LAST May, SABC1’s prime-time soapie Skeem Saam had reached 9 million viewers, becoming the country’s second most-watched show. But things quickly changed when death and departures rocked the show, resulting in ratings dropping to an all-time low.
Meanwhile, rival soapie Scandal! grabbed the third position from Skeem Saam with 4.6 million viewers. This was while Skeem Saam viewership tanked to 4.4 million in December last year, according to the Broadcasting Research Council of South Africa.
Skeem Saam suffered major losses, including the death of Charles Maja, who played Big Boy Mabitsela, and the abrupt departure of Lesego Marakalla after an eight-year tenure at the helm as Rachel – who viewers loved to hate. The inclusion of Candy Mokwena, who played Bafedile, did nothing to appease viewers.
Meanwhile, Amanda Du-Pont, who has been off-screen for months, is reprising her role as the evil Lelo Mthiyane who viewers love to hate.
In a previous interview, SABC1’s head of channel Phumzile Zonke told Daily Sun that Skeem Saam performed well because it told authentic stories that resonated with the audience.
“We tell stories that people relate to; stories that are not far-fetched from the audience. So there’s a connection between the characters and viewers,” he said at the time.