The new series that 7de Laan had to make space for is a drama set in Cape Town, and features a host of local stars including the lead actress, Carmen Maarman .
Die Sentrum, set to replace the old favourite in two of its prime time 6pm slots - on Thursdays and Fridays - is expected to launch on 5 April on SABC 2.
The Afrikaans and Xhosa-language show is produced by Penguin Films and is centered around a crisis helpline call centre in the Mother City.
Carmen, who starred in Auntie Merle the Musical, says she is excited to work on the home-grown series.
“Back in the day, everybody trekked to Joburg because it was a TV scene.
“New work has finally arrived in Cape Town, which I’m so happy about,” she told the Weekend Argus.
This is Carmen’s first leading role in TV, after playing Natalie on the telenovela Arendsvlei.
Carmen’s character, Kelly van Rensburg, is a counsellor.
“She is a very kind person; she always keeps herself busy with work and her family is very important to her,” she explains.
“She’s also a very likeable person and she’s a ‘pleaser’.”
News that 7de Laan’s broadcast slots have been cut from five to three did not go down well with fans, who started a petition calling for the show’s full reinstatement.
It received more than 3 500 signatures in less than a week.
Carmen says she hopes people will come to love Die Sentrum as well: “People are not good with change and I get that, but once they get into this and they watch the first episode, they’ll be gripped and we have great stories to tell.”
Director Mandilakhe Yengo says the premise of the show is a first for South African TV: “It’s inspired by true events and cases when people call in, desperate people looking for just someone to talk to, even an old tannie.
“On the other side, we look at the call centre employees themselves in their own personal capacities, dealing with their own demons. As they solve the one case, we may see how that may influence them dealing with their own issues.”
The show also stars Keeno Lee Hector, Randy Januarie and Stiaan Bruwer.