Johannesburg-based Curious Productions, producers of the award-winning drama series Hard Copy and Heartlines, as well as The Lab, will be producing a new weekday soapie for free-to-air channel e.tv. Rhythm City will launch on Monday, 9 July in the 6.30pm timeslot, replacing the channel’s existing daily youth drama, Backstage.
According to e.tv Channel Director Bronwyn Keene-Young, it was a tough decision to end Backstage, which was launched on 1 May 2000 and was e.tv’s first locally produced drama. “Backstage matured into one of e.tv’s signature programmes and we are sad to say good-bye to this show. However, modern youth culture is dynamic and ever evolving, and it is the right time to adapt to these fresh challenges as well as the changing television market.’
Seasoned dramatist Deon Opperman of Bottom Line Productions, the current producers of Backstage (the soap was originally created by Mfundi Vundla and produced by Morula Pictures) comments: “Bottom Line Productions and e.tv have mutually agreed that it is the right time for a new show to be developed that will be able to aggressively compete in this prime time slot.’
Rhythm City’s topical storyline revolves around the contemporary music industry and the trials and tribulations of those who are brave enough to enter and often exit this cutthroat business.
Says Keene-Young: “We are confident that this is the right show for an important timeslot, specifically with the vibrant music industry as a backdrop for a soap opera which will appeal to both the youth and adults.’
Rhythm City Executive Producer Monde Twala comments: “The show aims to entertain but also to explore deeply the lives of young people, their needs, wants and motivations. Research has proved that young people want entertaining and informative programming and the youth drama is an opportunity to mirror the fast changing trends and challenges faced by South African youth.’
According the David Jammy, Curious Productions Managing Director, the company is currently casting and sourcing some of South Africa’s top talent to star in this new weekday soapie, which will contribute to the much-needed growth of the local television industry.’