Isibaya shuts down

indafrica November 3, 2020
Updated 2020/11/03 at 9:09 PM

WEEKDAYS at 8.30 pm will never be the same for Mzansi Magic viewers.
This is because the end is near for the much-loved soapie, Isibaya.

And it’s all because the soapie has allegedly not been doing well in terms of viewership, forcing the channel to pull the plug.

According to Broadcast Research Council of South Africa viewership numbers for September, Isibaya didn’t appear in the top five most-watched shows on DStv.

The ratings were as follows:
Gomora sat at number one with 1 145 095 viewers
The Queen came second with 1 108 051 viewers
Powerball Draw had 938 456
Idols SA was ranked forth with 900 614.

Moja Love’s You Promised to Marry Me was fifth with 887 726 viewers.
According to well-placed sources, Isibaya wouldn’t be renewed for another season.

There’s also been speculation around the show’s storyline, which has seen a lot drama playing out at the same time.

Isibaya cast at the second annual Royalty Soapie Awards on March 27, 2015 at the Durban ICC in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Jabulani Langa)
Speaking to Daily Sun, a source said: “The cast and crew have been told the show is in its last season.

“There’ve been numerous discussions about canning the soapie, but now a decision has been made.”

A second source said news of the show’s demise didn’t come as a shock to the cast as they knew it was already being reviewed by the channel after a dip in ratings.

“Unfortunately, the channel has decided not to renew the show for another season because it doesn’t see a return on investment and doesn’t see sense in continuing with a property that doesn’t make financial sense.

Isibaya actors Bongani Gumede and Celeste Ntuli arrive at the Royalty Soapie Awards at the ICC on March 8, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images /The Times / Tebogo Letsie)

“The production company was given a time frame within which to increase ratings, but they’re still low.”
The show’s creators are said to have tried to energise ratings by bringing back old and famous faces, but even this didn’t help.

“They tried to get some of Mzansi’s most recognisable faces, but that hasn’t worked in their favour,” said a third source.

“The channel asked the producers to come up with ways to improve the show and gave them a deadline to achieve this.

“Contracts are usually renewed at the end of October for new seasons, but unfortunately Isibaya has not been renewed after a review found doing so wasn’t a good idea.”

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA ? MARCH 8: Isibaya actors Bongani Gumede and Celeste Ntuli arrive at the Royalty Soapie Awards at the ICC on March 8, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. Mzansi Magic?s ?Isibiya? clinched 10 awards of the 18 awards, including Outstanding Soapie. (Photo by Gallo Images /The Times / Tebogo Letsie)

MultiChoice director of local entertainment channels, Nomsa Philiso, said: “Mzansi Magic is currently conducting a review of all its local content with a view to reaching a decision on which shows, in the near future, will be renewed.

“The review isn’t exclusive to Isibaya and an announcement will be made in due course.’’-Daily Sun

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