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5 quick questions for Sony Channel's territory director Sonja Underwood

2016-02-25 21:00

Cape Town - Since Sony Channel joined the DStv platform in November 2007 its viewership numbers has grown.

Always keen to increase the numbers they have great plans and content coming up to keep viewers tuned in to the channel. 

Sony Channel (DStv 127) is home to some of the top crime dramas such as Body of Proof, NCIS and CSI – key favourites always requested by viewers. 

We chatted to Sonja Underwood, Africa and Baltic States Sony territory director about the channel line-up, Gogglebox and the hand they're playing in raising rhino poaching awareness. 

What are some of the up and coming programmes to look forward to on the channel?

We have so many things lined up for the channel. There will be new, (Corrupt Crimes, Untold Stories of the ER) and returning shows like the ever popular The Amazing Race. But the most exciting thing to look forward to is our very first local production, Gogglebox.

Gogglebox is your first local production. What was it about this show that made it a good fit for the channel?

We were looking for something that was new and fresh and could be locally produced and it took us quite some time. Gogglebox is just an amazing show it had all the components we wanted. It takes you into people's homes, into their living rooms and it's amazing to watch people's reactions as they watch television. It's something everyone can relate to. The series  premieres on Thursday 3 March at 21:00 on the Sony Channel (DStv 127).

Will you tell me a bit more about the show: where was it filmed, how long did filming take, how did you select the participants and which shows will they be watching?

Filming actually hasn't started just yet. It's a review show of the content that was aired on TV in the past seven days, so it is very current.  We'll start nailing down which shows they'll be watching this week. The first season will be filmed in Johannesburg.

When it came to choosing the participants we didn’t hold casting calls. We did street casting, went to shopping malls, to pubs and even got tip offs from friends. We had such a huge pool of people that it was actually hard to choose. 

We then did screen tests which had two phases in round one participant would be shown flash cards and we'd ask them to comment about it and round two we did a little test of the show itself; them watching a programme.  

In the end we narrowed it down to diverse group of people that is a good representation of South African.

Will you tell me a bit more about the Picture This campaign and Sony's work with RAGE.

We are really blessed to be able to do this. The Picture This campaign is a global project launched by Sony Pictures Television to promote awareness of environmental issues.  Each territory had to decide on a project that they wanted to be involved with. We decided on the rhinos cause and teamed up with RAGE (Rhino Action Group Effort) to help create awareness.

What's your favourite programme on the channel?

I think it is definitely going to be Gogglebox – I have seen some screen tests and I can tell you it's going to be great, it's going to be my new favourite.  My second favourite show is The Amazing Race

See a promo for Gogglebox here:

Read more on:    sony  |  tv


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