Cape Town – Villa Rosa is cancelled, with kykNET (DStv 144) which decided to end the long running Afrikaans TV soap – the shocked cast and crew were told at 16:00 on Wednesday afternoon about the decision.
kykNET has confirmed that the show has been cancelled and announced that a new soapie will start 1 April 2016.
It leaves Binnelanders as the only Afrikaans language TV soap on South African pay TV.
Insider sources told Channel24 on Wednesday that the shocked cast and crew were told on Wednesday afternoon at 16:00 at Atlas Studios in Auckland Park that Villa Rosa is over.
The rest of the 11th season of Villa Rosa will be filmed until the end of July after which the production is done.
Villa Rosa will remain on air in new original episodes from Mondays to Thursdays in the 18:30 timeslot which will be broadcast until March 2016.
Villa Rosa started in October 2004 on kykNET and was initially only broadcast on Mondays, after which the frequency increased to Mondays and Wednesdays, and later to four days a week.
Villa Rosa celebrated its 2 000 episode at the end of November 2014 and after 11 years several of the original Villa Rosa actors are still part of the main cast of the soap which is produced by Spectro Produksies.
The shocking Villa Rosa decision and the news to cast and crew comes after the Afrikaans channel, supplied to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, also decided to can its weekday breakfast show Dagbreek after just two years, as well as implementing dramatic cutbacks to its recently introduced late night timeslot strand.
The late night timeslot of 21:30 is being cut back with the hour long shows being reduced to half hours in duration each and with some programming being cancelled outright just four months after kykNET started it.
The cancellation of Villa Rosa – the channel’s first Afrikaans soap – raises multiple serious questions inside South Africa's TV industry about what exactly is going on at kykNET, the reasons for the mass cancellations and original programming cutbacks, and why kykNET is suddenly making the cascading cancellation decisions.
The controversial decisions and mass cancellations rocking kykNET and its schedule will not be good news.
Thursday night is also going to be particularly awkward for kykNET and the channel's executives attending.
Thursday night is the live broadcast of the fifth annual 2015 kykNET Fiëstas award ceremony on kykNET from Cape Town's Artscape.
It's a given that the Afrikaans glitterati attending, will be talking and be whispering only about one awkward thing on the red carpet – or maybe three: the cancellation of Dagbreek, the cancellation of Villa Rosa and the apparent failure of kykNET's late night timeslot strand it introduced in October 2014 with such great fanfare.
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