e.TV hosted their TV winter upfront last night at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Sandton. It was packed with journalists, celebrities, hangers on and of course, e.TV management. It has to be noted though, that Marcel Golding (CEO) and Monde Thwala (Channel Head), where not there. Rumour has it that Monde is in Brazil. Ahh, the World Cup.
We tweeted the whole evening during the proceedings. Penny Lebyane was the MC and the evening ended with a huge announcement that she has joined e.tv's breakfast show, Sunrise. Sindy Mabe has left the show. She starts on Monday.
Other announcements were:
SA's Got Talent
- DJ Fresh and Lalla Hirayama have joined the judging panel for SA's Got Talent. This was basically a confirmation as we broke the story earlier this year. Shado Thwala, the sole remaining original judge, was also present and here's what they said about the show.
- Lalla: "I'm looking forward to finding the new talent on SA's Got Talent this season. It's going to be great working with Fresh and Mama Shado. I'm going to be the nice judge and I think, Fresh is going to be the mean judge. (Laughs)"
- Fresh: "We are looking for people who are talented, but also have potential, have prepared for the show and are passionate about their talent. I'm looking forward to working with Shado and Lalla and yeah... the Three P's man."
- Shado: "I was very anxious when I heard that the previous judges had left. We worked well together and I will miss them. They did make me cry, but I'm happy to work with Fresh and Lalla. It's like starting again. We just need to keep Fresh away from the mic, especially with that raucous laugh of his. Plus, excuse the pun, he's going to freshen up the show."
Last season's winner, Johnny Apple, performed his new single, Monday Morning and man is he talented! The song is a great pop single and should be blazing the charts soon. Plus he looks like a superstar, so it should be plain sailing, no? The judges have to make sure they put through interesting, talented people, with an x-factor.
- Sindy Mabe has left e.tv's morning show and will be replaced by Penny Lebyane. We got word about this, earlier this week, but it was confirmed last night. Here's hoping that she can bring to it more viewers. Maybe Sunrise should do away with the news-y element of the show. Rather make it more lifestyle orientated and then link to the ENCA guys on top of the hour for the news and sports update.
- There's no news on whether Walter Mokoena will be staying on the show after his contract basically ends this month. He was brought in especially for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, which ends on Sunday. I guess we'll have to wait and see. But when we consulted the publicist handling the show, they were not forthcoming with details, which is a possibility that it's being discussed at the Hyde Park offices.
Rhythm City & Scandal!
- The e.TV soapies are still staying on the channel and with Scandal! celebrating its tenth anniversary soon, the channel is planning something huge.
- Rhythm City has wedding bells tolling, but there's some drama on the way for the groom. Will he and his bride eventually make it down the aisle?
- And with the Nyathi family all in jail, Scandal! is taking a darker, edgier route, you know, like when it started in 2005? We are looking forward to see it attempt being a HBO show.
- After a semi-successful first season, which saw Nonhle Thema, Babalwa Mneno and Khanyi Mbau do charitable acts (and save their careers), the show is back with Boity, Somizi and Bongani Fassie helming the show.
- This season will see the three 'stars' do charitable acts, giving back to the community and also having fun. We can't imagine Somizi doing something 'dirty'.
- We loved though that they have great chemistry. It's clear Bongani is the one who's going to bring the calmness to Boity and Somizi. Boity is chilled, but she can get giggling fits and as for Somizi... He's one huge ball of crazy and that's the needed mix in any show. People who balance each other out.
- "Bongani has a crush on Boity and I have a crush on Bongani! OH!"- Somizi. See what we mean?
- The show returns 2 August at 6.05pm
- e.TV has finally realised that they made a mistake (they blame it on programming, because people love Scandal!) by moving Club808 to OpenView HD. And the worst thing about that decision is that they took that decision after signing the controversial, but oh-so-talented Nonhle Thema, to co-host the show with DJ Mo Flava. So they've finally come back to their senses and the show will be returning on e.TV soon.
- Just a word- why not move the Steve Harvey Show or even cancel it? I mean, it's old. Have Club808 at 8pm. The target audience gets ready at 8pm to go out anyway, so it makes sense. And Generations may be a threat, but remember, Club808 is a music show, targeting young people, so the people who need to watch will tune in.
Well nothing much was said about OpenView HD, except that it's basically a no subscription satellite TV service. You pay once for the decoder and installation and that's its. You get 4 e.TV channels, plus 14 more.
At the event, e.TV revealed a couple of changes for some of its OpenView HD shows
Katch it with Khanyi
- Katch It With Khanyi has been renewed for a second season on OpenView HD's eKasi+ channel. After a rather boring first season, with a small, boring set, they've upped the ante and the show is now going to be shot at one of the suites at The Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
- Khanyi will feature guests that are not famous for their work, but rather the ambiguous nature of their fame, especially those she doesn't know why they are famous.
- She'll also be playing Devil's Advocate and asking all the tough questions to her celebrity guests. She told Penny that she can ask them whatever, because she's also a sinner and sinners don't judge each other, unlike Penny, who would judge everyone if she was on the show. (Penny would though.)
- We loved how Khanyi threw shade at Ntsiki Mazwai for always being outraged about something. I hope she has her on the show this season.
- We wish e.Tv would bring this show on e.TV instead of Ek se Let's Talk with Masechaba.
Ek se Let's Talk with Masechaba
- This show should work. It doesn't. Masechaba is a bit too on the intellectual side for this show and it's rather pedestrian for her.
- Not only does it need a new set, but it needs Tol Ass Mo and Refilwe Modisele to basically know their stuff and most times they are left wanting.
- They should add a fourth presenter in studio (Miza) and make it a proper panel, instead of what it is.
- Can we not rely on the Vox Pops? I know that's what the show is about, but it just doesn't make for interesting TV. There must be a better way of getting views. And that's where a studio audience comes in. Maybe if money was spent on this show, it would actually be worth our time. It can stay on eKasi+. Katch it with Khanyi must be simulcast on e.TV. During 3Talk. To make things interesting in SA talk shows. Not that we have many.
It was a rather interesting upfront and we look forward to the changes to be made. We wish that they had revealed just how many subscribers there are on OpenView HD.
We look forward to a great new season of SA's Got Talent, Penny being on Sunrise (keep Walter) and Katch it with Khanyi being outrageous. Reality Check is going to be a must watch (even just for Somizi's antics) and we really hope that the 52 new episodes of Ekasi: Our Stories aren't going to be ludicrous. Yes, it's low budget, but if the story is great, most times things would work out. Maybe it's time writers invested their time in getting involved in these short stories. This cant be a reflection of our TV industry.
And the Nyathi's on Scandal! being in jail? Awesome stuff. It should be interesting in the next few weeks. And will Suffocate sort out the drama in his life?
Catch it all on e.TV in the next few weeks.