Old episodes of canned Backstage back on TV

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Eish! Backstage is back on our TV screens, and this time it is flighted at 4.40pm on weekdays instead of the original 6.30pm.

But the return of this daily youth soapie, which was actually canned in June last year for failing to live up to expectations, has raised eyebrows in the world of television production.

What, for instance, has in fact changed since it was canned?

It is said that the last time this show ran on the free-to-air e.tv channel it struggled to cope with competition from other shows such as 7de Laan on SABC2, Take 5 on SABC1 and Isidingo on SABC3, which were showing at the same time.

Backstage started again on Monday but the soapie will only be running repeat episodes. Can somebody at e.tv tell me why I should watch something I might have seen as recently as last year?

It looks as if the producers simply chose the easy and cheap way out by showing us something that we have already seen - at no extra cost to them - instead of filling the slot that used to be occupied by the American show Patience and the local kiddies show Crazy.

Could they not have commissioned another fresh show, such as a short drama series?

This would have achieved two things: new opportunities for actors and TV producers at a reasonable cost as well as giving viewers something new.

Well, for those not familiar with this soapie, Backstage is a South African youth-targeted soap opera produced by Bottom Line Productions.

It revolves around the lives of young students who attend the Vulindlela College, a school for the performing arts.

The college is situated in downtown Johannesburg and is filled with aspiring young artists who will do anything - including plotting, back-stabbing and scheming - to achieve their moment in the limelight.

Besides the college, there are various hang-out spots such as the coffee shop, and of course the popular Emanzini bar.

Well, you can, if you really, really want to, watch the repeat episodes of Backstage during the week on e.tv at 4.40pm.