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Virus won't stop SA's TV shows

Image: Waldo Swiegers

A growing number of international TV series including Trevor Noah and Wendy Williams' shows have suspended productions indefinitely because of Covid-19.

But local TV shows are yet to halt production despite strict precautionary measures instituted in response to the coronavirus outbreak that include social distancing. The SABC told Sowetan yesterday that none of its TV productions have stopped filming.

However, the public broadcaster said a number of upcoming shows that are in pre-production and were scheduled to start shooting next month will be delayed.

"At present, no active productions have experienced any Covid-19 cases, thus there is no shutdown of these active productions," said acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo.

"It must be noted that the SABC has a few productions that should have gone into production in the next month and the productions requiring live studio audiences and performances have been postponed.

"However, pre-production work on these will still continue. The SABC has also cancelled its SABC Education outreach activities, which were due to take place in the next five weeks."

More bad news for South Africans' self-isolation is that as a result of the production breaks in the US, there will be no new episodes of The Wendy Williams Show on BET Africa and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. Instead, reruns will be broadcast during the time-slots for those shows.

However, all local TV productions from ViacomCBS Networks Africa (MTV Base, BET Africa and Comedy Central) will continue to film.

Monde Twala, SVP for editorial and co-general manager for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said they were monitoring the pandemic and will adjust if necessary.

MultiChoice, that broadcasts popular shows such as Isibaya and The Queen yesterday confirmed that the Mzansi Magic telenovelas will continue filming.

"We are in touch with all our production houses and consult with them on their assessment of individual productions," said Joe Heshu, MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs.

Ziyanda Mngomezulu, head of local production at e.tv, said soapies such as Rhythm City and Scandal! that air weekdays will keep the camera rolling.

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