Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023's 17th SAFTAs FULL WINNERS LIST: Netflix SA and kykNET the 2 big winners at the 17th South African Film and Television Awards.

Thinus Ferreira

Netflix SA and kykNET were the two biggest winners at 2023's 17th South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) on Saturday night with the streamer and the Afrikaans pay-TV channel scooping the lion's share of Golden Horns, respectively hauling home 19 and 15 of the statuettes.

Following virtual award presentations due to the Covid 19-pandemic, this year's black-and-gold-themed SAFTAs was the first one back with an in-person awards show after three years.

The in-person SAFTAs was a reset in more ways than one, with the awards show relocating back to Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg where the SAFTAs had taken place several years before, before it jumped to Sun City and even the Sandton Convention Centre.

The champagne-filled SAFTAs and its sprawling red carpet was once again a two-night event with technical awards handed out on Friday night in Gallagher's Hall 3. 

It was followed by the main awards show on Saturday night and televised on SABC3 and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) as a simulcast production with former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi and Lawrence Maleka as the co-hosts.

Netflix South Africa won 19 awards in total. Silverton Siege, produced by Pambilimedia, that scored 12 nominations, won six as the night's most-awarded film.

The third season of How to Ruin Christmas also on Netflix and produced by Burnt Onion Productions, won in five categories as the South African comedy series which took home the biggest haul.

Gaia, the first Afrikaans ecological thriller film produced by Film Initiative Africa, added four wins out of its nine nominations to kykNET's bumper crop of SAFTAs - the film that scooped the second-most prizes.

The Afrikaans comedy series Hotel on kykNET managed to snag four wins, with Tali's Joburg Diary on MultiChoice's Showmax streamer also winning four awards.

Besides Netflix's 19 wins and kykNET's 15, won 12 (including three for productions on its eVOD  video streaming service), while Showmax got 10, M-Net won 8, with Mzansi Magic and the SABC each snagging 6 awards in total.

The SAFTAs organisers also bestowed lifetime achiever awards on M-Net's Carte Blanche anchor and presenter Derek Watts who died last month, as well as the veteran and award-winning Afrikaans film director and cinematographer Koos Roets for their decades-long contributions to the TV and film industry.

TV soaps and telenovelas wise,'s Scandal!, produced by Ochre Media, snagged 4 wins including for Best TV soap and Most Popular TV soap which was a viewers' vote category, while M-Net's cancelled Legacy produced by Tshedza Pictures also won 4 awards including Best Telenovela. 

Tshedza Pictures' The River on Mzansi Magic and 1Magic, which also got cancelled, got shut out this year. After again getting 11 nominations this year just like last year, it only managed one win this time for Lawrence Maleka as best actor in a telenovela.

Netflix had the most-awarded TV drama series with Justice Served, produced by Meraki TV, that won three awards, including for best editing and with Morné Visser winning for best actor and Lerato Mvelase winning for best actress in a drama series.

Thobela Mayinje, acting CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), in a statement says it "congratulates all the winners for this year".

"You represent the best of the South African film and television industry. We are excited by all the films now showcasing in international festivals and markets. Feature films like Sihle Hlophe's Lobola, A Bride’s True Price?, an NFVF-funded film which also won an award today, showcases the depth of the South African film and television discourse and has been a conversation starter across the continent and the world since its release."

Here is the full winners list for the 17th SAFTAs:

Best achievement in sound: documentary
Kusasa (Tim Pringle Production, Optical Films, Cape Town TV)

Best achievement in editing: documentary
Kusasa (Joe Krenzer, Optical Films, Cape Town TV)

Best achievement in cinematography: documentary
Changemaker: Simphiwe Rorwana (Yolisa Qwabaza, TCI),

Best achievement in directing: documentary
Lobola, A Bride's True Price? (Sihle Hlophe, Passion Seed Communications), SABC1

Best documentary short
A Camera on my Lap (twospinningwheels)

Best made-for-TV documentary
Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star ( Storyscope), Netflix

Best documentary feature
Lobola, A Bride's True Price? (Passion Seed Communications), SABC1

Best children’s programme
Nick Music Africa (VIS Studios), Nickelodeon Africa

Best educational programme
MTV Shuga: What Makes A Man (Taung Film Studios), MTV Africa

Best factual programme
Rebounders: Grizelda Grootboom (Red Sugar Productions), SABC1

Best competition reality programme
Tropika Island of Treasure: All Stars (Cardova Productions), SABC3

Best structured soapie reality show
Life with Kelly Khumalo (GOAT Originals), Showmax

Best structured/docu-reality show
Sex in Afrikaans (Provoco), Showmax

Best youth programme
TREND (Green Planet Productions), kykNET

Best online content
Lunch with Hitler (Argento Holdings)

Best lifestyle programme
Homegrown Taste South Africa (Rapid Blue), BBC Lifestyle

Best current affairs programme
Mining Takedown, Carte Blanche (Combined Artistic Productions), M-Net

Best made-for-TV movie
Whatever it Takes (RHP International), eVOD

Best international format
Survivor SA: Return of the Outcasts (Afrokaans), M-Net

Best entertainment programme
Miss South Africa 2022 Live Finale (Black Swan Media), M-Net

Best variety show
Sunday Sexy Love (Media24), Mzansi Magic

Best achievement in make-up/hairstyling: TV comedy
How to Ruin Christmas (Silindile Dladla, Burnt Onion Productions), Netflix

Best achievement in wardrobe: TV comedy
Tali's Joburg Diary (Erin Simon, Sketchbook Studios), Showmax

Best achievement in sound: TV comedy
Hotel (Tim Pringle, Giles Heesom-Green, Melani Robertson, Nagvlug Films), kykNET

Best achievement in art direction: TV comedy
Hotel (Merishen Wessels, Nagvlug Films), kykNET

Best achievement in editing: TV comedy
How to Ruin Christmas (Bongi Malefo, Khulekani Zondi, Melanie Golden, Burnt Onion Productions), Netflix

Best achievement in scriptwriting: TV comedy
Tali's Joburg Diary (Julia Anastasopoulos, Ari Kruger, Gilli Apter, Daniel Zimbler, Sketchbook Studios), Showmax

Best achievement in cinematography: TV comedy
Hotel (Dino Benedetti, Nagvlug Films), kykNET

Best achievement in directing: TV comedy
Tali's Joburg Diary (Ari Kruger, Sketchbook Studios), Showmax

Best achievement in make-up/hairstyling: TV drama
Desert Rose (Marika Callop, Quizzical Pictures), M-Net

Best achievement in wardrobe: TV drama
Lavish (Brenda Khambula, Hela Media), Mzansi Magic

Best achievement in sound: TV drama
Donkerbos (Jozua Loots, Nagvlug Films), Showmax

Best achievement in original music/score: TV drama
Ludik (Peach Van Pletzen, Rose and Oaks Media), Netflix

Best achievement in art direction: TV drama
The Brave Ones (Jacobus Smit, Ochre Media), Netflix

Best achievement in editing: TV drama
Justice Served (Nicolas Costaras, Blessing Khulekane Zondi, Megan Gill, Lucian Barnard, Meraki SA), Netflix

Best achievement in cinematography: TV drama
Blood Psalms (Willem Nel, Yellowbone Entertainment, Showmax

Best achievement in scriptwriting: TV drama
Good Men (Portia Gumede, Steven Pillemer, Christo Davids, Duduzile Zamantungwa  Mabaso, Sunni Faba, Ochre Media), SABC1

Best achievement in directing: TV drama
Donkerbos (Nico Scheepers, Nagvlug Films), Showmax

Best achievement in make-up and hairstyling: TV soap/telenovela
House of Zwide (Mina Shembe, Itumeleng Ledwaba, Nakedi Makgato, Musa Mnisi, The Bomb Shelter),

Best achievement in wardrobe: TV soap/telenovela
House of Zwide (Beverly Mogorosi, Teddy Geldart, The Bomb Shelter),

Best achievement in sound: TV soap/telenovela
Suidooster (Lloyd O'Connor, Suidooster Films), kykNET

Best achievement in editing: TV soap/telenovela
Diepe Waters (Paul Martin van Wyk, Marthinus van Rhyn, Khathu Mudau, Wynand Verster, Rick Dodgen, Daniel de Villiers, Penguin Films), kykNET

Best achievement in original music/score: telenovela
The Black Door (Mandla Ngcongwane, Jamela Vuma, Kurt Slabbert, Black Brain Pictures),
Legacy (Brendan Jury, Tshedza Pictures), M-Net

Best achievement in cinematography: telenovela
The Black Door (Lavhelani Mudau, Gaopie Kabe, Black Brain Pictures),

Best achievement in art direction: TV soap/telenovela
Legacy (Amanda Scholtz, Tshedza Pictures), M-Net

Best achievement in scriptwriting: telenovela
DiepCity (Nontuthuzelo Magoxo, Mandla Ngcongwane, Mpumelelo Nhlapo, Black Brain Pictures), Mzansi Magic

Best achievement in directing: telenovela
The Wife (Fikile Mogodi, Stained Glass TV), Showmax

Best achievement in scriptwriting: TV soap
Scandal! (Ameera Patel, Grace Mahlaba, Thomas Hall, Paul Grootboom, Nonhlanhla Simelane, Omphile Molusi, Rosalind Butler; Teresca Muishond, Themba Mahlangu, Kelly Robinson, Ochre Media),

Best achievement in directing: TV soap
Suidooster (Erina Niemand, Shirley Ellis, Romano Gorlei, Richard September, Suidooster Films), kykNET

Best achievement in make-up/hairstyling: feature film
Silverton Siege (Nicola Roodt, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best achievement in costume design: feature film
Silverton Siege (Ruy Filipe, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best achievment in sound design: feature film
Silverton Siege (Barry Donnelly, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best achievement in editing: feature film
Silverton Siege (Richard Starkey, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best achievement in production design: feature film
Silverton Siege (Chantel Carter, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best achievement in original music/score: feature film
Gaia (Pierre-Henri Wicomb, Film Initiative Africa), kykNET

Best achievement in cinematography: feature film
Gaia (Jorrie van der Walt, Film Initiative Africa), kykNET

Best achievement in scriptwriting: feature film
The Umbrella Men (John Barker, Philip Roberts, Known Associates Entertainment), eVOD

Best student film
Shumba (AFDA)

Best supporting actress in a TV soap
Odelle de Wet (Binnelanders, Stark Films), kykNET

Best supporting actor in a TV soap
Charlie Bouguenon (Binnelanders, Stark Films), kykNET

Best supporting actress in a telenovela
Deli Malinga (Redemption, Burnt Onion Productions, Seriti Films), BET

Best supporting actor in a telenovela
Thulani Mtsweni (Gomora, Seriti Films), Mzansi Magic

Best actress in a TV soap
Cindy Swanepoel (Binnelanders, Stark Films), kykNET

Best actor in a TV soap
Melusi Mbele (Scandal!, Ochre Media),

Best actress in a telenovela
Michelle Botes (Legacy, Tshedza Pictures), M-Net

Best actor in a telenovela
Lawrence Maleka (The River, Tshedza Pictures), 1Magic

Best TV soap
Scandal! (Ochre Media),

Best telenovela
Legacy (Tshedza Pictures), M-Net

Best supporting actress in a TV drama
Nthati Moshesh (Savage Beauty, Quizzical Pictures), Netflix

Best actor in a TV drama
Morné Visser (Justice Served, Meraki SA), Netflix

Best actress in a TV drama
Lerato Mvelase (Justice Served, Meraki SA), Netflix

Best supporting actor in a TV drama
Craig Urbani (Makoti, Urban Brew Studios), SABC1

Best TV drama
Lavish (Hela Media), Mzansi Magic

Best supporting actress in a TV comedy
Kate Normington (Tali's Joburg Diary, Sketchbook Studios), Showmax

Best supporting actor in a TV comedy
Desmond Dube (How to Ruin Christmas, Burnt Onion Productions), Netflix

Best actress in a TV comedy
Thando Thabethe (How to Ruin Christmas, Burnt Onion Productions), Netflix

Best actor in a TV comedy
James Borthwick (Hotel, Nagvlug Films), kykNET

Best TV comedy
How to Ruin Christmas (Burnt Onion Productions), Netflix

Best short film
Cogito Ergo Sum (S.S.L Studios)

Best supporting actress in a feature film
Awethu Sharon Hleli (You're My Favourite Place, Yellowbone Entertainment), eVOD

Best supporting actor in a feature film
Chris Chameleon (Wild is the Wind, MYD88 FILMS), Netflix

Best actress in a feature film
Noxolo Dlamini (Silverton Siege, Pambilimedia), Netflix

Best actor in a feature film
Jarrid Geduld (Indemnity, Gambit Films)

Best achievement in directing: feature film
Gaia (Jaco Bouwer, Film Initiative Africa), kykNET

Best feature film
Gaia (Film Initiative Africa), kykNET

Best natural history and environmental programme
Crocodiles Revealed (Earth Touch), National Geographic Channel

Outstanding person with disability award
Jabaar Mohamed

Youth achiever award
Xolisa Mpafa

Lifetime achiever award
Derek Watts

Lifetime achiever award
Koos Roets

Best TV presenter (public vote)
Tshegofatso Mosupye (Yo MTV Raps Uncapped, VIS Studios), MTV Africa

Most popular TV soap or telenovela (public vote)
Scandal! (Ochre Media),

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

7de Laan actor David Rees 'bravely battling on in ICU' after return to hospital following lung infection.

by Thinus Ferreira

The 7de Laan actor David Rees is back in hospital just a week after he was released, following another setback after a heart operation.

His spokesperson Corlia Strauss says David Rees is "bravely battling on in ICU" - back in an intensive care unit at hospital after his quadruple heart surgery and this time due to a lung infection and an irregular heartbeat.

"David Rees remains in ICU, persistently battling towards recovery. The road has been arduous and David is keenly anticipating his return home," she says.

The actor, known for his role as Chris Welman in the SABC2 soap 7de Laan and Niek Naude in M-Net's Egoli, suffered a heart attack on 30 July and underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery a week later on 7 August.

It's unlikely that he'll be back to film 7de Laan's final episodes, with the cancelled long-running soap which is currently filming the last of its episodes and will shutter on 24 October at Sasani Studios. The final episode will air on SABC2 on the day after Christmas on 26 December.

The actor doesn't have a medical aid. 

His sister Monique Buttle created a "David Rees Medical Expenses" page on BackaBuddy that has reached a total of close to R90 000 to help pay for his massive medical expenses.

"David's journey to full recovery is still underway, making the need for financial assistance more critical than ever," Corlia says. "Each donation, no matter the amount, is a precious act of kindness with profound significance."

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Storms: TV presenter forced to flee Franschhoek mudslide.

by Thinus Ferreira

The TV presenter Marciel Hopkins and her husband Handrè Lourens had to flee from a massive mudslide together with the other guests staying at the Mont Martre estate next to the Franschhoek pass after the mudslide engulfed their chalet and the wedding venue.

Due to the extremely adverse weather coupled with torrential rain affecting the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, water and mud started to flood into Mont Martre high on the northern slopes of the Franschhoek Mountains, with Marciel and her husband who had to evacuate their chalet, along with other guests at the estate at 06:00 yesterday morning. 

Marciel is known as the face of the Afrikaans reality farmer matchmaking show Boer Soek 'n Vrou on kykNET (DStv 144) and is also a presenter on the weekly entertainment magazine show Bravo!.

Marciel, now staying at another guest house in Franschhoek, explains that the couple had to escape over the balcony with their bags just before 06:00 "when we had to evacuate our accommodation in Franchhoek when the water and mud started flowing through our little homes".

"The owner informed us that a mudslide is going through the chalets. We had to climb over the balcony with bags in PT shorts since the front doors were shut from mud. Not how you plan on starting your public holiday. My heart breaks for people whose homes and businesses have been totally flooded and destroyed by water coming from the river mountains."

"Just last night it rained 100mm and doesn't stop. Every road in Franschhoek has been flooded so nobody can get in or out of the town - everyone's stuck! We're drinking coffee barefoot at the cooperation and praying hard that the rain subsides and that those in dire need will find safety!" 

Showing photos of the couple's Mont Martre chalet on her Instagram page, Marciel says the mudslide from the mountain slammed through every chalet and Mont Martre's wedding venue. 

"My heart is so unbelievably broken for the owners. The Robertsvlei road is now open to drive in and out of Franschhoek but the main road is still closed and flooded."

Angry SABC2 viewers joining public protest to demand reversal of 7de Laan cancellation.

by Thinus Ferreira

Furious 7de Laan fans will protest this coming Thursday over the SABC's shocking decision to cancel the long-running SABC2 soap with a petition which will be handed to SABC executives demanding that the public broadcaster keep the show on the air.

The 7de Laan MyNou - Amptelik group, which has more than half a million followers on Facebook, is organising a public protest for 28 September at 10:00 at Campus Square Auckland Park in Johannesburg saying that 7de Laan "cannot pay for corruption at the SABC".

The public protest against the SABC's cancellation of 7de Laan will be supported by the GOOD political party.

The SABC abruptly cancelled the Danie Odendaal Productions show in July, saying that it can no longer pay to keep SABC2's second most-watched show on the air, with the final episodes being filmed until 24 October at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg. 

The final 7de Laan episode is set to air on SABC2 the day after Christmas - 26 December.

7de Laan was forced to shut down production earlier this month for three days over non-payment from the SABC. 

The SABC made another partial payment after news of the production shutdown became known, but the broadcaster still owes Danie Odendaal Productions millions of rand. The SABC posted another annual loss of R1.1 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.

According to the SABC, 7de Laan needs double the viewers and should cost half the money the production costs to make, to remain on the air.

7de Laan had 1.052 million viewers in August on SABC2. That was more viewers than anything watched on MultiChoice's DStv last month, as well as more viewers and a higher TV ratings and audience share than anything watched on SABC3 last month 

According to Caroline Phalakatshela, SABC publicist, "We have received news about a petition but the decision taken is a business decision aligned to audience viewership and the financial state of the business".

"The fact that SABC2 cannot afford to continue carrying a drama such as 7de Laan due to the accumulative costs and the dropped viewership numbers still remains. The show would need to double in audience numbers and also drop in the production costs to realise a positive return on investment. This we don’t see happening in the next few months as the channel has been monitoring this programme for the past years."

A "Red 7de Laan" petition on has racked up over 38 000 signatories and comments by Monday since it was started in July by Jermaine Christians, urging the SABC to renew 7de Laan, and saying that its cancellation would lead to job losses, and that "shutting the door of an award-winning soap with millions of viewers doesn't make sense".

Kayleen Bessit, 7de Laan publicist, told me that the show is aware of the public protest action being planned over the SABC's cancellation of the show.

"The planned protest of 7de Laan fans shows 7de Laan's significant impact on South Africa. We're deeply touched by their determination and conviction to get the SABC to reverse its cancellation decision and immensely thankful for the unwavering support of all the fans."

SABC's cutting down of shows not the way to go
In response to a media query about 7de Laan's cancellation, the SOS Coalition, a public pressure group supporting public broadcasting in South Africa, told TVwithThinus that the "SABC's audience growth is dependent on compelling content that speaks to the needs and interests of the people of South Africa".

"Good and quality locally produced shows are the only way it will be able to retain a good audience base that will also be beneficial for increasing revenue - given that advertising is the only stream that is currently sustaining the SABC," says Uyanda Siyotula, SOS Coalition national coordinator.

"The cutting down of shows that showcase South Africa's diversity and build social cohesion is not the way to go. The SABC needs to reappropriate its budgeting accordingly. More money needs to be invested into the production of local content. Currently, that is not the case - salaries have a bigger budget than content." 

"Commercial and community broadcasters, pay-TV and on-demand platforms are competing for the same audiences and also produce local content. If these audiences leave the SABC, there is no coming back. It is not ideal for the SABC to be cutting down on shows that set it apart."

"If the SABC continues on this trail it will risk losing the loyal viewers that it has. Once the SABC loses more viewers, it will plunge into an even bigger loss. This will also indicate failure to deliver on its mandate as this show brings people of different ethnic groups and races together".

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Idols, The Voice SA, SA's Got Talent and Strictly revived for SA's free-to-air viewers, Masked Singer SA renewed for 2 more seasons.

by Thinus Ferreira

Strictly Come Dancing SA and SA's Got Talent are being revived for new free-to-air audiences, with The Masked Singer SA renewed for a further two seasons, Deal or No Deal SA getting a second season, while both The Voice SA and the long-running Idols that ran out of steam on pay-TV is getting free-to-air oxygen.

Like it did last September for the first time, Primedia on Monday held another of its so-called "PrimeX" events where it touted some format reality shows that its expanding Primedia Studios is planning to bring to South African television.

As part of its growing entertainment content slate of reality competition and shiny floor shows, Primedia Studios has renewed The Masked Singer SA on SABC3 for another two seasons, renewed Deal or No Deal SA for a second season, is reviving SA's Got Talent that was on, is reviving The Voice SA that was on M-Net for a free-to-air audience, and is also taking over Idols that was cancelled as a pay-TV show and bringing it to free-to-air viewers.

Similar to The Masked Singer SA and the revived Deal or No Deal SA that Primedia brought to SABC1 and SABC3 over the past year and announced in September last year, Primedia now plans to bring back and revilatise Strictly Come Dancing SA, SA's Got Talent, The Voice SA and also Idols that stalled on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) and is in its final season on pay-TV.

Primedia only told some media about its PrimeX event held at Montecasino in Johannesburg with Primedia CEO Jonathan Procter and issued no press release on Monday after the event. 

According to insiders, while several shows were touted on stage, some of the contracts are not yet in place.

As part of the second PrimeX presentation, Anele Mdoda who produced The Masked Singer SA under her Rose and Oaks Media production banner, also did an interview on-stage with comedian Trevor Noah, while Deal or No Deal SA host Katlego Maboe also made an on-stage appearance.

Production company Rapid Blue did eight seasons of Strictly Come Dancing that aired on SABC2 and later SABC3 until 2015. In 2018 the format was revived and taken over by M-Net with Rapid Blue producing a single season for M-Net but rebranding it under the show's American moniker of Dancing with the Stars SA.

Now the show will return to free-to-air - very likely SABC3 - and again as Strictly Come Dancing as the British version is also known as.

After 18 seasons on M-Net, then on M-Net and Mzansi Magic jointly and then on Mzansi Magic, Idols will also move from pay-TV where the show got cancelled, to free-to-air - very likely SABC1 in order to give it the biggest potential new talent pool and TV audience. 

With massively declining audience ratings, on pay-TV, Idols that has run out of viewership steam, has barely reached 403 818 DStv subscribers who tuned in during August. 

In earlier seasons before a dramatic viewership decline set in that co-incided with judge Somizi Mhlongo who was engulfed in scandals, Idols brought close to and over a million viewers on Sunday evenings to DStv.

SA's Got Talent, also produced by Rapid Blue, saw eight very successful seasons  between 2009 and 2017 - the first two of which were on SABC2 after moving to from the third season onwards. It's likely that SA's Got Talent could now re-emerge on SABC2.

The Voice SA will also jump to cater to a new free-to-air audience after M-Net had the reality talent competition for three seasons between 2016 and 2019 and where Anele Mdoda served as host for the third and last season.

M-Net announces yet another rhino poaching South African drama series, Endangered - sends press release to South African media last.

by Thinus Ferreira

M-Net on Tuesday announced that it's doing yet another South African crime drama series and yet another South African rhino poaching drama series but South Africa's film and TV industry and the wider public had to read that in American media, with M-Net's media liaison PR division that sent the press release of the general announcement about a South African show to South African media last.

South African media covering television had to read in Variety, an American publication, that M-Net is doing another crime drama series, Endangered, based on the South African crime writer Rudie van Rensburg's novel, Piranha.

Variety touted the information from the general press release that was given to it, as "exclusive".

M-Net and MultiChoice will produce Endangered - yet another rhino drama like its Trackers - together with Strong Studios, Convergent Media and ForLan Films.

From just a very quick check-in with various journalists and publications on Tuesday, many said they don't feel like reporting about Endangered or using M-Net's general press release.

Several noted immediately that they felt M-Net is disrespecting them and that M-Net shows through its actions that it doesn't value media relationships or want to build and properly maintain South African media relationships with journalists, editors and publications.

"We all have the internet. We have internet in Africa. We see what's happening," one person said.

I also asked M-Net why it only sent out the press release - a general show announcement - only after the press release had already been given to and published by Variety

Nadine Moonsamy, M-Net publicist, confirmed that the press release was given to Variety as an exclusive. M-Net then sent the general press release to South African journalists after it was already published.

Nadine Moonsamy says M-Net was "only able to go live at 15:30". It's not clear why M-Net has apparently relegated South African media to second-tier status when general press releases about new South African shows are published in overseas media first. 

Like Trackers which M-Net has already done, Endangered will also "explore controversial rhino poaching, the crime syndicates that control it and police and conservationists trying to stop it". 

Endangered will be filmed in 2024.

Jake Riddell is the screenwriter of Endangered tracking veteran detective Kassie Kasselman, who aggressively pursues rhino poachers from the Cape ganglands to the Kruger national park and Pretoria, trying to stop a syndicate of criminal gangs and poachers.

Endangered is produced by ForLan Films' Steve Lanning and Jake Lanning, Advantage Entertainment's Vlokkie Gordon, Strong Global Entertainment's Kyle Cerminara, Strong Studios' David Ozer and Scott Weinstock; Convergent Media's Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju, as well as M-Net's Nicola van Niekerk, and Wikus du Toit.

Georginah Machiridza, MultiChoice's head of general entertainment, in a supplied quote in the general press statement, says "Endangered represents a unique opportunity for MultiChoice to support a project that not only promises gripping storytelling but also addresses a pressing global concern. It's a testament to the power of storytelling to make a positive impact, and we're excited to share it with our audience."