Cape Town – kykNET (DStv 144) is turning its existing Afrikaans rugby drama, Getroud met Rugby (Married to Rugby) into a weekday soap to replace the cancelled Villa Rosa, toning down the drama series to become a family soap opera.
kykNET promised a new weekday soap after axing the long running Villa Rosa citing costs that no longer justified the stagnant viewership.
After four seasons and a film, Getroud met Rugby will now be turned into a soap. The rugby drama will start in Villa Rosa's timeslot of 18:30 from 4 April 2016.
kykNET says viewer response to Getroud met Rugby, created and produced by Deon Opperman, was the driving factor behind the "unanimous" decision to turn the drama series into half-hour weekday episodes.
"Rugby lies most South Africans close to the heart and therefore we believe that the world around this sport will always tell relevant and mesmerising stories," says Karen Meiring, M-Net's director for Afrikaans channels.
kykNET says Getroud met Rugby won't be diluted being turned into a soap opera but that the show will retain all of the strongest elements from the drama series, but also meet the requirements of a good TV soap and will be entertainment the whole family can watch.
It will mean that some of the riskier elements, story lines, language and depictions of Getroud met Rugby will have to be toned down as the kykNET prime time drama series moves to an earlier timeslot and is reformatted to suit the serialised nature of daily storytelling.
As a soap the show will also change with a bigger emphasis on family life as is traditional with the soap genre.
Trailer for Getroud met Rugby movie:
"After four successful seasons of Getroud met Rugby as a drama series, it was fantastic news to me as writer and producer when kykNET informed me of the decision to present the series as a soap," says Opperman.
The existing characters will remain and the cast will expand, adding a whole new family consisting out of parents and four children between the ages of 16 and 24, as well as another three married couples living and working in the rugby world.
"In a nutshell - the emphasis will fall much more on the 'married' aspect of Getroud met Rugby as on rugby," says Opperman. "There will also be no actions or dialogue that offends a family. It's about enjoyable watching and entertainment".
"Viewers have to be able to recognise their own lives in that of the characters of a soap."
"Therefore it was important for me that we place a bigger emphasis on family life - on the role of parents in the family, on the dreams, aspirations and frustrations of the women married to the players of who are mothers, and of course all of the crucial elements of a soap: love relationships, intrigue, ambition, life dreams, disappointment and success," says Opperman.
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