Tuesday, October 31, 2017

H&M's new fashion film ad by producer-director Baz Luhrman is a beautiful floral fantasy.

The veteran producer and Hollywood's most over-the-top director Baz Luhrman has lensed a beautiful new fashion film commercial for clothing retailer H&M and ERDEM, filled with flowers and models to create a sweeping dinner party fantasy.

Clothing retailer H&M now carries the new ERDEM collection and in conjunction with that, H&M and ERDEM got Baz Luhrman to create The Secret Life of Flowers as a sumptuous 4 minute fashion film.

It's a bit Downton Abbey, a bit Shadowhunters, a bit Harry Potter and a whole bit of beautiful.

Filmed at the real-life ruins of The Grange, a 19th-century country house-mansion near Northington in Hampshire, Englandthe film is filled with pretty young models ranging from Saskia de Brauw, Imaan Hammam, Grace Hartzel, Fernando Cabral, Luca Lemaire and Tony Ward.

There's even a Neels Visser, although surprise - despite the Afrikaans South African name - he was born in America.

Actors Ruby Dagnall, Dame Harriet Walter, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Tom Rhys Harris and Peter Burrows appear. 

"The Secret Life of Flowers" is a love story - just like Baz Luhrman's 2004's film commercial for Chanel, No.5 the Film.

This time it's set in the mysterious and magical mansion in the countryside where it's always spring. The mansion is filled with magnificent flowers that evoke London-based designer Erdem's signature floral prints. 

The magical, new song is "Hypnotised" by Years & Years, done exclusively for the film.

Two friends enter the fictional Redham Gardens, as the start of a dreamlike experience.

The character of Tom Rhys Harries is secretly in love with his friend Hero Fiennes Tiffin (Adam), but eventually Hero falls in love with Tom's sister played by Ruby Dagnall

"That night, amidst the young, the celebrated, and the beautiful, I had to wonder: Would I become the next flower in Lady Demare's garden?" remarks the main character Adam who finds himself transported to this magical place.

"I wanted the film to be like a whole movie," says Baz Luhrman in a statement from H&M. 

"It's a very modern love story, set in a country house that is full of its own secrets and it’s like a metaphor for our times - it’s harsh out there in the world, but in here, the things that really matter keep growing in an eternal spring."

According to H&M, the ERDEM x H&M collection will be available in South Africa in its Sandton, Johannesburg and V&A Waterfront in Cape Town stores from 2 November 2017.

eNCA says news channel is 'dealing with' Nickolaus Bauer internally after reporter tweeted old 2010-taken South African flag photos without checking the facts.

eNCA (DStv 403) says it is "dealing with" Nickolaus Bauer internally after he became the latest eNCA reporter to damage the TV news channel's brand reputation with an online, social media mistake when he tweeted photos of the old South African flag taken in 2010 without checking.

Mapi Mhlangu, eNCA's managing director and editor-in-chief, said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the news channel is "apologising unreservedly for our reporter's error" and that eNCA remains committed to providing the "unbiased, truthful, and accurate news coverage the channel has long been known for".

Mapi Mhlangu says eNCA takes Nickolaus Bauer's violation of a fundamental element of journalism - fact-checking before distributing or passing on information - seriously.

The brouhaha started when reporter Nickolaus Bauer on Monday tweeted photos - without checking - that was not part of Monday's "Black Monday" protests, yet linked it to the the Black Monday protests organised against farm killings and questioned the motives of some of the people participating in the protests.

One photo Nickolaus Bauer tweeted was of people wearing clothes branded with the old South African flag.

On Tuesday's front page of The Star, the newspaper co-incidentally used the same picture, without James Oatway's permission, credit or proper caption.

Another photo Nickolaus Bauer tweeted was in which someone was burning the current South African flag.

In reality the photographs were not taken on Monday or linked to Monday's Black Monday protests, but by James Oatway, who pointed the errors out after the photos began circulating widely on social media.

Nickolaus Bauer has since deleted the tweet.

He later admitted that he "severely erred", although "the message remains relevant".

On Twitter South Africans criticised the reporter and eNCA for the lack of fact-checking.

"Terribly disappointed Nickolaus Bauer that no fact checking happened, just sensational race baiting in a racially divided country. Not cool," said Tracey Shaw.

"At eNCA we have always prided ourselves on our commitment to truth and accurate reporting," says Mapi Mhlangu.

"Our guiding principle at eNCA has always been that reportage which does not meet the channel's stringent editorial standards cannot go on air, and therefore also cannot appear online."

"Reportage is not the same as opinion and we have consistently signaled the difference between these aspects of eNCA's work, both on television and across its online platform."

Mapi Mhlangu says eNCA is "dealing with Nickolaus Bauer's conduct internally. Until this process is complete, we will not be drawn further on this issue."

eNCA isn't a stranger to social media controversy that the channel's on-air talent caused.

In 2012 the then sports anchor Lance Witten was abruptly suspended after hurtful and inappropriate tweets following out-of-line and insensitive death tweet jokes after the Linkin Park concert structure collapse tragedy in Cape Town.

After dismal day and timeslot moves that drove away millions, SABC finally backstracks to return Zaziwa to 7:30pm on weekdays from 15 November.

After dismal day and timeslot moves for its once hot Zaziwa show that drove millions of viewers away from the SABC1, the SABC is finally backtracking and will be restoring Zaziwa to where it originally worked - on a weekday at 19:30.

Zaziwa will return to the SABC1 programming line-up from 15 November at 19:30 - the same timeslot but on Wednesdays, not Thursdays like before.

"We have made a conscious effort to move Zaziwa to Wednesday, as the environment that we have built on Sunday - and has already shown returns, intentionally did not make room for other formats other than local drama," says Sane Zondi, SABC1 programming manager.

"We believe Zaziwa will be a complimentary offer on the existing entertainment line-up on Wednesdays."

The return to a semblance of normality for Zaziwa comes exactly a year after the SABC decided to mess with the hugely popular show that used to pull between 3.5 and 4 million viewers to the public broadcaster before millions abandoned the show following inexplicable timeslot and day changes that saw the audience erode.

SABC1 programming executives decided to uproot Zaziwa and to move it to Thursdays at 21:00, but in October 2016 backtracked at the very last minute.

For a short while, it seemed as if Zaziwa was safe.

Then in February 2017 the SABC ripped Zaziwa from the schedule and inexplicably transplanted it to Sunday nights at 20:30 - a lifestyle television "death slot" where, as predicted, viewers abandoned the show by the millions.

In August 2017 there was even more shame for the show when SABC1 channel head Clara Nzima quietly decided to dump Zaziwa from the schedule entirely to make space for yet another old rerun of Shaka Zulu, and to bring Zaziwa back in a few months' time.

Nobody told a flabbergasted Pearl Modiadie that her show is off the schedule and off the air, with the Zaziwa presenter who had to hear from the media and not the SABC that Zaziwa has abruptly been shelved from its struggling Sunday evening timeslot.

Now Zaziwa is coming back to SABC1 and its erstwhile 19:30 timeslot, just on a weekday that's a day earlier than what it always used to be.

BBC Worldwide to stop commissioning original content for its channels like BBC Earth and BBC Brit seen on DStv in South Africa and across Africa.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, is reportedly ending the commissioning of original content for its set of international BBC channels like BBC Earth and BBC Brit seen on for instance MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa and Africa, with BBC Worldwide that has started firing commissioning editors as part of the process.

Deadline on Tuesday first reported about BBC Worldwide's overhauled channel strategy for its BBC channels that includes a cutback on the commissioning on original content for channels like BBC Earth (DStv 184) and BBC Brit (DStv 120).

While in 2017 BBC Brit and BBC Earth for instance broadcast over 50 hours of originally commissioned content, that is now going to be completely eliminated.

BBC Worldwide's channels will now be filled with existing programming that's already being distributed by BBC Worldwide, like Planet Earth II for instance.

People out of jobs so far already are London-based commissioning editors like Hannah Demidowicz who has been with BBC Worldwide since 2014 and Kirsty Hanson who joined BBC Worldwide in 2015.

A BBC Worldwide spokesperson said in a statement that "our global network of branded services has grown and evolved since 2014 - with their commissioning strategies also adapting to best fit their content needs."

"As a result, much of the resource put into delivering global factual entertainment has been redirected towards meeting a growing demand for formats and factual entertainment that can be localized".

BBC Earth is available in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Canada and India.

BBC Brit is available in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Nordic territories.

Talk show host Wendy Williams faints, takes a fall on live television as she suffers heat exhaustion on The Wendy Williams Show.

In a shocking scene on live television, the American talk show host Wendy Williams (53) in her Statue of Liberty Halloween costume fainted and fell on the set of The Wendy Williams Show.

The shocked studio audience of The Wendy Williams Show didn't know how to react as some started screaming when Wendy Williams, looked dazed and confused, slurred words and struggled to speak, after which she collapsed on set.

For the latest episode, that South African viewers will be able to see on BET (DStv 129) on Wednesday, Wendy Williams was dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume, designed by Ceasar Galindo,complete with a green wig, a sparkly gown, green copper heels and a sequined dress.

In past years Wendy Williams always said she hated to dress up for Halloween and doesn't like the American holiday.

At the beginning of a new segment about 48 minutes through the hour long episode, Wendy Williams started to look unsure on her feet, wobbled and didn't seem to know what to say as she stood behind a plastic podium and was ready for the "How You Doin’ Halloween Costume Contest" segment.

"We do it every year. It's always a lot of fun. Let's get started. Our first caress…."

That's when Wendy Williams, slurring her words, got a dazed look in the eyes, before stepping back and collapsing as production crew were seen rushing to her aid and audience members scream.

After another abrupt break Wendy said "That was not a stunt. I overheated and did pass out, but I'm a champ and I'm back."

In a statement Wendy Williams Show producers say, "Wendy is feeling much better. She overheated because of her heavy costume, makeup, and lights.  She was able to finish the show in true Wendy spirit. She will address the incident on tomorrow’s show."

Here is the scary live TV moment:

SABC strike action to hit the public broadcaster from Thursday; unions give SABC two blackout options: do you want black or colour bars when programmes or signals go off air?

Unprecedented SABC strike action will hit the struggling South African public broadcaster from Thursday 2 November at 06:00 in the morning, after trade unions Bemawu and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) made good on its threat of last week to strike and on Monday served the SABC with a notice to embark on a protected strike.

SABC staffers getting ready to strike from Thursday are giving the SABC two options: Do you want black or colour bars used when SABC signals or programmes go off air due to work stoppage?

The rolling strike action, if not averted by the new permanent SABC board, will inflict more damage on the severely battered SABC.

The SABC that is once again hovering on the brink of financial collapse without a cash-injection of R3 billion from the government, is now facing looming strike action.

SABC staffers demand a 10% pay hike - far higher than South Africa's 6% inflation. 

SABC staffers also demand a bonus 13th salary check in December despite the non-performing SABC posting a loss of R977 million. Bonuses are usually paid to reward good performance.

The SABC "offers" a 0% salary increase.

Hannes du Buisson, Bemawu president told Radio 702 that the freelancers which the SABC usually would rely on to do extra work in the case of a strike "has been ill-treated by the SABC to the extent that a number of them has taken the SABC to the CCMA."

"The SABC would most probably be able to most probably broadcast all of the repeats from a hundreds years ago that the public has seen a thousands times. Whether the SABC would be able to deliver news and current affairs is a different thing".
The SABC has been plagued by bad management, bad managerial decisions and upheaval at top executive and board level, with the government's Special Investigative Unit (SIU) currently conducting a wide-ranging probe into corruption, mismanagement and several dodgy contracts at the public broadcaster stretching back several years. 

The trade unions on Friday agreed to let the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) try and mediate the wage dispute, but that seems to have failed.

"This is a serious concern for us," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told SABC News, the only person who was interviewed on-air on SABC News (DStv 404) on Monday night, with no representatives from Bemawu or CWU who appeared.

"It was a surprise this afternoon when all of a sudden - before we could even go back and give a feedback - we already then get a notice for a strike,"said Kaizer Kganyago

"We said to them: You know our financial situation as an organisation. Can we then discuss these issues?"

Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC "is surprised" at the planned strike action.

Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC is "not going to negotiate in newspapers. We are not going to negotiate on television. We are going to negotiate in a negotiating room."

If strike action hits, Kaizer Kganyago says the SABC "will make everything in our power to make sure that the programmes appear on radio and on television as planned".

Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC "still owes a lot of people a lot of money".

SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini on a statement issued by the SABC said the SABC had "noted with concern a notice to go on strike by employees affiliated to Bemawu and CWU over salary increases".

"The major priorities which emerged were the need to stabilise the financial situation and staff morale. Despite significant progress by the interim board in cutting the losses it inherited, the SABC still carries more debts than it can pay," said Bongumusa Makhathini.

"The SABC board is committed to working closely with the unions and all employees to ensure that the SABC is brought back to its former strength."

"We will uphold proper governance procedures in our interactions with the unions. It is common knowledge that the SABC is going through a financial crisis and that we have applied for a government guarantee that will, if approved, come with conditions, which we will have to adhere to."

"Amongst the things the board is looking at, are other concrete steps towards the financial stability of the corporation. The public should rest assured that programming, both on radio and TV, would be transmitted as planned," said Bongumusa Makhathini.

e.tv follows FOX Networks Group Africa and also stocks up on Turkish telenovelas like Fatmagul and Matter of Respect.

e.tv is following the lead of FOX Networks Group Africa and is also stocking up on Turkish telenovelas, having acquired shows like Fatmagul and Matter of Respect.

FOX Networks Group Africa has been first in acquiring and programming Turkish telenovelas for the South African and African audiences, with FOX Life (DStv 126 / StarSat 133) that has started airing Heartbeat that will be followed by others.

The e.tv Turkish telenovelas deal comes after it signed a distribution deal with Kanal D International, the sales arm of the Turkish TV channel Kanal D.

There's been no announcement or statement from e.tv regarding the deal, or a stating date, or the channel allocation for the Turkish telenovelas.

House of Cards cancelled at Netflix, production abruptly suspended after Kevin Spacey, 'now gay', responds to allegations of being a sexual predator.

American presidential drama House of Cards got abruptly cancelled by Netflix and production of the 6th season currently being filmed abruptly suspended, with the news coming after actor Kevin Spacey, now gay, responded to allegations against him as a sexual predator.

Kevin Spacey decided to say he's gay after actor Anthony Rapp seen in the sister Netflix show Star Trek: Discovery, accused Kevin Spacey of pushing him onto a bed, climbing on top of him and laying down on him when he was 14 years old in 1986.

Anthony Rapp pushed Kevin Spacey off of him and ran to the bathroom.

In a bizarre public statement Kevin Spacey decided to both say that he's now "choosing to live as a gay man" - announcing a long-know Hollywood insiders' secret - but also refusing to admit to Anthony Rapp's accusation, rather saying "if I did what he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour".

If Kevin Spacey did what Anthony Rapp claims, then Kevin Spacey's actions are not that of "inappropriate drunken behaviour" but of a sex predator and abuser.

In a statement Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital said they're "deeply troubled" by the sexual harassment claims against Kevin Spacey who is also an executive producer of House of Cards.

"In response to last night's revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time."

In another statement, House of Cards announced that production has been suspended indefinitely after the sex predator allegations surfaced.

"MRC and Netflix have decided to suspend production on House of Cards season six, until further notice, to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew."

In South Africa and across Africa House of Cards is not shown on Netflix but on M-Net (DStv 101) and the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Showmax.

The 6th and final season of House of Cards, currently in production will be broadcast in 2018.

The now extremely damaged show was one of Netflix's most successful series. House of Cards won 53 Primetime Emmys since it started in 2013, including a Golden Globe win in 2015 for Kevin Spacey for Best Actor in a drama series.

It's now very likely that Netflix will cancel the film Gore, set to star Kevin Spacey, about the author Gore Vidal, as Netflix will move try to swiftly distance itself as far as possible from the accused sexual predator.

DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 felt 'less' than before - is the incompetent publicity around it to blame for the dull-and-dead feeling?

You won't be wrong if you felt that last week's TV market, DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 was somehow smaller and "less" than in previous years, but - and this is just a personal reflection - the PR and publicity for and around it, is honestly as shit bad as can be.

DISCOP Johannesburg that was started in 2012 is supposed to grow and get bigger, but 2017 felt like a flat ... well, failure would be too harsh a word, but "flat" would definitely be appropriate.

To comment a lot about it would be giving DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 more exposure than it deserves, but it is amazing that a TV market for Africa does so little effort in actually trying to get media attention before and during it.

The DISCOP publicity seems totally incompetent and wayward as far as the media is concerned, and as if DISCOP organisers and those responsible for publicity are clueless as to who the media are, and what their needs are.

Important to note: It's not supposed to be like this, and elsewhere it measurably is better. But DISCOP doesn't seem to care, which is apparently why things are they way they are.

This year's DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 from a media, reporting and publicity perspective, in my opinion was a downright mess, and I blame the publicists who don't know the press, who send out inane "one size must fit all" releases without really caring who they're sending it to, don't know who to send what to, and don't respond to media enquiries with what's required.

Just one personal case in point: More than a week before DISCOP 2017 started on 25 October, a DISCOP publicist reached out, asking me if I would you be interested in attending?

Like last year I said I'm not even based in Johannesburg.

I asked for something like a basic press release or information about what channel and content providers will be at DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 and that I will do a report about that.

I was told I'd be send a list and info.

Well, days after DISCOP 2017 ended there's been nothing. And there likely won't be anything.

Trashy and incompetent PR and publicity is damaging DISCOP. If you want proper buy in from media covering something like DISCOP, you actually need to have proper focus and put in real work.

Otherwise you end up with the dull as dead nonsense that marked DISCOP 2017.

Will DISCOP 2018 be a wash-rinse-repeat? We'll see.

E! Entertainment's E! News pulls correspondent Ken Baker off air indefinitely after shocking sexual harassment claims.

E! Entertainment's E! News has pulled correspondent Ken Baker (47) off air indefinitely following serious sexual harassment allegations.

Former E! News staffers have come forward with shocking sexual harassment claims against Ken Baker, who himself just weeks ago appeared on-air on E! Entertainment (DStv 124) to report his disgust and the shameful behaviour of the sexual predator executive Harvey Weinstein.

Ken Baker frequently appears on E! News on E! as well as on E!'s digital social media series Live from E!.

According to The Wrap that first reported Ken Baker being taken off air, one former E! News staffer said that Ken Baker in 2012 called her into his dimly lit office and asked her to sit on his lap.

Another female E! News worker at the NBCUniversal pay-TV channel said she was kissed by Ken Baker in 2011 without consent.

According to her, Ken Baker repeatedly asked her for sex and in 2015 send her a message on her phone, saying he wants to give her "a Tiffany dildo with Ken Baker engraved on the shaft".

The former worker shared a photo of Ken Baker's message to her.

Ken Baker that didn't deny the sexual harassment claims, in a statement says "I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache."

"I take them very seriously. I care deeply for people’s feelings and sincerely live in a way that treats people with dignity and respect."

E! Entertainment in a statement says "E! has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity. We take all complaints of misconduct seriously, and thoroughly investigate all allegations of harassment."

M-Net goes Dancing with the Stars SA for 2018 as it takes over the floor format show Strictly Come Dancing SA from SABC3.

M-Net is going dancing and is getting ready to cha-cha Dancing with the Stars SA to television.

M-Net has picked up and taken over the floor reality format show Strictly Come Dancing SA that was on SABC3 and will be relaunching it in early 2018 under the American title, Dancing with the Stars SA.

DStv Media Sales is now looking for advertisers and sponsors to come aboard Dancing with the Stars SA, set for a 2018 debut on the pay-TV broadcaster, as the latest longtime show that has been associated with the public broadcaster that is moving over to pay-television in South Africa.

The 8th season of Strictly Come Dancing SA concluded in 2015 with SABC3 that didn't pick up further seasons the past two years.

In response to a media enquiry from TVwithThinus after spotting a public advert looking for sponsors for the show, M-Net says the pay-TV broadcaster "is currently in the process of contracting a number of exciting new local productions for 2018".

"We are very excited to confirm that the hit BBC Worldwide format Dancing with the Stars is indeed one of the series that we will be producing in the new year."

"For now, we are unable to provide any more information around this global format, but we will be making further announcements over the course of the next few weeks."

M-Net is deliberately rebranding Strictly – the format's British title – and will relaunch the show under the American moniker in order to break the viewer brand name association with SABC3.

While further seasons of the British version, Strictly Come Dancing UK, has been moved and since mid-October will now be unspooling on BBC Worldwide Africa’s BBC Brit (DStv 120) in South Africa and across the continent, the premise of programme of the locally-produced format show will remain exactly the same.

Sequined South African celebrities will be dancing with experienced partners as an in-studio audience looks on, as the well-heeled all vy weekly for the glittering mirror ball trophy in spectacled dance drama that's broadcast live, while viewers at home get to vote.

It's not clear whether Rapid Blue productions as the local format rights holder that was responsible for multiple seasons of Strictly Come Dancing SA on SABC3 will be producing Dancing for M-Net, but the pay-TV broadcaster wants the show to up the production values, wow-factor and the dance drama.

It will for instance be the first time that South African viewers will be able to see the dancing celebrities and their ballroom outfits in Strictly, now Dancing, in high definition (HD) for instance – something that's not possible on the SABC’s still analogue-run TV channels.  

As far as the on-screen talent and contestants are concerned, M-Net will also ditch the SABC personalities and presenters that’s been a mainstain of the show on SABC3.

M-Net will repopulate the glitter floor franchise with new presenters and a menagerie of M-Net stars who are associated with the range of M-Net packaged TV channels across MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

HGTV channel added to DStv for 3 weeks as a programming block on Travel Channel from 6 November.

The HGTV channel, a home and lifestyle programmng TV channel is getting added to DStv but only for 3 weeks and in the form of a programming block on The Travel Channel from 6 November.

HGTV will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and DStv Family subscribers on channel 179 where The Travel Channel is broadcast.

HGTV will run from 6 to 26 November and will replace The Travel Channel during prime time between 18:00 and 23:00, and on weekends between 15:00 and 20:00 with American home and decor shows.

HGTV, that originally stood for "Home and Garden Television", will be competition for The Home Channel (DStv 176) from the Tiso Blackstar Group, that ironically has already been showing programming from HGTV like the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan, for years and will now also be on HGTV.

The HGTV prime time and weekend replacement on The Travel Channel is possibly a trial period, similar to when BET and other channels were first temporarily tested before added permanently.

The currently programming on The Travel Channel like Ultimate Braai Master, Bizarre Foods and Mysteries at the Museum will continue to be shown.

"HGTV is one of the most viewed channels for women in the United States, and we are excited to be bringing this popular content to South African audiences," says Phillip Luff, the managing director for Scripps Networks Interactive for the United Kingdom and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions.

"We are certain viewers will be inspired by HGTV, and come away with practical ideas to make their homes beautiful."

The HGTV programming block will bring viewers shows like Brothers Take New Orleans, Fixer Upper, Tiny House Hunters and Flip or Flop.

In Brothers Take New Orleans Jonathan and Drew Scott compete to remodel rundown homes.

In Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate rundown properties, as does Tarek and Christina El Moussa in Flip or Flop.

Anthony Bourdain trashes Scripps Networks' Food Network and Travel Channel: 'Must be hard to make Burger World or World's Best Roller Coasters year after year after year'.

The caustic chef and telenality Anthony Bourdain now seen on CNN International (DStv 401) was full of praise for CNN but totally trashed The Food Network (DStv 175) and The Travel Channel (DStv 179) from Scripps Networks from the stage at this weekend's Produced By Conference New York.

Although he didn't have to, Anthony Bourdain slammed The Food Network and The Travel Channel where he previously did TV shows like No Reservations, and he had no reservation in telling the public exactly what he thinks of these channels.

No doing Parts Unknown on CNN International, Anthony Bourdain pushed the butcher's knife in to the hilt, saying executives at Scripps Networks, The Food Network and The Travel Channel "have this perverse desire to undermine their brands and saw us as a way to do that".

"In the Food Network's case, to do penance for some of the utter shit they've been unloading for years," Anthony Bourdain said.

"And with The Travel Channel, it must be hard to make Burger World or World’s Best Roller Coasters year after year after year. We went in assuming the worst and knowing it was going to be war."

In South Africa and across Africa The Food Network and The Travel Channel are seen on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, packaged and distributed by Scripps Networks Interactive.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

MultiChoice Uganda joins growing list of African countries where MultiChoice is cutting the price of monthly DStv subscription fees.

MultiChoice Uganda is cutting the price of DStv Uganda subscriptions from 1 November 2017, following the lead of a growing number of African countries including Kenya, Zambia and Ghana where DStv already started to slash prices since August this year.

While DStv subscribers in South Africa have not seen any downward price adjustment to monthly subscription fees, DStv Uganda is now also lowering subscription fees across all its DStv bouquets from 1 November, saying it recognises that consumers are struggling.

MultiChoice Uganda's announcement of a price reduction comes a week after new pay-TV rival, Econet Media's Kwesé TV, officially launched in the Uganda market on 17 October.

The dramatic price reduction sees MultiChoice Uganda dropping monthly subscription fees in Uganda Shilling between 2.5% to a whopping 13.16%, with the price decrease getting bigger from the top to the lower-tiered bouquets.

Interestingly, Econet Media's Kwesé TV - although meant for any pay-TV consumer - is specifically aimed at the lower pay-TV market segment, which is where DStv Uganda has now announced the biggest price cuts.

DStv Premium is dropping 2.52% to Ugx 280,000, DStv Compact Plus is dropping 5.61% to Ugx 180,000, DStv Compact is dropping 5.43% to Ugx 115,000, DStv Family is dropping 10.11% to Ugx 60,000 and DStv Access is dropping 13.16% to Ugx 33,000.

"We recognise that our customers are living in tough economic times and want to reward them for their ongoing loyalty and support," says Charles Hamya, MultiChoice Uganda's general manager in announcing the DStv price cut for the country.

Making the announcement at a press conference at MultiChoice Uganda's office in Kololo, Uganda, Charles Hamya said "We want to do our part by adjusting the price of our DStv packages through making them more affordable while adding more value at the same time."

"The majority of our input costs are in US dollars and we hope we won't experience any further currency devaluations or other unexpected increases in costs for the remainder of the year. We will continue to review pricing from time to time, taking into account the economic conditions of our operations."

DStv Uganda subscribers will see their monthly subscription fees drop from 1 November. 

In addition DStv Uganda subscribers on the DStv Compact and DStv Compact Plus bouquets will get to see all of the SuperSport channels available to the top-tiered DStv Premium subscription for the first week of 2018.

DStv Access and DStv Family subscribers will get to see all of the SuperSport channels available to DStv Compact subscribers for the first week of 2018.

Unions to serve the SABC on Monday with strike notification; leaving the CCMA Monday and Tuesday to try and mediate a wage agreement before staffers down tools on Wednesday.

On Monday SABC staffers will hand-over a notification giving the South African public broadcaster 48 hours notice of an intent to strike from Wednesday if the CCMA fails to mediate some kind of an agreement between the SABC board and unions who demand a 10% pay hike and a bonus.

The SABC that is once again hovering on the brink of financial collapse without a cash-injection of R3 billion from the government, is facing debilitating strike action in the run-up to the festive season, with workers demanding a 10% pay hike and a guarantee that they will be paid a bonus 13th salary check in December despite the non-performing SABC posting a loss of R977 million.

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who are demanding the 10% salary increase and the December bonus, say that SABC staffers will go on a protected strike if their demands are not met.

The SABC has been plagued by bad management, bad managerial decisions and upheaval at top executive and board level, with the government's Special Investigative Unit (SIU) currently conducting a wide-ranging probe into corruption, mismanagement and several dodgy contracts at the public broadcaster stretching back several years. 

The trade unions on Friday agreed to let the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) try and mediate the wage dispute, but still plans on serving the SABC with a strike notification in Monday.

That gives the CMMA Monday and Tuesday to try and reach some kind of settlement deal between union representatives and the new permanent SABC board, before rolling strike action could hit the SABC from Wednesday.

The interim SABC board told union that no salary increase for SABC staffers was budgeted for, with the beleaguered South African public broadcaster deep in the red. The The Auditor-General called the SABC "commercially insolvent" with the SABC board "offering" SABC staffers a 0% pay increase.

Trade union Bemawu says serving its strike notification on Monday and giving the CCMA two days to try and get a wage agreement and to "afford the parties to meet in one last final attempt to avoid a full blown strike  at the public broadcaster is the correct one".

According to Bemawu 89% of members voted in favour of a SABC strike.

Strike action possibly soon at struggling SABC as staffers at the 'commercially insolvent' public broadcaster demands a 10% pay hike.

Strike action could come soon to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, as staffers become no-shows after the new permanent SABC board refused a 10% salary hike for SABC workers at the cash-strapped South African public broadcaster awaiting another R3 billion government bailout.

The Auditor-General called the SABC “commercially insolvent”, with Africa's largest public broadcaster posted yet another annual loss of R977 million at the end of September. 

Meanwhile the SABC is awaiting yet another government bailout since its last one in 2009 of R1.4 billion.

The SABC that is once again hovering on the brink of financial collapse without a cash-injection, asked the treasury for R3 billion that will likely again be in the form of a government-guaranteed bank loan, in order to remain afloat, although Treasury has not given any indication yet whether it will approve another bailout.

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who demand a 10% salary increase and a guarantee of the payment of a 13th bonus cheque payment in December, say SABC staffers will be ready to down tools as part of a protected strike that could happen from as early as Sunday.

The SABC has been plagued by bad management, bad managerial decisions and upheaval at top executive and board level, with the government's Special Investigative Unit (SIU) currently conducting a wide-ranging probe into corruption, mismanagement and several dodgy contracts at the public broadcaster stretching back several years.

Unions say staffers "have been subjected to threats and fear, unilateral restructurings, change of work practices and shift roster, appointments without advertising positions and a zero-percentage increase".

By Friday morning the SABC has not yet been served with a notice from staff about a strike.

The Mwasa union is against a strike and says "it is amply obvious that the SABC is in a bad state financially, operationally, in terms of consumer and business confidence", saying that "the call for a strike is curious under these circumstances noting in particular the growing incapacity of the national purse to fund expenditure".

"There is no automatic right to a salary increment," says Mwasa. "A demand for a salary increment must not be entertained simply because it is habit to demand and receive."

"A demand must be justified, justifiable, affordable on a proven sustainability basis going forward. SABC employees have repeatedly received above inflation increases primarily because the reckless leadership of recent had used 'organised labour' on a rent-a-crowd-basis and dispensed with crumbs of patronage which were received without question."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Leleti Khumalo leaving Uzalo, Sihle Ndaba out too as SABC1's KwaMashu-set soap charts a new direction for its 4th season starting February 2018.

Leleti Khumalo is leaving South Africa's most top rated TV show, with actress Sihle Ndaba out as well at Uzalo when the 4th season of the hit prime time soap will debut in February 2018 on SABC1.

The veteran thesp who've played the character of the KwaMashu matriarch MaNzuza said it's time to move on but Ndaba who played Smangele, said nothing.

Both characters will appear in the upcoming 4th season until the 6th episode.

The last day on set for Leleti Khumalo and Sihle Ndaba will be 15 December.

The hugely successful, on-location shot show is both the most watched show on SABC1 as well as the overall most watched show on South Africa, drawing 9.23 million viewers in September.

That also makes contract negotiations more difficult, since stars on hit shows want to feel that they're properly and adequately rewarded for turning stories into a success and reeling viewers in.

It's not clear what led to the exit of the actors and if it was because of re-upping contract negotiations for the 4th season possibly failed, but the show says "we have a clear stance where our onscreen talent is concerned".

"I am grateful for the opportunity, and the platform Uzalo provided for me to bond with the viewers, and my fans who have been a part of my journey over the years," says Leleti Khumalo in an exit statement.

"Whilst this has not been as easy decision for me as an artist, it is time for me to move on and grow professionally in other areas.”

The show's producers, Stained Glass TV, says Uzalo will continue to deliver "exciting plotlines" and will bring in some fresh faces.

"Leleti and Sihle have been such an incredible part of the Uzalo story and journey; they will always be part of the family," says Pepsi Pokane, co-owner of the production company.

"It has been a joy to work with them, and alongside the SABC we created the platform where they were able to showcase their talent so captivatingly."

"Parting ways with actors of such caliber is always going to be bittersweet, but we have no doubt they will continue to work their magic on the new trails they’ll be embarking on."

"We have a clear stance where our onscreen talent is concerned. We've always been committed to including fresh, new talent, while ensuring we had some seasoned, established players in our cast."

"The combination has worked perfectly for Uzalo and delivered results that’s kept viewers enthralled. We’ve got auditions coming up, and will be bringing on some amazing actors."

7de Laan's 'Oubaas' gets a makeover as actor-director Pierre van Pletzen resurfaces on kykNET soap Getroud met Rugby as a new character.

The tousled side-hair are gone. So is the moustache. 

Oubaas got a big makeover and looks strikingly different - as the actor and director Pierre van Pletzen is getting ready to make his appearance as a brand-new character in kykNET's (DStv 144) Afrikaans soap Getroud met Rugby from early 2018.

After he got unceremoniously fired in June by Danie Odendaal Productions producing the SABC's Afrikaans weekday soap 7de Laan on SABC2, Pierre van Pletzen was snapped up for his acting and directing services by several TV productions doing shows for rival pay-TV broadcaster M-Net's Afrikaans language kykNET channel.

This year Pierre van Pletzen started appearing in kykNET's comedy Phil 101 and the reality show Die Ooms se Band on VIA (DStv 147) while the number of his 7de Laan scenes earlier this year dramatically got downsized and dwindled until he got his marching orders.

Some of the other older 7de Laan actors who were also abruptly changed from permanent to on-call status, remain with the show.

Now the widely respected and veteran artist Pierre van Pletzen has found new professional life both on-screen and off - just like during his heydey on 7de Laan when he was allowed to do more than one job at the same production before the rules were unilaterally changed due to SABC mandated orders.

From 15 January Pierre van Pletzen will make his first appearance on-screen on kykNET's Afrikaans soap Getroud met Rugby as a new character.

The clean-shaven character - complete with gold chain around the neck - is light years removed from the curmudgeonly, bumbling, old-man jersey wearing caretaker of The Heights where Pierre played a character decades older than his real age.

Pierre van Pletzen - who said that he won't set a foot back on the 7de Laan set just after an awkward press statement from the show that said it was looking forward to the character returning in the future when the news of his exit was announced - told Beeld newspaper last week that he is shocked about the latest in absentia twist for the Oubaas character.

It has now been revealed in 7de Laan through other characters, that Oubaas has secretly been carrying on an extra-marital affair with another woman for years, something that Pierre van Pletzen said is a "slap in the face of Oubaas, for the public, and for me as an actor".

"Why would you suddenly change the most dependable character, who loved his wife for 17 and a half years, who praised her and ate her bad food, in a philanderer?"  

Besides his on-screen role in Getroud met Rugby, Pierre van Pletzen is also heading up the directing team at the new kykNET comedy, Die Kasteel (The Castle) with Josh Rous and Andre Odendaal

Episodes of Die Kasteel is currently being recorded at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg in front of a live studio audience as part of a 26-episode first season order.

Die Kasteel, also starting in January 2018 on kykNET is produced by Rous House Productions.

Starring Dorette Potgieter and Hannes Muller as former beauty queen Tina-Marie and her husband Eckard, a high society couple decides to turn their "castle" - their mansion in the posh suburb of Waterkloof - into a boutique hotel due to financial problems, where "Fawlty Towers" type shenanigans ensue as they try to run an accomodation establishment.

Disney Channel to make history with first gay main character as Cyrus Goodman in tween show Andi Mack is set for a gay storyline.

In a dramatic first for The Disney Channel (DStv 303), it will have a main character come out as gay in the tween show Andi Mack in a move that could spell potential trouble for MultiChoice's DStv and the kids channel in Africa.

The Disney Channel, available in South Africa and throughout Africa on DStv's satellite pay-TV platform, will soon break new ground with its first gay storyline and a main character going through a journey of self-discovery of his sexuality.

In Andi Mack, the 13-year old main character Cyrus Goodman, played by Joshua Rush (15) will be coming out to his friends as gay, starting the storyline from the first episode of Andi Mack's second season.

Subsequent episodes will follow Cyrus' ongoing story, that will include wrestling with how to tell his new girlfriend Iris that he is actually falling in love with Andi's boyfriend, Jonah (Asher Angel).

"Andi Mack is a story about tweens figuring out who they are," says The Disney Channel in a statement announcing the news.

"Creator Terri Minsky, the cast and everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it's appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity."

The Walt Disney Company says "Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children."

"For more than 90 years, The Walt Disney Company has been home to some of the world's most beloved characters and cherished stories."

"The Disney brand has always been inclusive, with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate the differences that make our characters uniquely wonderful in their own way."

"We constantly strive to live up to that legacy by continuing to create and share compelling storylines from our studios and media networks that entertain with inspirational and aspirational themes and reflect the incredibly rich diversity of human experience."

The move could rile DStv subscribers in Africa where countries like Nigeria and Kenya have increasingly banned several general entertainment and kids shows they say are promoting a "pro gay" agenda.

These African nations over the past few months ordered MultiChoice Africa to immediately remove content deemed offensive from several carried TV channels - including Disney's Disney XD channel for instance, as well as shows on Turner Broadcasting Africa's Cartoon Network and Viacom International Media Networks Africa's Nickelodeon.

Since several of these channels have only one channel feed into Africa, the removal and banning of specific shows and content mandated by one country, means that it impacts the viewing and content available on linear broadcast channels to the entire sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa.

Jeff Glor named the new permanent anchor of the CBS Evening News in America.

CBS News has named the veteran correspondent and regular and longtime weekday and weekend anchor fill-in Jeff Glor (42) as the next permanent anchor of CBS Evening News.

CBS News president David Rhodes made the announcement.

Jeff Glor has been with CBS News for a decade and will take over from Anthony Mason who was the temporary fill-in after Scott Pelley was abruptly pushed out a few months ago.

"Jeff is a thoughtful, probing journalist with the versatility to anchor in any circumstance - from daily reporting to the most significant events of our time," says David Rhodes in a statement.

"In his more than 10 years at CBS News, Jeff has earned the trust of viewers and his colleagues. He represents the best journalistic values and traditions that will carry the Evening News into a digital future."

"CBS News has an extraordinary history that is meaningful to so many," says Jeff Glor in the statement. "I am beyond grateful to continue to play a role in its future."

The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor will launch later this year and will continue to be produced by CBS News executive editor and CBS Evening News executive producer Steve Capus.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

'BBC WORLDWIDE ARE C****' - Angry Doctor Who writer slams BBC Worldwide and publisher Panini in a vulgar, hidden magazine message.

An angry and upset writer for the BBC's Doctor Who Magazine, published by Panini, has worked in a hidden, vulgar message slamming Panini and BBC Worldwide.

Using the first letter of every sentence in a one-page article, the disgruntled writer spelled out the sentence "PANINI AND BBC WORLDWIDE ARE C****"

At the end of the article in the latest issue that is currently on sale and that was written by The Watcher - who is very likely no longer employed by the Doctor Who Magazine - he writes: "IN A NUTSHELL: If you look hard enough, there's always something hidden in plain sight".

Clever readers did notice and figured it out yesterday, when they checked the first letter of every sentence that appear in the entire body copy of the article.

The online version of the article has now been changed. There's been no comment so far from either Panini or BBC Worldwide.

BBC Worldwide runs and distributes channels like BBC First, BBC Brit, BBC Earth and CBeebies to pay-TV operators like MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in South Africa and Africa.

In South Africa Doctor Who is broadcast on BBC First (DStv 119).

Jodie Whittaker will make her appearance as the Thirteenth Doctor - the first woman in the Brit sci-fi show's run in the Christmas day special entitled "Twice Upon a Time" on the BBC in the United Kingdom as the final episode of the 10th season.

It's not yet known when that episode will be broadcast on BBC First.

A starting date for the new 11th season has not yet been announced.

Kardashian clan signs a new 3-year contract worth just under $100 million; show will remain in E! Entertainment until 2020.

Keep the K koming: Reality television's first family, the Kardashians from Calabasas has signed a new 3-year contract with E! Entertainment (DStv 124) worth just under $100 million, keeping the show in the air until at least 2020.

The show was last renewed in 2015.

Website The Blast broke the news late last night of the new Kardashian deal pegged at $150 million, although industry insiders and American trade publications all say its closer to just under $100 million. E! confirmed the contract extension but didn’t want to reveal an amount.

The K clan will decide for themselves how the money is split between the various Kardashians appearing on the show.

Although ratings for Keeping Up with the Kardashians keeps falling – now on the air for a decade and 14 seasons – the show is still lucrative for E! with the various Kardashian members who continue to make news with their drama-filled lives.

E!, confirming the deal, says in a statement "We recently celebrated the milestone 10th anniversary of Keeping Up With the Kardashians on E!. We have aired 13 wildly successful seasons of the franchise as well as 11 spin-offs, and season 14 is off to a strong start."

"We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Kardashians and they remain an important part of the E! family. We look forward to continuing our collaboration for years to come." 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Star Trek Discovery on Netflix renewed for a second season; will likely only debut in 2018, episode order unknown.

"I sense renewal. I sense it coming now."  Star Trek: Discovery seen on CBS All Access in America, and through a global licensing deal on Netflix in the rest of the world, has been renewed for a second season.

Thanks to the international licensing deal, it's actually Netflix that pays for the production cost of the series filmed in Vancouver, Canada.

The second season's episodes of Star Trek: Discovery will likely only start to unspool in 2019.

The second half of the first season will start in January 2018.

No episode order for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery was announce with the debut of the first season that was marred by several production delays, that saw the date being pushed back several times.

"In just six episodes, Star Trek: Discovery has driven subscriber growth, critical acclaim and huge global fan interest for the first premium version of this great franchise," says Marc DeBevoise, CBS Interactive president and chief operating officer (COO) in a statement announcing the renewal.

"The series has a remarkable creative team and cast who have demonstrated their ability to carry on the Star Trek legacy. We are extremely proud of what they've accomplished and are thrilled to be bringing fans a second season of this tremendous series."

'M-Net does not tolerate racism," says pay-TV broadcaster in the wake of shockingly racist 'White, English' TV exec job listing.

"M-Net does not tolerate racism."

So says the pay-TV broadcaster in the wake of a shockingly racist and "abhorrent advertisement" for a "specifically White, English" commissioning editor that a recruitment agency placed on behalf of M-Net and that saw the contracted out Ambit Recruitment that subcontracted its work to Kandhi Consulting both immediately getting the axe.

M-Net says its still in the dark as to why Kandhi Consulting changed the advert that damaged M-Net's reputation, after a TV executive job listing surfaced that was "specifically looking for a White, English speaking commissioning editor".

M-Net called the racist advertisement that appeared "abhorrent" and moved swiftly to distance itself from the ad's language that it said was done without M-Net approval.

The Randburg pay-TV broadcaster tells TVwithThinus "we don't know why the sub-contracted agency changed the advert. We sent them a legal letter and we are still awaiting their response".

After the racism scandal the fired recruitment agency has taken full responsibility for their part in the shocking mistake.

"They also apologised unreservedly," says M-Net. "We would like to re-iterate that M-Net does not tolerate racism and we take incidents such as these very seriously. We would never be associated with any advertisement which only invites white applicants, as this is contrary to our recruitment policy, our values and the Constitution."

M-Net was asked what the company is doing differently and changing because of the ugly racist job recruitment ad.

"Our talent acquisition team in our human resources function are reviewing and tightening up our engagement process with recruitment agencies to ensure that incidents like this don’t happen again," says M-Net.

"The talent acquisition team is responsible to drive the recruitment process for M-Net and always ensures that the company gets the best talent from all walks of life. They only use external recruitment consultants as a supplementary service, and this process will be tightened further".

M-Net says the racist job advertisement has been removed from all platforms by the relevant suppliers.

Two big African award shows - CNN International's one for journalists and Viacom Africa's one for artists - both scrapped for 2017.

Two of Africa's biggest awards shows - CNN and MultiChoice's prestigious one for African journalists and MTV Africa's one for musicians and achievers - have both been scrapped for the year and won't be taking place.

Both the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2017 from CNN International (DStv 401) that culminates in an awards show celebrating the best of pan-African journalism, and Viacom International Media Networks Africa's (VIMN Africa) 2017 MTV Africa Music Awards that celebrates African musicians and achievers, won't be taking place this year.

Both the CMAJAs and the MAMAs usually take place in October, and both CNN and MultiChoice, as well as Viacom Africa, say they remain committed to their respective competitions and glitzy award shows although both are taking a break.

It's sad news for the African continent's journalists and artists whose best work for 2016/2017 won't be recognised and celebrated.

Specific reasons for this year's no-shows have not been given by the organisers, leading to speculation that a lack of big and enough sponsors are to blame for the continent's creatives losing out.

CNN International and MultiChoice have called the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards the "most prestigious and respected award for journalists across the African continent", honouring the best in journalism.

The competition held over the past two decades have seen the number of entries grow rapidly every year as it fostered respect and understanding for journalists and their important work, something that's very often a dangerous and thankless job in Africa.

The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards also served as an incentive for various African nations to improve their press freedom laws as they vied to be a host country, gave valuable exposure to a country's local tourism as a large group of journalists from across the continent would annually descend on a specific country, and provided an economic boost for the host city putting up the awards show.

2017 would have marked the 22nd time that African journalists in print, online, radio and television across Africa would have entered this competition, with winners who get cash prizes and the overall winner getting the chance to visit CNN Headquarters in Atlanta and participating in the CNN Journalism Fellowship.

In a joint response CNN and MultiChoice Africa confirmed that the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards that took place in South Africa and various African countries over alternating years and broadcast on CNN International (DStv 401), is not happening again this year.

"CNN and MultiChoice are currently reviewing the format of the African Journalist Awards. We are committed to supporting and celebrating journalism across the continent, and we will share details as soon as we are ready," they said in a statement in response to a media enquiry.

The MTV Africa Music Awards that last year moved from Durban to Johannesburg for the first time and that have struggled to finally get the South African comedian Trevor Noah on stage as host for the awards show broadcast on MTV Base and e.tv, says the MAMAs needs collaboration from Africa's entertainment biz to work.

It means that this year's African music stars and those who made the most impact on youth culture on the African continent won't get their due from the MAMAs this year.

"At Viacom International Media Networks Africa we have been working to reinvent the MAMAs to create a deeper music experience that will be more immersive for our fans and partners in 2018," says VIMN Africa in response to a media enquiry.

"The campaign will continue to be fully reflective of the continent's great music and lifestyle that is shaping the continent."

"The MTV Africa Music Awards requires collaboration with the industry, partners and broadcasters to bring this world class event to life."

VIMN Africa says "it is important to emphasize that allthe great music that has emerged during the period from the last MAMAs and the next, will be recognised for accolades."

"Curtain call" for the Royalty Soapie Awards
After two years of not happening, South Africa's Royalty Soapie Awards also initially confused by announcing a "curtain call" - industry lingo meaning an end to things.

The PR company that issued the statement actually meant that the Royalty Soapie Awards is being revived for a 2018 awards show after it was last held in 2015.

The awards show celebrating South African TV operas and their production companies and that has been beset by problems in the past, will be taking place for a third time on 17 March 2018 at the Durban International Convention Centre, promising a "new and improved event" and "a night that will never be forgotten".

"We are excited to be back and the awards event promises to deliver more shimmer and shine than ever before," says Winnie Ntshaba, the Royalty Soapie Awards CEO.

The awards show said it's establishing the Royalty Soapie Foundation (RSF) to help young South Africans from poor communities and rural areas to gain skills in the country's film and TV industry.