South Africa’s most-watched TV show Uzalo on SABC1 has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and is going off the air for five weeks after the production company and the SABC have run out of episodes.
The final new episode of Uzalo, produced by Stained Glass TV, on location in KwaZulu-Natal on its Durban studio lot and in KwaMashu aired on SABC1 Friday at 20:30.
A repeat of the drama series Makoti will now replace the soapie in that timeslot from Monday 11 May.
With more TV households home Uzalo reached a new high watermark of 11.4 million viewers for its most-watched episode in April, a new overall South African TV ratings record.
With South Africa’s Covid-19 national lockdown that was lowered to Level 4, filming on Uzalo resumed again this week on Wednesday but not with enough time to record and edit episodes in post-production and to deliver them to the SABC’s programming acceptance department to ensure a seamless continuation in playout.
Uzalo will go off-air on SABC1 between Monday 11 May and Friday 12 June and return with new episodes on Monday 15 June.
The SABC says Uzalo going on a broadcast hiatus is “an unintended result of the declared national lockdown which caused a halt to and disrupted television production schedules throughout this time”.
“The Uzalo production break was carried out in full compliance to the regulations as set by government for the lockdown period, to ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved cast as well as the production crew against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“SABC1 viewers should look forward to their favourite soapie returning with more gripping storylines and enhanced production value from Monday 15 June 2020.”