Home Entertainment Uzalo to be pulled off air over boring scenes – SABC speaks

Uzalo to be pulled off air over boring scenes – SABC speaks

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SABC1’S prime-time weekday telenovela Uzalo has been put on notice to come up with creative storylines or face being canned following months of “boring” content and declining viewership.

The soapie has been shedding viewers quickly, which is a concern for SABC’S top management and several members of the board.

The soapie’s viewership hit 11.4-million in April before dropping to 8.8-million last month, according to the latest data by the Broadcast Research Council of SA.

Celebgossip has learnt the SABC instructed Uzalo’s producers, Stained Glass, which is owned by former president Jacob Zuma’s daughter, Gugulethu Zuma Ncube and Pepsi Pokane, that they needed to ensure all actors were paid decent salaries, as well as revisit their storyline to regain viewers.

This, two board members and a member of the production revealed, was after the SABC discovered some actors were being paid low salaries and the public broadcaster believed this might have also contributed to the poor storylines as the actors might not be happy.

The show has been on air since 2015 and has grown to become the most-watched soapie in the country over the years, surpassing Generations: The Legacy, which occupied the number-one spot for years.

However, one of the group executives privy to the discussions between Uzalo producers

A scene from ‘Uzalo’. The SABC believes the soapie has lost its plot, according to sources.

and the public broadcaster, said though most viewers were not happy with the soapie’s story direction, the SABC was likely to try to assist the production to turn the corner rather than can it.

“Yes, there are issues with Uzalo because of its dwindling numbers and the complaints we received from viewers who said the storyline was now boring. We urged the producers to come up with creative storylines to rescue the soapie because it was important to the SABC.

“Another thing we emphasised was that actors need to be paid decent salaries for their work,” said the executive.

These details were also confirmed by two board members, who said the board felt that the SABC1 soapie was no longer worth the R179-million annual fee being paid by the SABC, indicating that the soapie has lost its plot.

“We are aware that actors are panicking, thinking that they are about to lose their jobs, but the SABC wants a strong

Uzalo that’s able to retain its top spot with creative and topical storylines,” one of the board members said.

“In fact, all we did was to ask that they be remunerated well for their acting because we learnt that some actors were paid next to nothing while their characters had grown to be loved by the viewers.”

SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said: “The SABC would like to categorically state that these allegations are unfounded and without merit. Uzalo is one of the most watched programmes in South Africa with more than 10-million viewers and therefore the SABC intends to continue airing the show.”

Pokane confirmed that Uzalo’s viewership has dropped, adding the same went for their peers Generations: The Legacy, and Skeem Saam. He denied the SABC has complained about their storylines, saying the broadcaster has commissioned the soapie for another three years. He said all contracted actors will start filming in January next year.

– Sundayworld


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