Cape Town – Yet another dramatic schedule shake-up is coming for SABC3 to try and boost ratings for the public broadcaster's only commercial TV channel.
From June programming currently seen at 19:30 is moving half an hour later, while shows like stalwart Top Billing moves earlier. The former hour long drama High Rollers is also returning but is now being turned into a three day a week telenovela at 19:30, with half hour episodes set for Mondays to Wednesdays from 29 June.
SABC3's ratings has remained under pressure and several dramatic schedule changes the past two years have failed to move the viewership needle significantly.
June will see an influx of several new shows on SABC3 – the 8th season of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa, a 2nd season of the comedy Those Who Can't and a new season of the reality show Charly's Cake Angels.
The Cape Town based reality show produced by Cooked in Africa and set in the famous Charly's Bakery saw a first season in a bad afternoon timeslot after which a second season was shown on DStv's Food Network.
Charly's Cake Angels, which got critical praise, has been added back to the schedule and will now be moved to primetime at 21:00 on SABC3 from 18 June for a new season.
Meanwhile American dramas currently at 19:30 will move to 20:30 like the Monday comedies and series like Common Law, The Good Wife and Hostages.
The 21st season of The Amazing Race will start on SABC3 on 6 July at 20:30.
High Rollers turned into half hour telenovela
The 8th season of Strictly Come Dancing SA, produced by Rapid Blue, will start on 5 June at 19:30. The dance reality format show will no longer have an additional eviction show on Saturdays but will now eliminate contestants on the Friday programme to try and lift ratings, keep social media abuzz and viewers tuned in for longer as event television.
From 18 June the Tswelopele Productions produced Top Billing which has weathered many channel and timeslot changes over decades is moving yet again to 19:30.
It will be followed by the second season of Man Cave, the Janez Vermeiren produced Cheeky Media magazine show geared towards a young male audience and which will see comedian Siv Ngesi joining the existing Lunga Shabalala and Vermeiren as presenters.
The gambling drama High Rollers is turned into a telenovela as SABC3 jumps on the Uzalo, Ashes to Ashes and Isibaya local telenovela bandwagon.
The former hour long drama will be broadcast three times a week at 19:30 and cut down to half hour episodes like a soapie, revolving around three "brothers" – casino kingpin David, his flawed older brother Paul, and David's right-hand man Thato Mogale.
High Rollers will get a mid-morning repeat on SABC3 at 10:30
The local comedy set in the staff room of an elite private school, Those Who Can't will return for a second season on 29 June at 20:00.
While a woman would have been added to SABC3's recently launched new weekday afternoon variety magazine and talk show Afternoon Express which got a lukewarm reception from viewers and critics, it now looks as if one of the male contestants of the Presenter Search on 3 will be added to the trio of Bonang Matheba, Jeannie D and Bonnie Mbuli to try and lift ratings.
Two other contestants of the Presenter Search on 3 will join SABC3's breakfast show Expresso and Top Billing respectively.
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