What's Happening?


PUBLISHED: The TV Snitch 02 Feb

Buhle Mbonambi talks the good, bad and interesting that’s on our TV’s. 

Tanya van Graan
Tanya is a Rising Star
Model-turned-actress, Tanya van Graan is doing well in Hollywood. She just completed shooting a movie called Seal Team Eight, co-starring Tom Sizemore, Colin Moss and Langley Kirkwood. She’s also just been signed up for a role on the Syfy channel’s new series, Dominion, based on the 2010 film, Legion. The series follows the dangerous journey of a rebellious young soldier who discovers he’s the unlikely saviour of humanity. The story takes place 25 years after a brutal war between angels and humans, which left earth in ruins. Tanya will play Noma, one of the angels. The series co-stars Christopher Egan, Tom Wisdom and Roxanne McKee and will have a June debut in the US. I hope we’ll get it soon, especially with so many local actors starring in it. 

Bonang Matheba and Mohamed Kajee

Top Billing House Give-away
So after 21 weeks, Top Billing has finally given away the dream home and a luxury car to winner, Mohamed Kajee, from Johannesburg. Imagine winning a R5 million home and luxury car? It’s impressive how Top Billing, even with faltering ratings, can still manage to give away this amazing prize to their viewers. Also impressive was presenter Bonang Matheba who managed to do the whole scene in one take, with no autocue. 
Now, the matter about Top Billing ratings – what is going on? From 750 000 early last year, to a bit more than 400 000 viewers. Surely there must be something that Tswelopele Productions is doing to try and fix this ratings mess? It’s sad, because they have some of the best presenters in the country and if hardly anyone is watching, that’s a big problem. 

Star of Traffic! Bonnie Mbuli
e.tv’s Traffic!
Finally e.tv has a new local, quality drama. Made for their eKasi+ channel and to be simulcast on e.tv, Traffic! is a new cop drama, starring Bonnie Mbuli and the underrated Bongo Mbutuma. Bonnie stars as Lungi and Bongo as Songezo. The series is set in Cape Town and will premiere on February 12. This is a great move by e.tv. I’ve been calling for the channel to have a local drama for months, especially with the new OpenView HD service, which allows them four channels to produce quality dramas. I have high hopes that Traffic! will be a success. Bonnie and Bongo are great actors and cop dramas are almost always a success, especially in South Africa. Now let’s hope that the show will be successful, which will hopefully force e.tv to commission more local dramas. 
Sharon Stone is also now going to star in a TV series where she will play Natalie Maccabee, the first female US vice-president on Agent X
The Rise of the Female Politician on TV 
Remember last year when NBC and CNN had to cancel their planned TV dramas on Hillary Clinton? Well CBS has decided to capitalise on their rivals standing down and going ahead with theirs. A pilot has been ordered for the show, titled Madam Secretary, expected to air this September. Although the series is not based on Hillary Clinton’s life, critics expect it to be a mix of Condoleeza Rice, Clinton and Madeline Albright. Morgan Freeman is one of the executive producers and it will be written by Judging Amy scribe Barbara Hall. 
I love this current fascination in top ranking female politicians in the US. With TV series like Veep, The Fixer, and even Parks and Recreation, shows about female politicians have become really popular. 
I’m certain it won’t be long before Aaron Sorkin comes up with a great TV drama about a female president. Even in South Africa, the excellent local series, 90 Plein Street now has a female president, which is not really a pipe dream anymore.
Speaking of which, Sharon Stone is also now going to star in a TV series where she will play Natalie Maccabee, the first female US vice-president. In the series, titled Agent X, Natalie steps into the race for vice-president after her senator husband dies. She gets |the job, and discovers being |vice-president comes with a top- secret duty. 
This is also proving just how powerful TV is as a storytelling medium. Sharon Stone joins a long list of movie actors who are now doing TV shows! 

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