Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Programming note: History's must-see documentary, 102 Minutes that Changed America, to be shown at 14:46 on 11 September.

In June I was first worldwide to break the news that History (DStv 254) is planning a special global TV event on the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11 and now there's specific programming information for what History will be doing.

Exactly as I've spilled, exactly with the show I named and the time I revealed it would be, History is saying ''we are planning a special event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. At the center of it will be a global simulcast of our programme 102 Minutes that Changed America at the exact time of the 9/11 events.''

History says the broadcast of 102 Minutes that Changed America will start on Sunday 11 September at 14:46 South African time in South Africa - exactly as I've said in June would happen. The programme will recount the events of that day ''in real time, through archive footage''.

''This two hour special will distinguish itself from other 9/11 documentaries by using only unique and rarely seen and heard archive material to document the 102 minutes between the first attack on the World Trade Center to the collapse of the second tower.''

History also has 2 other documentaries looking at 9/11.

Making the 9/11 Memorial on Friday 9 September at 21:25 is a one hour documentary filmed over the course of the past year giving a behind-the-scenes insider's view, from conception to on-site installation at Ground Zero. Key players share their creative journey, along with the staggering challenge of translating elegant ideas into reality, the problems and the race against the clock.

9/11: The Days After on Sunday 11 September at 21:25 is a mesmerising follow-up film from Nicole Rittenmeyer, producer of 102 Minutes That Changed America. This brilliant documentary tells the story through archival audiovisual materials collected from more than 50 sources, with footage shot by both professional news media and amateurs of what happened after the tragedy. It is a chronicle of life in a changed city, a changed country and a changed world.

ALSO READ: Crime & Investigation Network schedules 2 documentaries to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
ALSO READ: The eNews Channel will look at 9/11, but isn't planning any special coverage for the day.
ALSO READ: CNN International will have live coverage on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 for South African viewers; as well as special documentaries.
ALSO READ: MSNBC to go love for 3 hours of special coverage on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with America Remembers; has special 9/11 programming.
ALSO READ: National Geographic Channel to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with several special documentaries.
ALSO READ: Al Jazeera marking a decade since 9/11 with a special 3 part series The 9/11 Decade in September.
ALSO READ: The Discovery Channel has the captivating new 6 part documentary series, The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero, starting on 11 September.

Programming note: For the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11 the Crime & Investigation Network has scheduled 2 special documentaries.

The Crime & Investigation Network (DStv 255) will have 2 special documentaries to mark what will be the 10th anniversary of the terror events of 9/11 in that week.

9/11 Confessions on Sunday 11 September at 23:10 on the Crime & Investigation Network will take a look at the most famous prisoner at Guantanamo prison. ''The CIA says he has confessed to being Osama Bin Laden's mastermind behind 9/11,'' says the channel. ''This documentary begins with his arrest and follows the dark trail to today, with exclusive interviews and research from the world's terror squads.

The 2 hour premiere of Stalking Jihad will be broadcast on Wednesday 14 September at 21:00.  In 2001 several Americans were among dozens kidnapped from the Philippine Island resort of Palawan. Then 9/11 happened and America became incredibly aggressive. This documentary contains real footage of the hostage situation.

Programming note: The eNews Channel will look at 9/11 coverage on 11 September but isn't working on any special coverage for the day.

You're reading it here first.

All the 24 hour news channels seen in South Africa on DStv and TopTV are working on special 9/11 coverage on what will be the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 - but the eNews Channel (DStv 403) isn't planning any special coverage or programes on how this global event has affected South Africa over the course of the past decade.

''The eNews Channel doesn't have any special coverage lined up at this stage but will be giving it priority on the day,'' says.

Programming note: Official Springboks World Cup Send Off to be broadcast live on Thursday on SABC2 and SuperSport, and in high definition.

As South Africans take to the streets in Sandton tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) to officially bid farewell to the national rugby team leaving for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, there will be live coverage on SABC2 and on several SuperSport channels, including high definition (HD) of the Springboks World Cup Send Off.

SABC2 will have live coverage on Thursday from 17:00 for a full hour with the Tsonga and Venda news following at 18:00. At 22:00 tomorrow night SABC2 will carry a special highlights package of the Springboks World Cup Send Off.

SuperSport will also have live coverage of the Springboks World Cup Send Off from 16:40 on Thursday afternoon and will stay with it until the end of the event. The Springboks World Cup Send Off will be carried live on both SuperSport 1 (DStv 201) and SuperSport 4 (DStv 204), as well as in HD on SUperSport HD 1 (DStv 171).

THE ART OF SPIN. Why journalists covering television in South Africa get upset, irritated and give up - and the basics of handling things better.

SABC, SABC1, SABC2, SABC3,, M-Net, MultiChoice and DStv, On Digital Media and TopTV, the PR companies for individual shows and the PR companies for entire TV channels - even the events management companies who have and look after individual TV channel accounts - please please read this great article in The Media magazine entitled ''The Art of Spin''.

Dear PR person who takes too long to answer, don't answer or never respond to my media enquiry(ies), make me ask the same thing multiple times, isn't honest, or don't give me the full facts (which often I already actually know but I'm looking to see how forthright you're actually willing to be with me and indirectly, your viewers), please, if you read one thing today - read this article.

Of course there are a few wonderful people at a few select PR companies and TV channels and production companies and places who are simply wonderful with always talking, always respond quickly, people who actually build a relationship, maintain a relationship with the press, is open, honest, truthful and quick. I love you and today I'm not talking with, about or to you. Like in Lost, I'm talking to ... the Others.

This brilliant article that appeared in The Media magazine will explain exactly why I get upset when I get upset as a journalist covering your company/show/channel, why your (bad/not yet known) news somehow seems to spin out of control (and what you can do to control things), and what in general it is that those horrible press people (like me) actually want, need and expect to get from you - and why and what we will simply go ahead and do if you (1) do nothing (2) do something too late (3) don't respond adequately.

''Nature, and the media, abhors a vacuum and they will fill it with speculation if there is no access to information. Your spokespeople are critical to keeping the information on track,'' states this article, and yet, so sadly (and irritatingly so) the majority of spokespeople who get paid a monthly salary and that we as journalists are told to work with and ask for information, simply don't respond (or in time) even after multiple enquiries. ''Don't deny, delay or do not respond or reply,'' says this article, and it explains why.

''Get your facts together and then keep the narrative flowing. Second important rule: make sure your spokespeople are ready and available,'' says this article. I couldn't have put it better myself.

As a journalist who often struggle to get the story first and then keep on it - I often getting a lot of very close to accurate information from sources. Meanwhile a broadcaster, operator or production company incorrectly assumes that if they say nothing or don't respond that I won't get or don't have the story or information - that you can keep silent and thereby keep a lid on it. Here's the thing: Once I'm approached dear TV channel/production company/TV platform and I don't write it, believe me - my competitors and the next press person on the list are already alerted by the same source(s). Exactly as this insightful article in The Media says: ''Whistleblowers and others can easily share confidential and often damaging information, and news reporting can rapidly escalate and blow situations out of proportion.''

So, dear broadcaster, TV channel, pay TV operator, production company. I already know 95% of what is happening in October 2011. I'm actually waiting to see who, if anyone, will actually approach me and say: ''This is happening, and we want to tell you about it, but please don't break that news yet'' or ''can we talk and organize something''.

But it hardly ever happens, and then you get upset. October is looming and it's going to be a BIG month for the South African television industry. The SABC and SABC3 has big changes coming. M-Net has its 25th birthday. TopTV and DStv and dare I say (shhhh)... new channels. And that hardly ever tells about a new show before I actually have to ask first ... 

... Please read this article.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BREAKING. Jeanne Meserve the next veteran CNN reporter out at the international TV news network after 15 years.

The longtime and veteran CNN reporter Jeanne Meserve appears to be the next one to get the axe at the news network, reports Page Six.

CNN's homeland security correspondent, and previously an anchor, is very well known to audiences of CNN International (DStv 401) with the award-winning journalist who've been with CNN for 15 years. She's covered matters of terrorism, security and law enforcement since the events of 11 September 2011 a decade ago.

CNN hasn't officially announced that Jeanne Meserve is leaving and Page Six quotes a source after this weekend's events of Hurricane Irene which Jeanne Meserve covered, saying: ''Management says they're all over these big hurricane and terror stories. Yet they let this first-class reporter go.''

BREAKING. Late Night with Loyiso Gola set to return for a new 3rd season to the eNews Channel from Wednesday 7 September at 21:30.

You're reading it here first.

Late Night with Loyiso Gola is returning for a new, 3rd season to the eNews Channel (DStv 403) next Wednesday 7 September at 21:30 - although neither nor the eNews Channel has yet bothered to actually officially tell the press.

The brilliant late night satirical show presented in the form of the faux Late Nite News (or LNN), weekly looks at news events in South Africa as well as around the world and has really found its footing during the second season.

Loyiso Gola's delectable dissection of the week's news and political shenanigans is incredibly refreshing and funny, and he's assisted by over-the-top comedic cohorts that include an over-hyped and dramatic roving reporter (suffering a near fatal disease overseas in the second season finale so it's unclear if he will be back), an academic expert, and a menagerie of often-hysterical puppets.

SouthTel postpones its September launch date for its video-on-demand (VOD) service VOD.TV; continuing with its field trial with MTN.

Two weeks ago I asked SouthTel and SouthTel CEO Oscar Dube for an update regarding the company's new video-on-demand (VOD) service called VOD.TV that the company envisioned launching from September in South Africa - but that date has now been pushed back indefinitely while SouthTel's field trial with MTN is continuing.

Oscar Dube told TV with Thinus that SouthTel ''watched closely and we hope not to go through similar setbacks'' when I asked what SouthTel made of MultiChoice's DStv BoxOffice VOD service which experienced a technical core failure  when it launched commercially on 22 July.

ALSO READ: SouthTel to launch a trial version of its brand-new VOD.TV video-on-demand service in August.

Although Oscar Dube didn't tell me, I can reveal that SouthTel is in partnership with MTN and is currently running a field trial with the cellphone operator. The pilot study that SouthTel is conducting to test the VOD.TV service consists of 80 decoders - half of which has already been installed - to an ''exclusive user group around the country''.

''Our focus is on the pilot for now and we will announce the launch date in due course,'' Oscar Dube told me last Monday. He wasn't yet willing to announce a commercial price structure.

''Our product and service offering is different from any that you have seen in Africa. We've been piloting it since 1 August. Our focus is to showcase different ways of delivering content and to bridge the gap with first world countries.''

BREAKING. 'Wh@re!' 'B#tch!' 'Sl&t!' SABC2's shocking public service announcement on emotional abuse set to stir controversy.

Controversy is definitely coming, and it's most probably exactly what they want.

SABC2 and actress Tsholofelo Monedi from the TV channel's soap and number one show Muvhango, have collaborated on a brand-new, special and very shocking public service announcement (PSA) regarding emotional abuse and which contains completely unsuitable language for television.

''Whore!, ''slut!'', ''you stupid bitch!'' are just some of the extremely shocking language heard in the TV commercial that was done by Eject Media with director Chris Bean from Lucky Bean Media.

In Muvhango, Tsholofelo Monedi plays Meme, a woman suffering extreme abuse at the hands of her ruthless husband. In the cringe-inducing TV advert Tsholofelo Monedi sits in front of a dresser applying make-up to her face as the mirror starts cracking with multiple insults, derogatory words and disgusting language hurled at the woman who starts to cry as the reflection of her face starts to ''shatter'' and crack from the abuse.

Then suddenly the real woman starts turning her face and the TV viewer sees a shocking gaze - her nose bleeding, her make-up smudged, her eyes full of tears. ''Words can be a very powerful weapon. What others say to you can change the way you see yourself. Stop the cycle of emotional abuse. Don't let people break the mirror you see yourself in.''

BREAKING. Erin Fourie out of Idols, Dene Vorster leaves Idols too, as both contestants are sent home in the double elimination live show.

Idols contestant Erin Fourie started crying and wiping away tears while Dene Vorster looked down sheepishly as both got the news that they're leaving the 7th season of Idols on M-Net after getting the least number of votes from viewers.

Idols said goodbye to two contestants simultaneously after the Idols judges elected to save Kelly Fortuin last week, leading to a double Idols elimination tonight.

Meanwhile Freddie ''Van Dango'' Moss, one of the remaining contestants, didn't attend the live Idols elimination show this evening; recovering from the facial surgery he underwent after having been involved in a violent bar brawl just over a week ago.

''Erin its been an emotional few weeks for you. Unfortunately your journey does end tonight,''Idols presenter ProVerb told Erin Fourie. While Erin Fourie wiped away tears - another contestant Kelly Fortuin started crying and holding her hands in front of her face.

''Dene is the second person leaving us tonight,'' said ProVerb. ''Dene, you have been an awesome competitor, surprising us week after week, but unfortunately your journey does end tonight.''

ALSO READ: Kelly Fortuin gets saved by the Idols judges; two contestants will no get eliminated.
ALSO READ: Number 9 is gone! Phaksy must pack up. Phaksy Mngomezulu gets the boot from Idols.
ALSO READ: Number 10 is gone! Nolly aint going Holly! Noluthando Meje the first Idols contestants to get dumped from the Top 10.

Programming note: All Access Mzansi venturing inside the Idols mansion Thursday evening with contestants in the bath tub.

You're seeing it here first.

I can tell that the weekly local entertainment magazine show All Access Mzansi will be visiting the Idols mansion in this Thursday's episode on Mzansi Magic (DStv 107) at 20:00 - and I have this exclusive first look at what you'll see.

All Access Mzansi presenter Bridget Msinga will be exploring the mansion this Thursday evening and talk to the remaining Idols contestants in ''MTV Cribs'' style. Of course I blabbed RIGHT HERE last month that the contestants are staying in the exact same Northcliff mansion as last year for this 7th season.

In September last year presenter Jason Greer visited the Idols mansion as well during the previous Idols season but this time it's Bridget Masinga's turn to show viewers the Idols contestants' home away from home.

Why is Crushanda Forbes and Dene Vorster in the bath tub? Bridget Masinga will tell you.

And what exactly is there in Crushanda Forbes' closet that she doesn't want Bridget Masinga to see?

ALSO READ: 2010 - Take a peek inside the Idols mansion and how it looks from the inside.

BREAKING. The Bold and the Beautiful's move from SABC1 to SABC3 off for now; didn't work fast enough to find a replacement.

The SABC's plan to move the soap The Bold and the Beautiful from SABC1 to SABC3 as I first reported RIGHT HERE in April has been partly postponed, partly scrapped.

TV with Thinus can report that the SABC didn't take into account, and didn't work hard enough in time, for the somewhat intricate and complex procedure of repositioning the weekday soap, with the plan that has now lost some impetus. ''It's not completely off the table but not enough people gave the plan attention soon enough and consistently. And with all the other things going on here the Bold move somewhat fell to the wayside,'' an insider dishes.

The original plan as hatched by the SABC earlier this year, was to move The Bold and the Beautiful from SABC1 to SABC3 by October or around the end of the year to somewhat - if not exactly - co-incide with the relaunch of SABC3 happening in October. The plan was for specially re-edited episodes of Bold being broadcast as well - cutting out ''unnecessary scenes'' and thereby catching up with where the show is in America and moving closer to the American broadcasting date of the soap.

''Everybody left the nitty-gritty for everybody else. So nobody really sat and worked out exactly how it will need to work and exactly what it will entail and exactly what is needed and to only then proceed step-by-step and do the logistics,'' whispers an insider.

The rationale to move The Bold and the Beautiful from SABC1 to SABC3 - the business economics and viewership data supporting the move - are all still legitimate and still there. Viewership of The Bold and the Beautiful has fallen dramatically on SABC1 since the heydey of the soap in the 1990's. SABC1 wants and needs a bigger tentpole to anchor the weekday early primetime line-up.

In addition, the soap's aspirational values are move aligned with the viewer values of the SABC3 target audience, according to SABC executives. SABC3 also already introduced the Bold repeat slot on weekends a few years ago, paving the way for the switch.

''Bold simply fits better on [SABC]3 now,'' says another source. ''The problem is that SABC1 didn't work fast enough on finding an adequate replacement for Bold. The soap can't move and just leave a hole. So basically Bold will at least move to 18:30 from October which is its intended timeslot, just not yet on the right channel.''

Whether The Bold and the Beautiful will or might still move, not even SABC insiders know with 100% certainty. ''It's not that the door is closed. For now Bold is staying on SABC1. But who knows, it could suddenly be on the cards again.''

''SABC1 will retain Bold,'' is all that Vukile Madlala, SABC1 publicity manager is willing to say, when asked for how long The Bold and the Beautiful will still remain with SABC1 and when it might be moving to SABC3.

ALSO READ: The Bold and the Beautiful moving from SABC1 to SABC3 from October; episodes to follow closer to America.

BigFish's new Cape Town campus has 40 students after the South African film school expands to the Mother City.

A new film school has opened in Cape Town, BigFish School of Digital Filmmaking, which is a Cape Town branch of the established Johannesburg film school that opened its doors in 2003.

Cape Town now has its own BigFish in the bustling Greenpoint building, The Foundry and classes have been running since May.

In the photo above appears Tony Award winners, The handspring Puppet Company's Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler with dr Melanie Chait, BigFish CEO as well as Zanele Muholi, a BigFish student. The school recently had an official opening event.

''Students come from different backgrounds,'' says dr Melanie Chait, CEO. BigFish currently has 40 Cape Town students and 90 in Johannesburg.

People who want to get in contact with the school can send an email to for more information.

Cosmopolitan Lingerie Special 2011 coming to M-Net soon with a bevy of beauties again showing the latest in barely there fashion.

You're reading it here first.

Midnight ... hot! FTV eat your heart out. A Cosmopolitan Lingerie Special is coming to M-Net. Soon.

South African television doesn't have a Victoria Secrets Fashion Show - an annual television event in America where a bevy of beautiful nymphs model their delicates - but I can be first to dish that the Cosmopolitan Lingerie Special 2011 is definitely coming to television as a TV special this year and that it will be shown on M-Net, according to sources. M-Net has shown this event a few times in the past.

Cosmopolitan already throws the premiere lingerie event in South Africa and I've been to a few in the past - getting a front row seat at the last one I went to, come to think of it. M-Net has also shown this event a few times in the past, but I'm told this year's Cosmo Lingerie 2011 will be better and, uhm, bigger than ever before.

When will it be on M-Net? Sorry. I don't know yet. What I can tell you is that it will be taking place in real life on 15 September in Cape Town with some of the most beautiful models in Cape Town and South Africa that will parade and flash the new season's undies in the flesh - with an element of white. The special could be broadcast maybe late September, October or maybe event later than that on M-Net - but that's me speculating. I have zero brodcasting date inside info, but will dish a date and time as soon as I hear anything more.

The Cosmopolitan Lingerie Special is usually packed with the bold and the beautiful and this year's event which will take place at the Upper East Side Hotel where Cape Town's hot and happening are hanging out these days.

SABC3 on its Isidingo timeslot change to 19:30 from October: 'SABC3's entire primetime schedule was affected by this move'.

I was first to break the news RIGHT HERE a week ago that SABC3 will be moving its soap Isidingo to 19:30 - permanently - from October.

Then I asked SABC3 for context. ''During the ICC Cricket World Cup earlier this year, Isidingo was moved to 19:30 for six weeks during which the audience figures increased dramatically,'' Renette Bengis, SABC3's On-air presentation manager told TV with Thinus when I asked what prompted the permanent timeslot change happening from October.

''This showed us that there is a real appetite for Isidingo from viewers that may be frustrated by the clutter at 18:30. The move to 19:30 is therefore a direct response to our audiences,'' she said.

And how and why did SABC3 decide to fill the new vacant 18:30 timeslot on SABC3 with American comedies? ''SABC3 needs to offer an alternative option to soapies,'' she said, ''and because comedies have always been signature properties, we are confident that we will be able to draw audiences that don't watch soapies, to this timeslot.

''At 19:30 there are more audiences available at that time and we hope to increase the audiences of SABC3 as well as attract past viewers that no longer watch Isidingo [back to watching it].'' Renette Bengis said that SABC3's ''entire primetime schedule was affected by this move''.

''We had to ensure that we still offer top quality entertainment. We believe Isidingo will ensure that we can provide good lead-in audiences for the 20:00 slots. The most of the 19:30 programmes, Survivor, and Top Billing for instance are moving to 20:00. Our dramas will be from 21:00 onwards. We are theming our nights and will ensure that we still provide top quality entertainment,'' said Renette Bengis.

Programming note: 'I'm in! I'm in! I'm in the Dino Squad!' Dino Squad coming to KidsCo on weekdays from September.

Five kiddos from Kittery Harbour go on a field trip, come into contact with primordial ooze, and each acquire the power to turn into a different kind of dinosaur.

Now Roger, Max, Caruso, Fiona and Buzz must work together to save their home and the Earth from global warming. New Captain Planet/Turtles/Might Morphin whatzamacallits are here and they're called Dino Squad on KidsCo (TopTV 255/ DStv 308) weekdays at 06:25 and 17:10 from September.

Catchy theme song (with words)! Cool premise! And the evil place? oooh ... Raptor Dine (below). KidsCo was awesome enough and likes their channel's new acquisition enough to courier over the first few episodes of Dino Squad for me. Lots of cool exposition in the first episode to explain everything, then ... action.

Dino Squad has a secret laboratory in a lighthouse (actually the secret lab of their science teacher Mrs Moynihan who's actually a good Velociraptor).

Monday, August 29, 2011

TOLDJA! SABC1 announces a reloaded schedule from October with Bold and local magazine shows swapping timeslots.

SABC1 just officially announced what TV with Thinus readers already knew, and found out exclusively almost a week ago already RIGHT HERE - that the SABC1 schedule is changing from October with The Bold and the Beautiful moving to 18:30 and all the local magazine shows moving to 18:00 - as well as other programming changes.

''Come October, SABC1 will introduce to its viewers a new schedule compliment that will see major changes affecting titles sitting in the 18:00 and 18:30 timeslots,'' says SABC1.

''These changes are part of the channel's Reloaded Campaign introduced in August 2010. Several of our shows which have already been affected by this exciting process of refreshing and revitalizing include the following: Live, RGB, Selimathunzi, Jam Alley, and Seskhona,'' says Vukile Madlala, SABC1 publicity manager.

''It represents our commitment to remain competitive in this ever-changing television landscape, says Vukile Madlala. ''Our focus is at ensuring that the brand maintains its position as the torch-bearer and trend-setter.''

The Bold and the Beautiful will move to 18:30 from the first week of October. Dance Your Butt Off - exactly as I said would happen - is moving to Saturdays at 17:30 on SABC1 from October. As I broke the news, the celebrity magazine show RGB will move to Tuesdays at 19:00. Mzansi Insider, Selimathunzi, Seskhona and Jam Alley will all go out on weekdays at 18:00.

Real 3D television in South Africa at least still 3 years away; but 3D 'is coming, and it is exciting, and it is looked at'.

Youre reading it here first.

South African television viewers won't be seeing 3D television anytime soon, with any real 3D TV service or channel(s) at least 2 to 3 years away if not longer. The country's most likely broadcaster of 3D, MultiChoice, is taking a wait-and-see approach, erring on the side of caution and waiting for more international research and viewer reaction as well as uniform standards and technology to be adopted.

DStv Media Sales told advertisers, ad buyers and media planners in South Africa that real 3D TV services in South Africa, for instance the possibility of creating and broadcasting 3D TV commercials, is still a way off - and that it will take ''at least 2 to 3 years if not a bit longer for any content in 3D to really be broadcast''.

''Too many things are still undecided regarding 3D technology and how viewers interact with this in front of their television sets. The approach we've taken is that it's not wise to invest in first generation technology while no definite standards, globally, really exist yet. Standards, techonology and applications could change and then money have been invested in infrastructure, technology, formats and systems that could suddenly be obsolete.''

''Things that work really well and will probably be first to go 3D would be 'events' television like sport broadcasts and things like your National Geographic documentaries, some of which look really well in 3D. The problem is that not a lot of quality content's currently being produced in 3D to sustain such a channel full-time,'' said DStv Media Sales during its Tech Update to the industry. ''Also the way 3D TV works is that its not really in HD. Meanwhile HD is the way the industry and we are moving. So there's bandwidth and other technological issues and standards that still need time to be formally worked out on an international level first.''

''There's also the consumer experience, said DStv Media Sales. ''You don't want to introduce technology viewers struggle with or for which you don't have the right TV sets. There's some reports that some viewers get 'seasick' from watching 3D and other issues like glasses and TV sets. However, 3D is coming, and it is exciting, and it is looked at, but it's still a way off,'' DStv Media Sales told ad agencies and media planners.

Meanwhile ESPN Research & Analytics unveiled one of the most in-depth studies of 3D TV to date with research conducted by dr Duane Varan, professor of New Media at Murdock University.

Dr Duane Varan will be in South Africa and will be sharing the findings of this 3D TV study in a keynote address entitled A Changing Media Landscape on 26 September. This event organized by CNBC Africa (DStv 410) will also be broadcast on the business channel (on a later date) with Natascha Jacobsz who will be interviewing dr Duane Varan on the day of the event.

'Beautiful and powerful' Muvhango on SABC2 went 'very high glam' for its latest - although already old again - official photo shoot.

You're reading it here first.

Took forever (sorry. hyperbole. months.) to get this out of SABC2 but here it is. Earlier the year SABC2 took these new ultra-glamarama shots during a new photo shoot for the Muvhango soap.

SABC2 also filmed a behind-the-scenes insert of the Muvhango photo shoot as daytime filler which was shown on SABC2 shortly after the photo shoot. Muvhango remains the number one show on SABC2 in terms of viewership. Of course when I asked for this new Muvhango photo since I immediately saw it on television, SABC2 didn't want to release it. I was told the photo must first appear on billboards - despite it being taken as a publicity photo shoot. I was told I'll get it as soon as it's allowed. Of course I didn't. Of course I kept asking. Of course nothing happened.

Anyway, now it's available. Months later. So now finally I can actually tell viewers and readers about a somewhat passe photo shoot.

''What we went for is very old school, old Hollywood glamour style,'' said Mpumi Ntintili-Sinxoto, stylist at that time. ''We went very high glam in terms of the dresses that we put on the girls. For the guys we went for a clean black and white look. We went for very high glam.''

We wanted to bring in something new this year,'' said Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC2 head of publicity at that time - although it's now the end of August. ''We wanted to do a shoot with them this year – highly glamourised. Powerful, beautiful, and also telling a story that also is a reflection what Muvhango is all about. Muvhango is a beautiful and powerful story,'' she said.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BREAKING. The first season of Being Human, the American version, set to start on M-Net Series on Monday 31 October at 21:30.

You're reading it here first.

I can exclusively break the news that M-Net has secured the broadcasting righs to the American remake of the British science fiction series Being Human and only I can reveal that the first season of Being Human is set to start on M-Net Series (DStv 110) on Monday 31 October at 21:30.

Being Human tells the story of 3 people living together in a house in Boston who are actually a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire in the order pictured above. There's 13 hour long episodes in the first season, and Being Human has been renewed for a second season.

Being Human is structured in an interesting way with multiple secrets and revelations - in hindsight quite evident right from the beginning - slowly being explained and revealed as the season goes along, with very interesting backstories for all the characters. A lot of things are not as they seem initially.

Viewers and TopTV subscribers react with disappointment and resentment after news that Discovery Travel & Living channel is being removed.

TopTV subscribers and viewers are reacting with disappointment, anger, sadness and resentment after the news that the Discovery Travel & Living channel (DStv 453) will be dumped from the pay TV operator at the end of the month to be replaced with the new TLC.

''NO! But that's TopTV's best channel!,'' echoed a reader a sentiment shared by many, while another one said ''Travel & Living has only been on for a year, why did TLC then not start from the beginning? I got TopTV for Travel & Living and now I have to keep paying but TopTV is changing the product agreement that I signed up for. I'm going to cancel my TopTV it's no longer worth it.''

Another TopTV subscriber tells TV with Thinus that ''Travel & Living was just perfect''. ''It was undoubtedly the strongest channel on the bouquet. The new TLC will be skewed to female viewers and exclude a lot of the great cross-over make over/ renovating shows. The very repetitive and very boring FLN has not refreshed 90% of their content. The shows are great, but I have seen them all. Most of their content is on repeat from May 2010! I am so disgusted about Travel & Living and this change of name.  I think there is a skills shortage at TopTV and it shows.''

''I don't understand why Travel & Living has to change to something else. Nobody is explaining that. Why is nobody giving a reason why the channel has be replaced and suddenly be something else?'' asks another. Another response goes: ''Travel & Living taken off is a massive downgrade and a disgusting move by whoever decided this. That and about two other channels are the only ones I really watch on TopTV.''

Another reader wondered: ''If TLC is different, why isn't Travel & Living remaining and TLC merely added as well as a new channel? Why must TLC replace an existing channel? TopTV keeps promising new channels will come but is instead replacing existing channels with new channels. Not fair.''

''I didn't have pay TV before TopTV came. Travel & Living showed me inspiration and plans for a better home. No it's taken away,'' said another TopTV subscriber.

Friday, August 26, 2011

BREAKING. Rolling with Zola set to start on on 25 September when Bonginkosi Dlamini returns to South African television in new show.

You're reading it here first.

I can reveal that Rolling with Zola, a new show with Bonginkosi Dlamini known as Zola is definitely happening and that Rolling with Zola will start on Sunday 25 September at 18:30 on isn't willing to talk about Rolling with Zola although the show is being filmed, but I can reveal that the new half hour episodes on Sundays will be somewhat similar to Zola's old show on SABC1, Zola 7 which ran for several seasons before it was cancelled.

BREAKING. SABC1 mess up broadcast of The Bold and the Beautiful, Intsika; apologizing to viewers.

SABC1 is apologizing to viewers after the broadcaster messed up The Bold and the Beautiful and Intsika this week when both shows were marred by technical difficulties.

SABC1 blames the channel's final control room where facilities are currently being upgraded to a digital file-based material system switching the play-out to a tapeless system.

''SABC1 would like to offer an unreserved apology to all our viewers regarding the technical glitches experienced recently during the broadcast of Intsika and Bold and the Beautiful,'' says the channel in a statement.

''As a way of improving on the services offered to our viewers, SABC1 is currently upgrading its final control facilities. It's unavoidable that during the upgrading some teething problems will be experienced.''

BREAKING. Adam Liaw, the winner of MasterChef Australia, to visit South Africa in September.

Adam Liaw, the winner of MasterChef Australia that concluded last night on M-Net after 4 months will be visiting South Africa and the Good Food & Wine Show in Johannesburg from 22 to 25 September.

Adam Liaw's MasterChef Australia prize included publishing his own cookery book Two Asian Kitchens which will be launched in South Africa at the Good Food & Wine Show.

Adam Liaw will be appearing at the Good Food & Wine Show on 22 September in the Chefs in Action Theatre at 11:00 and 19:30 and he'll be at the BBC Lifestyle Theatre at 15:30.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BREAKING. TopTV and Discovery to remove the Discovery Travel & Living channel on 1 September; replacing it with TLC.

You're reading it here first.

Although not yet a word about it to the press or subscribers, Discovery Networks and TopTV are planning to remove the Discovery Travel & Living channel (TopTV 453) and will replace the dumped Travel & Living with TLC from Thursday 1 September on the same channel number.

Apparently TLC - still a Discovery Networks channel - will suddenly have a whole new schedule as well.

In several countries over the past year and and a few months Discovery has been phasing out Travel & Living, replacing it with TLC - not an abreviation for Travel & Living, but actually an American TV channel that was originally known as The Learning Channel.

The first real ''TLC replacing Travel & Living'' internationally came in March last year in Norway after which Discovery started replacing Travel & Living in different territories one by one.

UPDATE Friday 26 August - Discovery has now issued a press release I received at 08:20.

''TLC, the international entertainment channel for women is now available in South Africa. Discovery Networks has today announced that TLC, its flagship female-targeted channel will launch on TopTV's channel 453 as of September 1 2011.

TopTV will be the first major operator in Africa to launch TLC which is aimed at women aged between 25 and 49 and broadcasts the best lifestyle, reality and inspirational entertainment programs from around the world.

The channel, which replaces Travel & Living, finds extra-ordinary real life characters and tells their stories will join Discovery Networks other channels – ID: Investigation Discovery and Discovery Science which are already broadcast on TopTV.''

''The channel will replace Discovery Travel & Living on TopTV, and will launch with a pan European feed with a program schedule that has been tailored for the South African market and will include brand new smash hit shows.''

''Having seen such a positive response to TLC on all the other European and international markets where it has been launched in the past few months, I am confident that we have a winning formula and TopTV subscribers will see this channel as a great complement to our existing portfolio,'' says Phillip Luff, VP Country Manager, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

''While we are sad to see Discovery Travel & Living go, we are very excited about the inclusion of TLC in our bouquet,'' says Ian Woodrow from TopTV.

After HD? UltraHD. But first a country's free-to-air broadcasters have to become involved with HD, says a new HD television report.

According to the new market research report Global HDTV Forecasts to 2016 6th edition that's just out, high definition (HD) television will become the norm eventually, followed by ''UltraHD'' that will once again enhance the viewer experience and how television looks.

The report however cautions that although HD growth worldwide is growing - the report looked at 53 television markets worldwide - it says that high definition TV will not take off in a territory until the main free-to-air broadcasters become involved.

According to the new report 34 million active HD TV households will be added this year, with the total of HD households in 2011 reaching 131 million worldwide. This number will triple by 2016. According to the research major sports events such as the Olympics and the World Cup Soccer tournament are making a massive difference to spur broadcasters and pay TV platforms on to provide HD channels. These sporting events also help to increase consumer awareness of HD television.

North America currently ranks number one as the dominant region for HD television although the rest of the world is catching up very fast, the report notes.

Programming note: Sky News on Friday night at 20:30 will broadcast a special documentary, Greek Myths: The birth of a Crisis.

Sky News (DStv 402) will have a special documentary on Friday evening (tomorrow, 26 August) entitled Greek Myths: The Birth of a Crisis at 20:30 (South African time) presented by Jeff Randall and which will look at the state of the Greek economy and its effect on the rest of the European Union and the world markets.

Greek Myths: The Birth of a Crisis will look at how the Greek economy was broken by debt and delusion which has prompted a crisis that now threatens to sink the European Union's single currency.

''This is not just about the collapse of the Greek economy, it's about the unravelling of the Eurozone, Greece's bankrupty threats and the entire EU project,'' says Jeff Randall. ''I was prepared to find a country that should never have joined the Euro, where taxes can barely be collected. But what really shocked me was the scale, scope and open acceptance of corruption. Greece, it seems, has been run by a kleptocracy.''