedding on 29 April.
ALSO READ: More specific details on the massive coverage BBC World News is planning on the day and in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding on 29 April.
ALSO READ: BBC Knowledge to do a live broadcast of the Royal Wedding on 29 April.

Huw Edwards will be seen on BBC Knowledge as the main anchor of that version of the live coverage of the Royal Wedding. The live Royal Wedding coverage on BBC Knowledge will basically be the ''domestic'' coverage of the BBC of the Royal Wedding, meaning, it will be what Britains will be seeing on their own terrestrial channel BBC One. (Misal Husain will be leading the coverage as the main anchor for BBC World News - basically the worldwide news service on television.)

Huw Edwards will be based outside Buckingham Palace where he will be joined by fellow anchors Fiona Bruce and Sophie Raworth who will be situated at key locations in central London. BBC-ers roped in from radio  to help on TV for the day are Fearne Cotton and Edith Bowman, BBC Sport presenter Jake HumphreyChris Hollins, along with Alex Jones and her colleague, Anita Rani. They will all ''capture the stories, excitement and celebrations from across London, the United Kingdon and around the world,'' says the BBC.

The BBC also announced that it will be streaming live coverage on its website portal on 29 April at

''The BBC's in-depth coverage of the Royal Wedding will bring the event to life for viewers,'' says Mark Byford, the BBC's deputy director general who is overseeing the BBC's Royal Wedding plans.

BREAKING. Canceled? Maybe not. Carte Blanche Extra on M-Net gone tonight after just 10 episodes ... but could possibly return.

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Carte Blanche Extra on M-Net is possibly not going the same cancellation route as the previous two spin-offs last year Carte Blanche Medical and Carte Blanche Consumer - although the 3rd spin-off attempt did broadcasting its final episode tonight ... for now.

''Welcome to the final episode of Carte Blanche Extra for this season,'' said presenter Devi Sankaree Govender at the start of tonight's 10th and unusually short season. The Combined Artists produced show gave viewers a more behind-the-scenes glimpse of the making of this investigative magazine programme. But Devi Sankaree Govender did say season and not series.  Could M-Net possibly be thinking of bringing Carte Blanche Extra back in the future? ''Keep your stories coming in,'' said Devi Sankaree Govender.

She again reiterated at the end of the final episode that ''that's it for the final episode of Carte Blanche Extra for this season,'' this time with special emphasis on the word season. ''Thank you very much for your stories and invaluable support. We will be back with more. Join Derek on Sunday evenings for Carte Blanche at 19:00 and on behalf of the Carte Blanche Extra team, goodnight.''

BREAKING. Putla Sehlapelo replacing Tony Kgoroge in the role of Tiro in M-Net's new soap The Wild.

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Actor Putla Sehlapelo has joined M-Net's The Wild in the place of Tony Kgoroge who left when agreement couldn't be reached on a contract for the new soap that will start on Monday 4 April at 18:00 on the pay broadcaster and will run Mondays to Thursdays.

Putla Sehlapelo is reshooting all of the scenes in which Tony Kgoroge appeared - about a month's worth of episodes. ''The Wild has confirmed Putla Sehlapelo to its list of local stars,'' M-Net says in a just-issued statement of the actor who've appeared in dramas like Society and Intersexions and the soap Muvhango. Putla Sehlapelo will portray the role of Tiro Lebone, a young millionaire and the brother of Connie Ferguson's character.

Tiro Lebone is described as an ''eligible bachelor who gets the attentions of all women, yet he still hasn't met a woman that captures his heart.''

ALSO READ: Wild drama behind The Wild as actor Tony Kgoroge abruptly departs M-Net's new soap.

Programming note: Kwêla on kykNET moves half an hour earlier to the 19:30 timeslot from Wednesday, 6 April.

The weekly Afrikaans entertainment magazine show Kwêla will also be changing timeslots in line with all the other show changes on the Afrikaans satellite channel from April, with Kwêla that will be moving half an hour earlier from next Wednesday 6 April, from 20:00 to 19:30.

ALSO READ: kykNET has 5 new shows and several new seasons of returning shows from April.
ALSO READ: kykNET also set to refresh its on-air look from 1 April.
ALSO READ: Villa Rosa on kykNET moves to 18:00 from Monday 4 April.

The show's spin-off, Kwêla Funnies presented by Pieter Koen will start on Tuesday 5 April at 20:30. It's a compilation of the funny home videos sent in by viewers the past few years that formed a part of the main show's viewer competition.

RENEWAL NEWS. Fringe, The Amazing Race gets further seasons; No Ordinary Family seems done for.

A few more shows got renewal notices. Fringe (M-Net) has been renewed for a 4th season by the Fox Network in America. The show dealing with parallel realities and a New York with still-standing World Trade Center towers and airships and starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble got an additional 22 episodes.

Also renewed is the longrunning reality show The Amazing Race (Sony Entertainment Television, SABC3) by the CBS network. The Amazing Race was renewed for a 19th season. When Law & Order: Los Angeles (M-Net) returns after it was yanked in America by NBC which also forced its disappearance from M-Net, it will only be known as Law & Order: LA.

Not looking so good is No Ordinary Family (M-Net Series). ABC just had a new episode this past Saturday. No new TV is shown on a Saturday in America which means the network is burning off the remaining episodes just to be done with the show.

Robyn Smith back behind the eNews Late Edition anchor desk from tonight on

I can tell you that Robyn Smith will be back behind the news anchor desk from tonight for the eNews Late Edition at 22:00 on She returned today from leave.

Meanwhile viewers will have noticed that Scheherezade Safla replaced Robyn Smith since January as the new afternoon co-anchor of Andrew Barnes on News Day on the eNews Channel (DStv 403).

News Day on the eNews Channel is broadcast on weekdays from 13:00 to 16:00.