Mzansi to have its own Big Brother

2013-06-13 16:35

Big Brother Mzansi, produced by Endemol SA for M-Net’s Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel, is coming to viewers in January 2014 as the reality format is given another South African go by the pay-TV broadcaster.

With Big Brother Africa The Chase currently taking place as the latest pan-African season of the show in which Africans from across the continent are under constant 24-hour camera surveillance in Johannesburg, M-Net has commissioned another version of the show for this country, saying a Big Brother season for the Mzansi Magic channel is “a logical next step”.

South African viewers got their first taste of Big Brother in 2001. Observers and media critics lamented a cultural zeitgeist celebrating the loss of privacy, but the show saw several further seasons and made television nouveau stars out of people like Ferdinand Rabie and “Bad Brad” Brad Wood.

Then the show transitioned to a continental African version set in Johannesburg with contestants from across Africa.

“The multiple requests over the years for another local version of this supernova show, together with the overwhelming viewer response to Big Brother Africa, signalled that it will be a sure-fire hit in our market,” said Yolisa Phahle, M-Net’s director of local-interest channels.

“Adding Big Brother to our varied, increasing portfolio of general-entertainment productions – ranging from telenovellas, soaps, lifestyle shows and comedies to reality and drama – consolidates Mzansi Magic’s commitment to bringing the biggest and the best local shows to our viewers.

“The format is perfectly aligned to our vision, which is to produce the most compelling content for audiences when they want it and where they want it,” said Phahle.

Big Brother The Chase, shown on Africa Magic across DStv in Africa and used as a driver for DStv pay-TV growth across Africa, has already lured just under 1 million unique website visitors since it started two weeks ago, with 1.5 million online video views and 30 million page views online.

The show has received more than 1 million messages from viewers of the TV show.

“We are extremely proud of all the Big Brother editions,” said Sivan Pillay, Endemol SA’s managing director.

“The brand just keeps on growing and each season has had its own charm.

“We value our long-standing relationship with M-Net as a company and look forward to collaborating with another channel in its family of brands.”

No specifics, such as the presenter, the prize, the theme or which South Africans would be allowed to enter has been announced.

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