We all know that the SABC, Mfundi Vundla and his team have been playing hardball, as have the 16 actors embroiled in the employment Ts&Cs associated to SABC 1’s hit soap, Generations. So much so it led to all of them being dismissed yesterday. This unfortunate situation made me think of the following:
- What’s next for the Generations as a show? Apparently the storylines have been pretty weak of late, so perhaps this is a well thought-out, strategic plan on the creator’s behalf? Out with the old, in with the new? The SABC has said the show will continue… my question is how?
- Sure you can dismiss 16 actors, but how on earth do you depict that in the show? Do you get other actors to replace those dismissed? You don’t do that overnight though. Those characters are some of the longest standing, most loved people on TV, so not any old actor can come in an encapsulate and embody those characters right off the bat.
- I know this is the soapie genre and sometimes you make shit shine, but you also can’t just kill off all of these characters i.e. they miraculously all die in a plane crash or die as a result of an Ebola outbreak. That needs to be represented in some manner through the storylines and visually. So good luck to the current writers and directors involved in the production.
- Connie Ferguson made a bold move by leaving the hit soap a few years back. Her and hubby, Shona haven’t looked back since, with the success of their production Rockville on Mzansi Magic and a good run in the M-Net soapie The Wild. Maybe they’re looking at a new soapie for rival free-to-air channel, ETV or better yet, for the pay-tv market, which involves many of the 16 stars?
- How will audience ratings be affected by the dismissal? Will they turn their attention to rival soapies Isibaya, Scandal, Rhythm City? Or will Generations continue with its dedicated +- 7million strong audience?
- How does this affect the industry as a whole? Will the likes of Sophia Ndaba, Menzi Ngubane and Katlego Danke get the money they feel they deserve in other shows, soapies they may be involved in going forward? The cast of Friends got their way a few years back, as have several other productions. This is good for the industry because the on-screen talent clearly craves this. It’s no longer a case of “I need work so I’ll just take what I can”. It’s now about show reels, ratings and broadcasters putting their money where their mouths are. Only a good thing, albeit tense.
What do you make of it? Any thoughts from your side?