Cape Town – SABC2 has added a new reality talent search show, Showville, which it hopes will help boost the channel's lackluster weekend schedule and viewership and which will start on Saturdays at 20:00 from 7 November.
A second season of Showville is already planned for 2016.
Showville, an international format, is somewhat like SA's Got Talent, and will be scouring South Africa's "overlooked" towns to find contestants with interesting talents whose skills are put to a "town vote".
SABC2 has been without a big-buzz reality talent show since it gave up on the Rapid Blue produced show after two seasons in 2012, which e.tv took over with great success.
While SABC1 added The X-Factor SA, SABC3 successfully revived Strictly Come Dancing and M-Net continues with the evergreen Idols, SABC2 hopes that a local version of Showville – an international format series from Sony – will bring the channel some of the buzz and ratings its been missing out on.
SABC2 is even bringing back Rob van Vuuren as co-host for Showville, who used to be one of the hosts of SA's Got Talent while that show was carried on SABC2. He will co-present Showville's 26 episodes with Bontle Modiselle.
The first season of Showville on SABC2 will only visit the three provinces of the Western Cape, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal for the first season and the production is currently working through the town selection.
Townsfolk in Gauteng and other provinces will be included for the second season next year.
Towns which are already included in Showville's first season range from Ceres, De Doorns, Montagu, Ladismith, Uniondale, Sedgefield and Albertinia to Simon's Town, Darling, Piketberg, Riversdale, Genadendal and Bredasdorp to Gansbaai.
The South African version of Showville is a co-production between two production companies, Okuhle Media and Cooked in Africa Films, with executive producers Louise McClelland and Peter Gird.
"We're looking for unusual quirky acts – jugglers, magicians, uni-cycling clowns, comedians – we’re not excluding singers and dancers – everyone is welcome to audition," says Louise McClelland from Okuhle Media.
"We will share the, often magical, real stories behind the talent, reminding ordinary South Africans that there is always something extraordinary around every corner if we care to look for it."
"We as a team, have chased this format for more than two years now and the fact that it has become a reality is thrilling for all of us," says Peter Gird from Cooked in Africa Films.
"Talent shows are entrenched into our diverse culture and so we can't wait to see who will come out to entertain South Africa."
"We're hoping that when people from small towns across the country hear Showville is coming to their town, that they'll be inspired to get out their tap shoes, dust off their juggling balls and consider taking their singing in the shower to centre stage," says Maritha Greenland, SABC2 commissioning editor.
"From the auditions to the coaching, through to show night, SABC2 will be there to capture each memorable moment," says Maritha Greenland.
As Showville visits small towns, Rob van Vuuren and Bontle Modiselle will choose four finalists whose performances are put to a town vote to decide who wins R10 000.
The finalists will receive coaching and mentoring before a big performance in the local town hall or community centre where residents will then vote for their favourite performer on the night.
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