As the seasons change, Discovery Networks has also announced the launch of a brand-new channel (exclusively on DStv), Discovery Family, the all-new channel showcasing the best in fun, edutainment programming for the whole family.
The channel will launch on DStv channel 136 in South Africa on Thursday 31 March 2016, replacing Discovery World (DStv channel 187) which will no longer air on DStv from 30 March 2016. The launch of Discovery Family also coincides with the move of TLC Entertainment, Discovery's flagship female brand and the number one international lifestyle/entertainment channel in South Africa, into DStv's entertainment channel segment.
From 31 March, TLC Entertainment, currently on DStv channel 172 will now be available on DStv channel 135 and will sit alongside Discovery Family (DStv channel 136). The move follows a period of tremendous success for TLC, which last year saw the launch of its first local series, "Top 10 TLC" featuring its first African presenter, Namibia's David Mbeha.
"As a leader in global factual entertainment programming, it is fitting that our flagship female network TLC will make its new home in DStv's entertainment segment, alongside our latest channel brand, Discovery Family," said James Gibbons, EVP & Country Manager, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks CEEMEA. "Featuring quality programming that will inspire a new way of learning in a fun and accessible way, Discovery Family is the perfect addition to our DStv portfolio and a new destination channel for the entire family."
Aletta Alberts, GM for Content for MultiChoice South Africa said: "Discovery Family and TLC will provide the perfect complement that'll strengthen our DStv entertainment selection. Discovery Family is designed for family viewing, bringing great programming that entertains and educates. There'll be something for every member of the family!"
Always engaging, always enriching and always entertaining, Discovery Family is the latest channel from Discovery Networks, showcasing entertaining and educational content for the whole family. From awesome space adventures and crazy experiments of popular science, to fascinating tales of animals in the wild, Discovery Family, is the channel that will spark curiosity and inspire conversation away from the TV box.
The must-see programmes set to premiere on Discovery Family throughout March and April include NASA's Unexplained Files (Thursday 31 March, 20:10pm), which presents first-hand accounts from astronauts who have witnessed mysterious occurrences in space, from the impossible to the downright odd. The Willis Family (Tuesday 5 April at 20:10pm) follows Brenda and Toby Willis and their life at home and on the road following their appearance on America's Got Talent. And making its debut on African screens as part of Discovery Family's daily kids block, Doki (Monday 4 April at 6:00am/15:10) is the new animated series following seven year-old explorer Doki and his best friends Oto, Mundi, Fico, Anabella and Gabi as they travel the world in search of answers to their many questions.
Discovery Family will be available to DStv Premium, Extra, Compact and Family customers in South Africa.
So you want to pawn some of your valuables, what you don't use anymore, and some things that could add a few rands in your pocket? Perhaps the second series of "Pawn Stars SA" is the right place to start, in this financially trying times we are facing.
Set in the Cash Inn pawn shop in Johannesburg, the show features owner Roy Peretz, his business partners Eytan and Liel, and assistants Irene and Solly who meet customers from all walks of life, who want to pawn or sell a range of quirky, unique and sometimes valuable items. South Africa's rich and diverse culture provides a treasure-trove of fascinating artefacts from past to present, from muscle cars to military memorabilia, which flood through the shop doors.
Starting on 29 March at 8.30pm, the series introduces a new member of the team, Cecily Pavoncelli. Cecily's mission will be to spend Roy's money on some fine items, bringing in a creative and positive energy to the store. Another new addition to the show, and supporting the team at Cash Inn, will be University of Pretoria's Professor Fransjohan Pretorius, author of numerous books and an expert on recent South African history.
Look out for even more local artefacts, including an original bronze casting of Professor Chris Barnard's hands, a piece of literary history from Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer and amazing original sketches from the proudly South African movie, "Zambezia". Some of the more intriguing discoveries include maps, personal items and firearms, as well as more recent historical items that have emerged from the country's liberation struggle over the past 50 years.
In the first episode of the brand new season, catch up with king of negotiation, Roy Peretz, and his expanding team, who've welcomed Cecily Pavoncelli, a new addition, to the fold. Roy's long time business partner, Eytan, has developed a reputation amongst the team as a bit of a hoarder who buys more than he sells, but Eytan is fierce in defending himself against these accusations.
Cecily feels the magic when a man walks in selling a mysterious bronze-cast statue; Solly is regaled with a tale of a legendary game ranger from the Kruger National Park; and a lesson in "boere musiek" unfolds when an Afrikaans actor brings in a concertina. When Roy heads out for some sharky fun in the Vaal River, Eytan turns over a new leaf and makes a sale – it's all happening in the second series of Pawn Stars SA.
More than a braai show, the big and fast travelling show, "Ultimate Braaimaster", returns to SA screens on 29 March, at 9pm.
Now with past series' extended to the Caribbean and South America, series host and producer, Justin Bonello (pictured middle), accompanied by judges Petrus Madutlela (left) and Bertus Basson (right), invites you to discover South Africa on another adventure filled season, and new ways of doing what South Africans do best – braai. Here you will be transported and find exciting Mzansi spots like the magnificent Blyde River Canyon, Tshipise Forever Resort near Musina, Loskop Dam Forever Resort in Mpumalanga; Rocky Bay in KZN, Drakensberg to the Ithala Game Reserve, Areena Riverside Resort just north of East London, Hole in the Wall on the Wild Coast, and more exciting places throughout this here wonderful land.
Pitting private chefs to chefs, a project manager who has cooked in Las Vegas at the food World Championships, a culinary artist, business owner, personal trainer/foodie to bodybuilder, business development officer, retirees, regional project manager, soccer head coach, architectural technologist, Civil Engineer, vehicle sales executive and more, the teams are vying for the four finale spots on 21 June. The team with the best fireside skills, teamwork ability and the one that can produce the most delicious food on the open fire, will be the one to walk away with the title, R500 000, the Suzuki Sx4 All Grip and the chance to compete at the World Food Championships in Florida, courtesy of Robertsons Herbs and Spices.
On the first episode, "Gariep Dam, Karoo, the top 13 teams head out into the desolate Karoo, the first destination of their epic braai-inspired road trip across South Africa. Team spirits are high with each of them thinking that they have what it takes to be this year's "Ultimate Braai Master" and walk away with half a million rand, a brand new Suzuki SX4 and the chance to compete at the World Food Championships in Florida. Sounds sizzling?
But the game has changed and if teams are going to stay in the competition, they will have to survive all the twists and turns that the series host and the two judges have up their sleeves. This year proves to be tougher than ever before and after a trying challenge, teams are in for an unpleasant surprise that leave them on the edge of their seats!
They get to choose any one of the other teams to compete against in the first Elimination Challenge! Tensions fly high as the two teams battle it out to remain in the game. After a dismal performance by one team, they are sent home and their hopes of taking this year's title go up in smoke! The next day marks the first ever Crew Challenge and contestants have to braai a meal fit for a king – but they have very few ingredients and very little time! Crews have to work together to avoid going up against each other in the Elimination Challenge at the next location.
To cook the perfect layered potjie, meat off course, prepare food for special guests, crowd of 100 people, have to cook the perfect trout dishes according to the judges' brief, crews compete against each other in a four-course, five-star braai-off - a challenge that is not only about fine dining, but also about the crew captains' skill in being effective delegators in the kitchen, and cross tongs in a mixed grill Elimination Challenge.
Strategy, the energy, and other elements that you wouldn't normally associate with braaing, make what the show is, and will keep you captivated. It's about to go down.
Top actors Nthati Moshesh ("Gaz'lami"/"Home Affairs"), Thami Mngqolo (pictured left - "Generations"/"Home Affairs"), Thato Molamu (right/forward) "Generations'/"What's behind the wall"), Sello Sebotsane ("Backstage"/"Isidingo"/"Stokvel") and Buyile Mdladla (Generations/Muvhango) know a thing or two about "Greed and Desire".
The names are part of the Mzansi Magic's (DStv channel 161) new telenovela alongside Linda Sebezo, Nkopano Mohola, Motsoaledi Setum, Keaby Mashugane, Kamo Letsosa and Bonginkosi Shibe. Launching on 4 April at 7.30pm, "Greed and Desire" (previously called "Ke Thaba Bosiu" as a working title) will explore the themes of ambition, wealth, power, secrets and desire in a world established in Bloemfontein.
Kicking off on a tragic note, the tragic journey of the prominent Makhetha family sets a series of events in motion when the patriarch of the family is killed in a fit of rage. His murder becomes the root of a dreadful secret that sees the family empire falling in the wrong hands.
Lives are ruined when the family learns the truth about who killed the head of the house, as the fate of the empire that was built from nothing to an established jewel is at stake. The rightful heir is in the dark about their inheritance and the responsibilities that lie ahead in their future. And so the story of how greed ruined a family by threatening their wealth and fortune unfold.
"At Mzansi Magic we work tirelessly to bring our viewers the best in local entertainment," says, Nkateko Mabaso, Local Entertainment Channels Director at M-Net. "We welcome "Greed and Desire" and its stellar cast to the Mzansi Magic family and we will keep developing new and exciting programmes to keep viewers glued to their screens."
For more information on the show do log on to www.mzansimagic.tv. Join in on the conversation by liking the Facebook page, or follow on Twitter @mzansimagic #GreednDesire and Instagram: @mzansimagic.
Now that Cape Town is done showing off, "Idols SA" is now set for the gruelling Top 16 process.
Just to get the juices going, for the first time in "Idols SA" history, the Top 16 process will be open to the public on 8 April, 2016. A limited number of tickets are up for sale at R30 a pop, so if you want to part of this live audience event, to see what happens behind the scenes, months before the rest of Mzansi can, or you have friends and family you want to support, you'd better head over to your nearest Computicket now.
Doors will open at 12h30 on the day, at Sun International's Wild Coast Sun (KwaZulu Natal), the show's new Theatre Week home. "Idols SA" season 12, coming after last year's record breaking season, will be broadcast on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) from Sunday 17 July at 17h00.
Back to the Cape Town story: of the 79 Idols SA hopefuls, 20 Golden Tickets were issued out by the judges (Randall Abrahams, Unathi Msengana, Somizi Mhlongo (pictured) and Gareth Cliff) during the last leg of the Idols SA season 12 auditions. Pretoria leads with the largest number of Golden tickets issued at 21, followed by The Mother City, while Durban and Pretoria are tied at 19 each.
Sporadic bursts of excited screams permeated the air at GrandWest Entertainment World as contestants came out of the audition room clutching the precious Golden ticket. There were more than a few tears, shaky hands and sweaty faces as hopefuls received their passes to Theatre Week.
"I can't believe I made it," said a shaken Micaela Kleinsmith, the first person to receive a Golden Ticket in Cape Town. "I was so nervous in front of the judges, I even messed up a bit on the guitar." But her strong voice saw the 19 year-old overcome, with Somizi calling her the much-prayed-for drop of rain that people have been praying for in the drought.
Guest judge Jack Parow was also impressed with the teen, who happens to come from the "Never Gonna Grow Up" hit maker's neck of the woods – the Parrow Valley.
The youngest contestant on this leg was also the first to get a yes from all four judges. Bevin Samuels, 18, travelled for over 12 hours by bus from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town for the audition. The solo trek, he said, was worth it. "I sang Billionaire by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars. The judges didn't say much after I finished, they just gave me the ticket," said Bevin, himself still dazed from the incredible response.
The hunger that saw Caledon hopeful Bronwin Wyngaardt wake up at 3am so he could drive 111kms to GrandWest also paid off. The 25 year-old also received the hard-to-get four thumbs up when he finished his rendition of Swing Low. "Jack Parow's eyes were popping and Randall kept nodding even before I finished singing. I can't wait to join the rest of the competition on Theatre Week to show what I'm all about!"
"Idols SA" season 12 will be broadcast on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161 from Sunday 17 July at 5pm.
Now that the coaches Karen Zoid, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lira and Kahn Morbee have filled the remaining spots have been filled from "The Voice SA" Blind Auditions, with 14 team members each, it's time to move on to the all-or-nothing Battle Rounds.
From next Sunday onwards, "The Voice SA" episodes will also be a full two hours long, which means that the show will start a half an hour earlier, at 5pm. For the Battles, each coach will pair up the singers in his or her team to take each other on in a 'sudden death' style duet.
At the end of this Battle, the coach then has to decide which singer outperformed his or her rival to stay in the competition and proceed to the live shows during which the voting public will also have a say in the outcome of the competition. These fierce vocal Battles will play out over four episodes, with the live shows starting from Sunday 17 April.
"All four of the coaches have incredibly strong teams and are in it to win it, "says M-Net's Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. "But during the Battles the dynamics change dramatically. As they will literally be losing half their team, the coaches will have to think carefully – and strategically - when deciding which of the singers to pit against each other. You can also imagine how hard it will be for them to choose between two amazing singers who are giving it their all."
In one of the most emotional moments of the Blind Auditions, coach Karen Zoid was in tears this week after turning around to find her former back-up vocalist Thapelo Lekoane (29) from Alexandra on stage. While Thapelo took the second last spot on Karen's team, South Africa's legendary rock chick was also chuffed to find a fantastic rock-and-roller in the form of Alicia-Ann du Plessis (24) who gave a powerhouse performance of the classic "I Put a Spell on You'". Alicia-Ann was not only the last person entering Team Karen, but also the last one to make it into The Battles.
The other powerhouse vocalists to be mentored by Karen Zoid are the duo Blaque Harmony, Almur Marais, Tracey-Lee Oliver, Jono Grayson, Sofaya Nkosi, Zaretha Duvenhage, Nadine Sisam, Sibongile Sibeko, Nontu X, Tulla Eckart, Thembeka Mnguni and Marcel de Almeida.
The very last place in Team Bobby was taken up by 24-year-old Nolene Olivier from Johannesburg who studied sound design at AFDA and is dreaming of an illustrious career in the Afrikaans music industry. She wrote her first song when she was in Grade 10 at Linden High School in Johannesburg and some of her singles have reached the top of the charts on Afrikaans radio stations.
With Nolene, Bobby's team is made up of plenty of young, spunky, spirited and inspiring singers, including Sumaré van Schalkwyk, Lyle Anthony Volkwyn, Vernon Barnard, Zoe Mtila, Chris Werge, Kim Collins, Gavin Edwards, Chanel Davids, Xanilee Hammond, Abel Knobel, Lana Crowster, Jessica Martins and Mbijana Sibisi.
Lira, who has been noticeably selective in swivelling her chair around throughout the Blind Auditions, saw her strategy paying off this week when she nabbed Tshego Makhafola (27), a teacher and humanitarian from the West Rand, Zoë Modiga (pictured - 21) from Pietermaritzburg and Meyrand Roux (28) from Brits in the Northwest.
All four of the coaches were in awe of Tshego's standout voice and desperately wanted this potential winner in their teams. Tshego is studying towards an M. Education degree in Musical Education from Wits, has a B.Mus (Hons) degree, and also a degree in Maths – a triple achievement made all the more remarkable because as a child he struggled with dyslexia. Zoë stirred some souls with her mesmerizing performance of Hozier's "Take Me To The Church" and Lira couldn't help but calling Meyrand's voice "sultry" and "delicious".
Tshego, Zoë and Meyrand join the following dynamite singers in Team Lira: Jono Johansen, Busisiwe Mutlaka, LuniQue, Sibulele Miti, William Wolf, Lendel Moonsamy, Robin Pieters, Kimberleigh van der Ventel, El Clay, Jeremy Olivier and Austin Lurring.
Team Kahn, with its eclectic group of singers, garnered two more delightful voices, both from KZN, this week: born entertainer and vocal coach Chloe Clark (26) who charmed with a jazzy interpretation of "Single Ladies" and James Freedom (26) who discovered the joy of music after a serious car crash.
The other diverse singers in Team Kahn are Shen Winberg, Jade McDonald, Justin Swallow, Lara Gear, Francis Bowers, Michelle Moodie, Richard Stirton, Clemour Ngobeni, Johan Anker, Eden Myrrh, Zé and Prime Zulu.
For more information about this week's chosen talent and how the competition works, go to mnet.tv/thevoice. Also remember to download The VoiceSA app on Android or iOS to play real-time games and stay up to speed with the latest news about the show.
You can also join The Voice SA conversation on "The Voice SA" Facebook page, and via Twitter on @VoiceSA with the hashtag #TheVoiceSA, or use your WeChat account and check in with the ID MNetTV.
Former Generations stars Menzi Ngubane (pictured) and Nambitha Mpumlwana are set to face off again. That's on the small screen at least.
This as Menzi joins the cast of "Ashes to Ashes", one of those Telenovela's breaking the rules and making a return on e.tv, next month. 5 million viewers later, the second season of the gripping, fast paced telenovela, will hit our screens on Monday, 14 March at 8PM on e.tv.
Also joining the cast is The Prince of Theatre, Atandwa Kani as Buzwe Sihlahla, Tina Jaxa, who plays Nokulunga Rhadebe, Mandlakazi's estranged and feisty cousin; and industry veteran, Nandi Nyembe makes a debut as Detective Nkonzo's mother, Ma Nkonzo, who has a score to settle with the Namanes.
After the nail biting season 1 finalé, viewers can look forward to finding out who survived the terrible shoot out rampage by the deranged Tsietsi Namane (Nyaniso Dzedze).
The telenovela is set against the backdrop of a family-owned business in Tembisa, Namane Funerals. The funeral parlour is headed by the husband and wife duo, Mandlakazi (Nambitha) and Selogile Namane (Patrick Shai), who inherited it from their parents. The pair have created an empire with the assistance of their children Tsietsi (Nyaniso), Monwabisi (Chumani Pan) and most recently, Reba Namane (Zenande Mfenyane).
On the surface all looks well, but the Namane family is haunted by deep, dark secrets, which are constantly swept under the carpet to keep the family intact.
"The show played an integral role in launching the 8PM telenovela slot for the channel and viewers couldn't get enough of it," said Monde Twala, Managing Director for e.tv Channels Division. "We are thrilled about the new season of Ashes to Ashes and are sure that it will keep viewers consistently entertained."
"The first season allowed the Namane family to reinforce its presence in South African prime time television," said Genna Lewis, Series Producer at Clive Morris Productions. "In the second season, the changing power dynamics in the Namane family will bring fierce action to the fore. "Ashes to Ashes 2, promises to bring all the thrills, drama, love, hate and the complications that South Africans have come to expect from the series.".
A series of scandalous dramatic moments, lead to the truth about the father of Mpho's baby being revealed. Shocking events continue to follow the Namane family, threatening the future of the funeral parlour and the Namane family as we know it. Love, support, and unity are put to the test when Selo makes a life changing decision which results in regret and despise.
"Ashes to Ashes" season 2 returns with much anticipated drama, new characters and more grim secrets that will further shatter the family unit. Some of Mzansi's favourite actors will take on new roles in season 2. Tina Jaxa plays Nokulunga Rhadebe, Mandlakazi's estranged and feisty cousin. Atandwa Kani is Buzwe Sihlahla, Tsietsi's no nonsense lawyer. Industry veteran, Nandi Nyembe makes a debut as Detective Nkonzo's mother, Ma Nkonzo, who has a score to settle with the Namanes.
Friday nights are achanging on SABC1, and it's gonna be quite an experience.
The channel will from this Friday the 13th introduce to its viewers a brand new music show called Urban Music Xperience (UMX) come From Friday 12 February 2016 at 9pm. Hosted by Metro FM's Adil More and Luthando "Lootlove" Shosha, "UMX" promises to dish out sizzling hot local and international videos from the names that drive urban music culture across the globe.
The show replaces "Live Amp" on the slot. A revamped series of 'Live Amp', hosted by Pearl Thusi and DJ Warras, will now be at 7.30pm. "Skyroom Live" follows "UMX" at 10pm on the beats filled Friday evenings.
"The last time I was fully fledged in front of the camera was on "On The Beat" in the now defunct BBC (Bop Broadcasting Corp) at the beginning of my radio and TV career and have been behind the scenes as creative director and series producer ever since," says shows' co-host Adil. "It is an honour to be able to flex these presenter muscles again. Excited does not begin to describe how am looking forward to this new venture in my career."
Luthando "Lootlove" Shosha says, "This gift came at the perfect time. I am very excited and honoured to be part of "UMX". It's still very much in line with my love for music but it's a different mood. I can't wait for everyone to see the show and grow along with us."
Shot in a self-styled loft/lounge "UMX" is set to become Mzansi's essential digest to hit tracks as well as providing current music news and trends across a spectrum of music genres, artists' profiles, in-studio interviews and expert insight.
For current artists' activities, tours & recording news, and the essential playlist to Mzansi's avid music lover, catch "UMX" – every Friday night at 21h00, exclusive to SABC1 Mzansi Fo Sho!!