Five o’clock in South African households will never be the same.
After keeping housewives and soapie addicts company for 25 years, the sands in the hourglass will finally run out for John and Marlena next month.
Yesterday, the Daily Voice learnt that the popular soapie Days of our Lives will no longer be screened on SABC.
The move was not announced by the public broadcaster, but the drama series isn’t listed beyond July.
Days is among a list of American programmes that are being cut from the SABC schedule, as the broadcaster aims for local content of 80-90 percent.
SABC radio stations enforced a 80 percent local music rule last month.
An insider at SABC says staff were not told about the dramatic schedule changes and they had received the new schedules in their email inbox without any explanations.
SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago says: “We are going to explain the schedule changes on Wednesday, after we have met with advertisers.
“I will not discuss individual programme changes because the announcement hasn’t happened yet.”
But unless the SABC bosses change their minds within the next 24 hours, Days Of Our Lives’ last episode will be broadcast on SABC on Wednesday, July 20, at 5pm.
Other shocking cuts include US reality TV shows Amazing Race and Survivor.
SABC3, which has traditionally screened more English-language and overseas content – is going 80 percent local on July 1.
Part of that local plan is to get rid of Days of Our Lives and make the series High Rollers a daily soapie.
Bold and the Beautiful fans, however, have no need to worry because that American soapie is not going anywhere and will continue to be broadcast on SABC3 at 6pm on weekdays.
Days of our Lives has been a hit with viewers since it first aired in SA in 1991, and ranked in the Top 5 of SABC3 shows.
In the most recent Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS) for May 2016, Days was listed as the fifth most popular show on the channel with over one million viewers.
The soapie has been on air since the late 80s, but is best remembered for its bizarre supernatural storylines.
Who can forget when Marlena Evans (played by Deidre Hall) was possessed by the devil?
Gardene Davids says she used to be a loyal Days fan, but lost interest in the show.
“Back then I wouldn’t miss it. Marlena was possessed and I remember Bo and Hope and their boat Fancy Face. It was a good show,” she says.
Now she no longer watches and says: “Honestly, I don’t care if it’s not on anymore.”
But with the soapie being dumped in the middle of several storylines, mense will now never know if Sammi and EJ do get their happily ever after, or if Jennifer and Daniel succeed in keeping Brady from seeing Kristen.
The Daily Voice asked mense how they felt about Days of Our Lives getting the chop on SABC:
- Nicole harty, 24, Portlands: “No man, they mustn’t do this, it’s my favourite show. It’s like they’re taking my life away from me, I’m so kwaad now I could swear.”
- Shahieda Bussack, 50, Lost City, Mitchells Plain: I used to watch Days, because it was a soapie about things that happened in real life. It taught you things about the world. |I haven’t watched it in a long time.
- Rashaad Taliep, 61, Eastridge: I hate Days Of Our Lives because it teaches our children the wrong things. It’s actually worse than porn, because the people brag about the terrible things they do in that show.
- Inshaaf Falken, 38, Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain: It’s been years since I watched it. I like local soapies like 7de Laan because at least you learn something there. Like this domestic violence now with Errol.
Other changes to the TV schedule
These are the proposed changes to the SABC schedule:
- Days of our Lives makes way for local series turned soapie, High Rollers.
- Monday night staples Survivor and The Amazing Race are being cancelled and will be replaced by a local show called Divas of Jozi.
- July 20 – Afternoon Express moves to 5pm
- July 4 – Late Night Talk, a new local talk show debuts
- July 5 – Top Chef SA starts at 8pm
- July 6 – Dr 90210 moves to 10.30pm
- Top Billing is still on a Thursday but now at 8pm and not 7.30pm
- The Mentalist is at 8pm on Wednesday.