South African pay-TV broadcaster M-Net has announced that it will not commission a third series of its location-based soapie, The Wild, due to high production costs, unsatisfactory ratings and issues around the location itself. The Wild, which was launched in April 2011, will come to an end on the M-Net channel in March 2013.
Says Theo Erasmus, M-Net director: General Entertainment Channels: “The difficult decision not to commission another series of The Wild was based on two interrelated factors. Firstly, M-Net ascertained that the monies allocated to The Wild, which is a high-cost production due to the fact that it’s a location-based soap, could be spent on other productions that could possibly produce better ratings in a shorter period of time. Soaps take many months to build an audience, while other genres may produce higher ratings quicker. The ratings of The Wild have been growing steadily month on month, but not in line with the vast investment.
“Secondly, the original land bought for the production of The Wild faced ongoing rezoning challenges which could still take many years to resolve. This left the production with no real ‘home’.”
Erasmus notes that since its launch, The Wild has been showered with industry accolades, including four SAFTA awards. Recently, it also received the You Spectacular Award for Most Popular Soap, with actors Ty Keogh and Shona Ferguson also nabbing the awards for Sexiest Male and Best Actor respectively. It even received international recognition with a Rockie Award nomination in a category previously won by soaps such as Days of our Lives.
“M-Net is very proud of The Wild’s achievements,’ continues Erasmus: “The Wild has set new standards for soap production in the country. Therefore, the M-Net channels are working on plans to create spin-offs from The Wild in a more settled, urban environment. You will find out more about this and other exciting M-Net plans in due course.”
TV with Thinus reports that M-Net is planning to sell the farm in Northwest Province which served as the location for The Wild.