'THIS WAS THEN THE VERY LAST ...'

   

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last TV news bulletins in other South African languages sign off for a final time on the SABC News channel after all news besides English are dumped.


"Goeienaand en welkom by hierdie laaste uitsending van die nuus in Afrikaans op die SAUK se 24-uur nuusdiens," said SABC News anchor Ivor Price at 19:30 on Tuesday 31 March.

("Good evening and welcome to this last broadcast of the news in Afrikaans on the SABC's 24-hour news service.)

At the end co-anchor Louise van Wingerden said: "Dit was dan die heel laaste Afrikaanse bulletin op die SAUK se 24-uur nuusdiens." ("This was then the very last Afrikaans bulletin on the SABC's 24-hour news service".)

"Baie dankie vir die saamkyk die laaste 21 maande en die nuus in Afrikaans was danksy u ondersteuning verreweg die gewildste 30 minute segment op hierdie kanaal," said Ivor Price

("Thank you for watching with us the last 21 months and the news in Afrikaans was, thanks to you, by far the most popular 30 minute segment on this channel.")

"And we also wish to thank our English speaking viewers for their wonderful support. The very successful format of this bulletin will be applied to the Afrikaans news on SABC2," said Louise van Wingerden.


The Xhosa news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel has also been cancelled.

The Sotho news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel has also been culled.

The Ndebele language news TV bulletin on the SABC News channel is also gone.

Scrapped are bulletins in Zulu, Afrikaans, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdelebe, Sotho and Venda as part of SABC News's (DStv 404) shocking move to rid the news channel of all news bulletins in languages other than English.

The move to dump umped all TV news and TV news bulletins is South African's other official languages besides English includes SABC News doing away with its regular weekly half hour magazine shows like Health Talk, Film SA, Bophelong, Afroshowbiz News, Rights & Recourse, The Journal and Kaleidoscope.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't respond to multiple media enquiries and calls made the past few weeks about the drastic change to the SABC News schedule and why the public broadcaster cancelled the news bulletins in all vernacular languages.

Scrapped are bulletins in Zulu, Afrikaans, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdelebe, Sotho and Venda.

On its website and in marketing material the SABC says "a unique selling point is SABC News Channel's multilingual programming" and that SABC News is delivered "to audiences in all 11 South African official languages".

When the channel launched, the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the SABC News channel will be an opportunity for the SABC to "enhance its public service mandate and extend its focus on provincial stories and the different official languages".

The SABC News channel launched in August 2013 which replaced the SABC's first struggling attempt at a 24-hour news channel, SABC News International. SABC News International was shut down after bleeding millions of rands after just three years at the end of March 2010.

SABC News, now running for a year and a half, is part of a controversial deal worth millions of rand Hlaudi Motsoeneng signed with MultiChoice's DStv platform.

It makes SABC News exclusively available to DStv only, keeping it off On Digital Media (ODM) and China's StarTimes Media SA's StarSat, as well as Sabido and Platco Digital's OpenView HD satellite TV platforms.

Earlier this month in an interview on SABC2, Hlaudi Motsoeneng called SABC News "a pilot project".

"The channel that is sitting on the MultiChoice bouquet, the news channel, it is a SABC channel. When we migrate to DTT, that channel will be migrated to our own platforms. It is an SABC channel. It is sitting there as a pilot project."

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 1 April 2015.


The backlash in America against South Africa's Trevor Noah has started one day after he was announced as the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central (DStv 122).

Trevor Noah's social media became a beating stick as people scoured through his Twitter feed - as far back as 2009 -for messages offensive to women and Jews. 
Some more of Trevor Noah's offensive Twitter messages and Comedy Central had to do damage control on Tuesday, calling criticism of Trevor Noah "unfair" and saying that Trevor Noah "has a bright future at Comedy Central".
Why did Trevor Noah become a villain and why did people turn on him so quickly? Should Trevor Noah be held to a higher standard? Trevor Noah finally says it was "jokes that didn't land".

Ad Age says the outrage won't bring down Trevor Noah in its opinion and Variety says Comedy Central should defend Trevor Noah's right to offend.
Meanwhile the younger Trevor Noah could perhaps reverse the aging audience of Comedy Central and The Daily Show.
And how Trevor Noah got The Daily Show job - Jon Stewart played an advisory role.


South African documentary producer drags Sabido and e.tv to the broadcasting regulator.
The Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will hear on 9 and 10 April a fascinating case from documentary producer Kevin Harris alleging that Sabido and e.tv are not fulfilling their broadcasting licence obligations when it comes to supporting the production of independent local documentaries.


Downton Abbey bosses tried to keep the show going...
... without creator and writer Julian Fellowes. TV executives wanted the ITV drama shown on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) to continue for longer and further than the final 6th upcoming season this year.

We can interfere with South Africa and the media's freedom of speech says parliament speaker, Baleka Mbete.
The controversial speaker of parliament has the audacity to argue in court papers that parliament has the "right" to cut broadcasts of the TV feed because because disruptions will damage the "dignity" of parliament.

eNCA (DStv 403) set to fire 40 people.
Forty people at Sabido's 24-hour TV news channel are apparently going to lose their jobs.

The SABC to hear the case against its head of news Jimi Matthews.
After Jimi Matthews allegedly assaulted a female SABC employee there's now a date for the grievance procedure and possible disciplinary process.

The arrival of Netflix in Australia is bad for pay-TV subscribers there.
A price comparison site reveals the best TV shows are already exclusively being shown on other pay-TV providers, and video-on-demand (VOD) services could damage Australia's TV and film industries.

And how Netflix is growing - could be worth a massive $100 billion.

Is Sherlock on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) gay?
TV series creator Steven Moffat says that Sherlock is not gay and not interested in sex.

Nigerians now want to ditch DStv after MultiChoice's price hike from April.
DStv subscribers in Nigeria are furious over the price increase and blame the government for "failing to call MultiChoice Nigeria to order".

Richard Hammond and James May no longer work for the BBC.
After the BBC fired Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) the other two co-presenters are now out of their Top Gear job as well.

Meanwhile the Top Gear Live world tours - including the one in South Africa - will now drop all references to Top Gear and be rebranded and known as Clarkson, Hammond and May Live as it is stripped of all BBC branding by BBC Worldwide.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SABC salary bill set to balloon by another R100 million as latest corporate plan notes revenues are constrained due to non-performing programming.


The SABC is set to spend R100 million more on staff salaries and paying SABC board members, while the public broadcaster warns in its new corporate plan for 2015/2016 to 2017/2018 that revenues are "constrained" since advertising clients are cutting back "as a result of declining TV audiences due to non-performance of critical programming".

Meanwhile president Jacob Zuma is weighing in on the ongoing instability at the SABC where three SABC board members were fired the past two weeks and says in a statement that the presidency is "looking into the matter with a view to finding a solution".

In its latest corporate plan, "a 7.5% increase has been included for permanent staff, board fees, freelancers, and various temporary staff requirements" by SABC executives. Meanwhile revenues from SABC TV licence fees are projected at R1 billion.

The SABC's latest corporate plan however cautions that the public broadcaster's commercial revenues are constrained due to tough economic conditions causing advertisers to "reduce their marketing and resultant advertising spend".

The SABC's latest corporate plan comes as four of the six SABC board members who were opposed to the permanent appointment of the SABC's famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer (COO) have now been axed.

SABC board member Bongani Khumalo abruptly resigned in January, Hope Zinde was fired earlier in March and last week the remaining SABC board fired Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi. Krish Naidoo and Vusi Mavuso who were also opposed to Hlaudi Motsoeneng's permanent appointment remain.

Rachel Kalidass told Business Day that she is "still a member of the SABC board because the process used was unlawful. People are misquoting the Companies Act and taking no notice of the current parliamentary and legal process that is under way. This shows that the removals are motivated by malice and it is a purge."

In a statement Ronnie Lubisi says "the decision was illegally made in contravention of the Broadcasting Act 4 of 1999" and that he is seeking legal advice.

After the SABC board said Ronnie Lubisi and Rachel Kalidass were fired due to alleged fraudulent conduct and non-disclusore of conflict of interest among board members, Ronnie Lubisi says he views "the decision of the board and such statements as unfortunate".

"I have been registered as an auditor with the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants for the past 14 years. In all that time I have always conducted my business with absolute adherence to the professional and ethical requirements of my profession."

"I shall welcome an independent enquiry by a duly authorised body into my conduct as an SABC board member," says Ronnie Lubisi.

In a statement issued Monday evening president Jacob Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj says "the president, who appoints members of the SABC board on the advice of the National Assembly, views stability and good corporate governance at the SABC as being of paramount importance. He is looking into the matter with a view to finding a solution".

On Thursday, 2 April, parliament's portfolio committee on communications will start the interviews with the shortlisted candidates to replace the disgraced former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala who resigned in mid-December 2014 after she was mired in a scandal about lying about tertiary qualifications she never had.

The five candidates shortlisted to become a new SABC board member are Saskia Janine HickeyNtomizandile Lesame (academic), Keabatswe Modimoeng (businessman), Jenni Irish-Quobosheane (former civilian police secretary) and Ashwin Trikamjee (attorney).

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 31 March 2015.


After Comedy Central leaked to The New York Times that Trevor Noah is taking over for Jon Stewart ...

Comedy Central in America's president, Michele Ganeless explained why Trevor Noah was chosen as the new host of The Daily Show, someone who can "evolve The Daily Show for the next generation".
South African comedians congratulate Trevor Noah, even South Africa's puppet is happy.
Salon has Trevor Noah's "journey so far" and "everything you have to know" about him, and you can watch every one of his clips to learn about him.
TIME asks whether Trevor Noah's The Daily Show will have a more international focus?

American TV critic Tim Goodman is silly. In his latest column he notes Trevor Noah's inexperience and lack of name recognition and says Comedy Central is "bungling an opportunity" to put a woman in the chair.

Variety has 5 reasons why Trevor Noah is a good replacement for Jon Stewart.

Meanwhile it feels like Trevor Noah was over-prepped to use the word "team" as he says he is "progressive like Jon Stewart. How many times does Trevor Noah use the word "team" in an interview with Associated Press (AP) to drive home the point that he isn't "stealing" Jon Stewart's late night chair?


SABC's wage bill to grow by another R100 million.
The SABC's new corporate plan for 2015/2016 to 2017/2018 has salary increases for the SABC board, a 7.5% increase for permanent SABC staff.
The SABC also admits that its revenues are constrained due to "client cutbacks as a result of declining TV audiences due to non-performance of critical programming".

President Jacob Zuma looking for a "solution" for the SABC.
South Africa's president puts out a statement about the ongoing instability at the SABC, saying "he is looking into the matter with a view to finding a solution".

Sunrise turns 7 today; not as much as a word from e.tv on the 7th birthday of the channel's weekday breakfast show which it doesn't seem to care about.


Sunrise, e.tv's weekday morning breakfast shows turns 7 today, but you wouldn't know it if it depends on e.tv - the channel apparently can't care less about the show or its birthday and couldn't get itself to say a single word about Sunrise's birthday ... or congratulations.

There wasn't as much as a peep out of e.tv's publicity department about Sunrise's birthday; no single sentence to the press from e.tv executives, what Sunrise will be doing or having on the show today (a braai!, performances), or at the very least the obligatory quote from a Sunrise producer or executive producer.

Here is why it matters - or rather what it signals: e.tv indicates to the press (and therefore the public) that Sunrise doesn't matter. 

In TV, as elsewhere with other products, politicians, sports teams and commercial services, companies jump at the tiniest chance to issue a press release, or craft and issue a statement about achievements, performances, new services, products, scores, speeches and milestones.

When a TV channel doesn't talk about a show or a specific TV talent, it means that person, show or on-screen talent isn't deemed worthy - that it shouldn't be promoted, or that the channel or executives don't want to promote it: it's not good enough or it will clash with some other existing promotion or show campaign and create noise that will detract.

It was so telling when Barbara Walters, who produced Iyanla Vanzant's first talk show had a falling out during the first season behind the scenes with Iyanla.

Barbara Walters appeared on another programme and was asked about her projects and involvements and The View. Barbara talked about everything, but didn't mention Iyanla. At the end the interviewer asked Barbara: "Any other interesting projects you're working on?"

Barbara's icy retort was: "No. Nothing".

Barbara's deliberate decision not to talk about Iyanla, said and signaled as much by saying nothing.

e.tv's total failure to "celebrate" or to even acknowledge Sunrise's 7th birthday today is shocking, sad and hopelessly pathetic.

Like e.tv's publicity failure to even try and give Sunrise a little ratings bumps today as a birthday present and to drive some viewership by deliberately failing to even tell viewers, the press and the public before today to maybe watch, is perplexing and indicative of how little e.tv cares about what it puts on TV.

e.tv and whatever publicity strategy that exists around Sunrise - if there even is one - seems to be one of "lets do the bare minimum, if anything, yet magically expect results and lots of love and interest from viewers, the media and TV critics and editors". Nope. Not going to happen.

The irony around the ongoing lack of anything to do with Sunrise from e.tv, comes as shows and channels like SABC3 and Expresso pushes it and promotes it by constantly telling the press what interviews there will be, and programming notes about who will be on and when and what is happening, weekly. For sad Sunrise? Nothing.

If you wonder why something has a bit of buzz and why something has nothing, the support - or lack of any support behind it - is often a very telling part of the puzzle.

If e.tv can't congratulate Sunrise or even tell viewers the show is turning 7, does Sunrise even matter? Why does e.tv then have Sunrise on the air?

TV shows are a TV channel's consumables on a shelf. If e.tv doesn't deem Sunrise worthy as a product to promote, why is it still on the shelf in the first place? 

If a show isn't worthy to crow about at each and every opportunity you get - irrespective of how big or how small - why is it on your schedule?

e.tv apparently doesn't care about Sunrise, and TV critics notice that. 

And what e.tv is telling the press is that they shouldn't care about Sunrise either.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Comedy Central Africa on Trevor Noah taking over The Daily Show from Jon Stewart: 'An extraordinary milestone for African comedy'.


Comedy Central Africa (DStv 122) run by Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa" calls South African Trevor Noah's appointment as the new host of The Daily Show taking over from Jon Stewart "an extraordinary milestone for African comedy".

Viacom's Comedy Central today officially announced Trevor Noah as the new host of The Daily Show after news leaked over the weekend that Trevor Noah was the frontrunner to replace Jon Stewart when he retires in September.

"When you hear that a South African comedian is going to replace Jon Stewart as the host of the most trusted satirical comedy show in the world,you know it's a great day for Trevor Noah and an extraordinary milestone for African comedy," says Evert van der Veer, the head of Comedy Central Africa in a statement on Monday afternoon.

"Supporting African comedians and comedy has been one of the key tenets of Comedy Central Africa since we started, and we salute Trevor's achievement with pride on our hearts and a tear in our eye," says Evert van der Veer.

Comedy Central says the debut date of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is not yet certain.

"Trevor Noah is an enormous talent," says Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless in a statement.

"For the next host of The Daily Show we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central".

In the statement Trevor Noah says "it's an honour to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at The Daily Show have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world. In my brief time with the show they've made me feel so welcome. I'm excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people."

Trevor Noah who appeared on The Daily Show for the first time in December and has made two other appearances since, has been the subject of David Paul Meyer's award-winning documentary film You Laugh But It's True which tells the story of his comedy career in post-apartheid South Africa.

Trevor Noah's Nationwide Comedy Tour has just been added by MultiChoice to DStv's DStv BoxOffice video-on-demand service.

The Hollywood trade publication Variety called Trevor Noah "a South African comedian with a low profile in the United States" and The Hollywood Reporter said that "the search to find a successor has been complicated by the fact that many of the presumed top choices have recently signed onto new shows that prevent them from taking the gig".

BREAKING. South African comedian Trevor Noah taking over The Daily Show on Comedy Central from Jon Stewart.



Later today Comedy Central (DStv 122) will name South African comedian Trevor Noah as the replacement host for The Daily Show on Comedy Central (DStv 122) The New York Times reports.

After only three appearances since December on The Daily Show, the Viacom pay-TV channel will announce that Trevor Noah is taking over as the new host in the place of Jon Stewart who announced his retirement last month. Jon Stewart's contract ends in September.

News leaked over the weekend that Trevor Noah was the frontrunner to replace Stewart.

Before appearing on The Daily Show since December, Trevor Noah appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2013, and early in 2012 became the first South African comedian and "first African comedian" to appear and do stand-up on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

His Showtime channel stand-up special, Trevor Noah: African American was broadcast in 2013.

Although Trevor Noah on The Daily Show plays an uninformed American, clueless of international events and is seen as African-American, his mother is South African and his father is Swiss.

Noah, repped by Creative Artists Agency in America, previous did his own local talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah on M-Net from August 2010 which lasted two seasons. His Nationwide Comedy Tour has just been added by MultiChoice to DStv's DStv BoxOffice video-on-demand service.

Trevor Noah's appointed as new host of The Daily Show comes after only three appearances on the satirical news show.


"I'm thrilled for the show and for Trevor," Jon Stewart says in a statement. "He is a tremendous comic and talent that we've loved working with. I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!"

kykNET adds new daily news summary show kykNET Verslag from 6 April at 21:30; moves actuality themed shows later to 22:00.


After cancelling its breakfast morning show Dagbreek after just two years and shortening the running time of the programmes of its recently introduced late night timeslot, kykNET (DStv 144) will debut kykNET Verslag from 6 April.

kykNET Verslag, a summary of the day's most talked about events, will be broadcast from Mondays to Thursdays at 21:30 as a new half hour programme on M-Net's Afrikaans language TV channel supplied to MultiChoice's DStv, and will be repeated in the mornings at 06:00.

The changes come five months after the different themed late night timeslot, with programmes ranging from news to comedy and talk, was introduced in October 2014.

Besides Insig which remains an hour in duration, all the other actuality programmes on kykNET in the themed timeslot strand are cut to half an hour and also moved half an hour later to start at 22:00. Thursday's Flits which was to be cancelled will now remain, but the format shaken up. Friday's VrydagNag Laat, a satirical show, remains cancelled.

From 6 April, on Monday nights, Rapport editor Waldimar Pelser will continue to present Insig for an hour from 22:00 on kykNET, a news and actuality show looking at news and political events shaping the country as well as interviews with newsmakers.

On Tuesdays Winslyn, now at 22:00, is reduced to half an hour and business woman presenter Santie Botha is gone. Co-presenter Divan Botha remains and will now anchor the show focused on entrepreneurs and business ventures and looking at the South African economy.

On Wednesday Prontuit, now at 22:00, is reduced to half an hour and presenter Mariëtta Kruger is gone. Co-presenter Kabous Meiring remains in this talk show interviewing interesting South Africans.

On Thursday Flits, now at 22:00, was to be scrapped but will now remain, but with a changed focus. Previous co-presenter Yvonne Beyers from Huisgenoot magazine remains, Fanie Cronjé is gone and Bouwer Bosch joins the show.

From 10 April at 17:30 kykNET adds Aktueel Bestes, a weekly digest which is a collection of shorts culled from the week's various shows in the late night timeslot.

According to Karen Meiring, M-Net's director of Afrikaans channels, the adjustments are being made to better accomodate kykNET's target market interested in actuality programming.

"We trust that these moves will see an even bigger increase in viewership within the next couple of months".

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 29 March 2015.


Terrifying death threat to BBC's director-general after firing of Jeremy Clarkson.
Round the clock bodyguards dispatched to home of BBC's boss Tony Hall in London after Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) is sacked.
Top Gear says in a statement the dumping of Jeremy Clarkson leaves "a big, big hole to fill".
Meanwhile BBC camera crew members say they're all tired and hungry due to the BBC's inadequate food allowance "but we don't hit people" like Jeremy Clarkson.


4 of the 6 SABC board members who opposed Hlaudi Moetsoeneng at the SABC now fired.
The Sunday Times reports that Krish Naidoo, Vusi Mavuso, Rachel Kalidass, Ronnie Lubisi opposed the permanent appointment of the famously matricless Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operating officer.
Hope Zinde was fired two weeks ago and Bongani Khumalo resigned in January from the SABC board which remains in mired in chaos and instability.

Dermot O'Leary done with The X Factor UK.
The presenter is done with the British version of the talent TV show after 8 years.

Dawn Matthews is done with e.tv soap Scandal!
Actress leaving the role of Shakira after a decade to go to America with husband Charlie Sapadin.

Give us more real women on British television.
In an extensive report done by the BBC, viewers tell the British public broadcaster they want more "real" women and less "scantily clad females in reality shows".

That rumour about a new Star Trek TV show is false.
Star Trek: Federation as a new TV series is a rehashed old story of a pitch from a decade ago.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 28 March 2015.


The new The Walking Dead spin-off will be called Fear The Walking Dead.
Fear The Walking Dead will be seen in South Africa and Africa on MultiChoice's DStv and on On Digital  Media's (ODM) StarSat on the AMC channel who will have the spin-off zombie drama.

Top Gear producer will not press charges against Jeremy Clarkson.
Oisin Tymon will not make a case against the fired presenter of Top Gear on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) after the violent attack which saw the BBC sack Jeremy Clarkson.

Does the SABC fall under the Companies Act?
The SABC as a public broadcaster falls under the Broadcasting Act. Yet the minister of communications Faith Muthambi says the SABC falls under the Companies Act which is used as the excuse for her and the SABC board to purge and get rid of SABC board members at will.

The Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to intervene over DStv price hikes.
As anger continues over MultiChoice's increase from April for DStv subscriptions, the NBC says it had received several complaints DStv subscribers in Nigeria.

David Duchovny is nervous about the return of The X-Files.
Says "I'm amazed that there's still an appetite for it and I'm touched".


Fired SABC board member Rachel Kalidass says its unlawful.
After Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi were both dumped from the SABC board on Thursday, Rachel Kalidass says "the removals are motivated by malice and it is a purge" and that the Companies Act is wrongly used to get rid of SABC board members.
The unstable SABC board has now lost 6 members since the middle of 2014.


Disney Junior (DStv 30X) is making Fancy Nancy a TV show.
The children's book seeries about a girl who always dresses up is becoming a TV series.

Masi Oka will be back for Heroes: Reborn.
The Hawaii Five-0 star will be back in the miniseries reboot of Heroes.

Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes talks The Gilded Age.
After the announcement that Downton Abbey is done after 6 seasons, the creator and writer says the new period drama for American television is "looming large in my future".

New season of Sherlock "frightening".
The 4th season of the British Sherlock on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) is "frightening, tough" and filled "with emotional upheaval".

The upcoming Killing Jesus on National Geographic Channel is shallow.
The Boston Globe says Killing Jesus which will be shown in South Africa on National Geographic Channel (DStv 181) on Sunday 5 April at 19:10 is "lackluster" and is "terribly overbaked".

Empire is the first black TV drama that isn't being "ghettoized".
The hit drama on FOX's (DStv 125 / StarSat 131) idea's about race "operate at a higher idea of difficulty".

BREAKING. Trevor Noah the frontrunner to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Comedy Central.


The South African comedian Trevor Noah is the frontrunner set to replace Jon Stewart on the satirical The Daily Show on Comedy Central (DStv 122) later this year.

Jon Stewart announced his retirement last month from Comedy Central’s signature show; his current contract is set to expire in September.

Trevor Noah has now emerged as the frontrunner to replace Stewart, although he only made his first appearance on The Daily Show as a hapless senior international correspondent on 4 December 2014.

Before that Trevor Noah appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2013, and early in 2012 became the first South African comedian and “first African comedian” to appear and do stand-up on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His Showtime channel stand-up special, Trevor Noah: African American was broadcast in 2013.

Comedy Central says "we are not commenting or providing guidance on any speculation about any individuals".

According to sources Viacom's Comedy Central wants a new host for The Daily Show "who is not another white guy".

Although Trevor Noah on The Daily Show plays an uninformed American, clueless of international events and is seen as African-American, his mother is South African and his father is Swiss.

The Hollywood trade publication Variety reports "Comedy Central's selection process has accelerated in recent days" according to Viacom executives and that Trevor Noah "has moved to a short list being put together by executives".

Noah, repped by Creative Artists Agency in America, previous did his own local talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah on M-Net from August 2010 which lasted two seasons. His Nationwide Comedy Tour has just been added by MultiChoice to DStv's DStv BoxOffice video-on-demand service.

Friday, March 27, 2015

SABC News channel on DStv dropping Afrikaans TV news bulletin, all other African language additional bulletins from April in drastic schedule change.


SABC News (DStv 404) will dump the Afrikaans TV news bulletin as well as the additional TV news bulletins in other indigenous South African languages on the channel from 1 April.

The South African public broadcaster's 24-hour TV news channel is apparently also doing away from April with its regular weekly half hour magazine shows like Health Talk, Film SA, Bophelong, Afroshowbiz News, Rights & Recourse, The Journal and Kaleidoscope which are not to be found on the April schedule of SABC News.

Question Time will remain past April, while the future of some of the other programming on SABC News remains unclear.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago didn't respond to multiple media enquiries and calls made since last week about the upcoming SABC News schedule changes and why the SABC is cutting news in all vernacular languages on the channel and getting rid of the other magazine magazine programming.

From April, SABC News as the public broadcaster's news channel will run only in English while the additional daily half hour news bulletins in South Africa's other official languages - Afrikaans, Zulu, Siswati, Tsonga, Xhosa, isiNdelebe, Sotho and Venda - are scrapped.

In its place SABC News is adding a new show from April, The State of Our Nation, weekdays at 21:00, a program that will give "well-rounded coverage of our provinces, rural areas and well as big picture municipal issues", according to the new SABC News schedule.

On its website and in marketing material the SABC says "a unique selling point is SABC News Channel's multilingual programming" and that SABC News is delivered "to audiences in all 11 South African official languages".

When the channel launched, the SABC's famously matricless chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the SABC News channel will be an opportunity for the SABC to "enhance its public service mandate and extend its focus on provincial stories and the different official languages".

The SABC News channel launched in August 2013 which replaced the SABC's first struggling attempt at a 24-hour news channel, SABC News International. SABC News International was shut down after bleeding millions of rands after just three years at the end of March 2010.

An SABC staff member at the news channel told TV with Thinus last week in regard to SABC News' drastic line-up change and the termination of the existing magazine programming from April that there is "consternation among the employees".

Another SABC staff member said the SABC News channel is also planning "a bulletin with Africa news to compete with the international TV news channels".

SABC News, now running for a year and a half, is part of a controversial deal worth millions of rand Hlaudi Motsoeneng signed with MultiChoice's DStv platform.

It makes SABC News exclusively available to DStv only, keeping it off On Digital Media (ODM) and China's StarTimes Media SA's StarSat, as well as Sabido and Platco Digital's OpenView HD satellite TV platforms.


SABC News channel 'a pilot project'
The SABC News channel is supposed to become available as a TV channel from the SABC's new bouquet of digital TV channels once the South African government's long-delayed switch-on happens of digital terrestrial television (DTT) as part of the country's digital migration process.

As part of the deal, the SABC is also supposed to supply a general entertainment TV channel, SABC Entertainment, largely sourced from SABC archive content, to MultiChoice's DStv but that 5th SABC TV channel has not launched yet.

Earlier this month in an interview on SABC2, Hlaudi Motsoeneng said "the channel that is sitting on the MultiChoice bouquet, the news channel, it is a SABC channel".

"When we migrate to DTT, that channel will be migrated to our own platforms. It is an SABC channel. It is sitting there as a pilot project."

"There's this 'must carry' regulations, where all content of the SABC, it should be carried by pay-TV, because government want to access all citizen in different platforms, including pay-TV."

"That is the reason why you have the 'must carry' regulations, where, when our content sit there, we are not getting paid from those pay-TV's."

"But we've been engaging MultiChoice to say to them, 'No, look, you benefit because of the SABC. And when you look the channels, the most watched channels in the MultiChoice bouquet is SABC channels. We said, 'Put money in the SABC because you are also benefitting from SABC'. That is the reason why they are investing in the SABC," said Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Today's interesting TV stories to read from TV with Thinus - 27 March 2015.


Vikings renewed for a 4th season.
The MGM Television distributed historical drama shown on History (DStv 186) in America and the UK but on M-Net Edge (DStv 102) in South Africa and Africa gets another season with an unspecified number of episodes.

SABC blackout of South Africa's national soccer team lamented.
Soccer expert and former SABC soccer commentator Mark Gleeson remembers a time when the South African public broadcaster which didn't show Wednesday's Bafana Bafana match in Swaziland used to show all the national soccer team matches.

SABC1's Selimathunzi is done with Zizo Beda.
Zizo Beda done after 7 years with Siphesihle Vazi taking over.

Two Al Jazeera (DStv 406) journalists detained in Nigeria.
The properly accredited Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustafa detained by Nigeria's military since Tuesday and their camera equipment confiscated ahead of Nigeria's general elections on Saturday.

The fired Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear on BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) was trouble from the start.
Former BBC Top Gear editor Tom Ross reveals he got calls as far back as 1987 about things Jeremy Clarkson had said, and he explain how Top Gear can survive without Jeremy Clarkson.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bonang Matheba dumps Sun International and M-Net's Miss South Africa 2015 as judge to attend Viacom's Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2015.


After having been announced as a judge for the Miss South Africa 2015 pageant presenter Bonang Matheba dumped Sun International to rather attend Viacom's Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2015 taking place in Saturday in Los Angeles.

The Miss South Africa 2015 pageant will be broadcast live this Sunday, 28 March on M-Net (DStv 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 17:30, with the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2015 taking place on Saturday in Los Angeles.

The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2015 will be broadcast on Nickelodeon (DStv 305) a few days later in South Africa and Africa on Wednesday 1 April at 16:00.

Bonang Matheba is a nominee in the localised add-on category of Favourite South African Radio DJ" to help market the American awards show in South Africa.

Bonang Matheba's announcement as judge, only for her to withdraw and jet off to Los Angeles for a better made-for-TV special is highly embarrassing for Sun International as the Miss South Africa 2015 organisers.

Sun International through its PR agency, Ninesquared Communications, announced on 14 March that Bonang Matheba will be a judge of Miss South Africa 2015, just as she was in 2014.

After that announcement, Bonang Matheba jetted off this week to Los Angeles for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2015, leaving the judging chair with her name on it at Sun City empty.

Ninesquared Communications on Thursday didn't respond with an answer to a media enquiry as to how Sun International feels about Bonang Matheba agreeing to be a judge and then pulling out.

In a statement on Thursday Bonang Matheba said she has "stepped down as judge of the Miss South Africa 2015 pageant taking place at Sun City this weekend due to an urgent international commitment", confirming that she dumped the local pageant show.

"It is unfortunate that I had to step down as Miss South Africa judge due to an urgent overseas work commitment".

It's not clear, and Bonang Matheba failed to explain, why she committed to be a Miss South Africa 2015 judge if she knew prior to this commitment and announcement of her being a judge that she is going to, or must go to the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2015 for Viacom International Media Networks International Africa (VIMN Africa).

Likewise if Bonang Matheba was only asked to attend the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2015 after the decision was made to be a Miss South Africa 2015 judge, is strange that she would dump and cancel on an existing diarised commitment for an apparently "better" one.

BREAKING. Downton Abbey on DStv's BBC Entertainment done after 6 seasons; 'want to close the doors while it felt right'.


The acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey will be done after the upcoming 6th season which will be the final series for the ITV drama shown in South Africa on BBC Worldwide's BBC Entertainment (DStv 120) and Times Media's VIDI.

NBCUniversal-owned Carnival Films, the producer of Downton Abbey is confirming the months-long rumours that Downton Abbey's 6th series will be the final one.

Carnival Films managing director Gareth Neame, who is also Downton Abbey's executive producer, says "Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years".

"Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end, and Downton is no exception".

"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans."

"We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up..."

"The Downton Abbey journey has been amazing for everyone aboard,” says Julian Fellowes, creator and writer in today's statement.

"People ask if we knew what was going to happen when we started to make the first series and the answer is that, of course we had no idea."

"Exactly why the series had such an impact and reached so many people around the world, all nationalities, all ages, all types, I cannot begin to explain."

"But I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience. I suspect the show will always be a principal marker in most of our careers as we set out from here, and if so, I consider that a blessing and a compliment."

NBCUniversal International Television Production's president Michael Edelstein says "Downton Abbey is nothing short of a global cultural phenomenon, whose compelling storylines and characters are beloved by millions around the world".

"Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame's sublime drama has secured its place as a beacon of British creativity that will live on for decades to come."