Fire forces Isidingo into miniseries

2012-07-26 09:02

Isidingo, the weekday soap on SABC3 which just turned 14 years old, will soon become a special miniseries.

Isidingo will be a miniseries as the show shifts to one specific storyline filmed entirely on location while Endemol SA and the SABC work on finding new studio space and rebuilding sets after the devastating fire on June 13.

Endemol and SABC3 have not confirmed when the new miniseries will start airing on TV.

The fire, which engulfed Henley Studios at the SABC’s Auckland Park headquarters, completely destroyed the Isidingo set housed in Studio 6, although some of the sets in Studio 7 survived.

A sound control room, vision control booth, recording light control desk, video wall, vision mixing bed and cabling running through the entire studio complex were destroyed.

After multiple enquiries more than a month since the destructive fire, which also took SABC3 off the air for some time, the SABC still refuses to give an estimated value of the damage done to the Henley Studios, or Isidingo specifically.

Estimates run into millions of rands.

Now the soap will once again become a miniseries – for the third time in the show’s history – and for at least a month to be broadcast in prime time on SABC3.

Where the two previous Isidingo miniseries ran concurrently during the December festive period as additional episodes to the daily soap broadcast, the new miniseries will effectively replace the daily broadcasts with a newly developed storyline shot on location.

Although a more expensive option than in-studio filming, the new Isidingo miniseries will give the production time to regroup and rebuild before the show returns to its familiar studio format.

Endemol SA and SABC3 also plan to have a media session to present the way forward in terms of storyline and studios.

“The fire has set the production into a different course; the cast and crew are optimistic that the new storylines are going to make for great television,” Endemol SA told Channel24.

“Our 14th birthday will be celebrated towards the end of the year as the fire has disrupted all our plans. However, we are excited as plans are going ahead to celebrate this important milestone with our viewers.”

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