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Local reality TV grows solid audiences

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More South Africans are tapping into their voyeuristic side with local reality television shows growing in viewership.

Shows such as Our Perfect Wedding, Loveback and Forever Young are seen resonating with viewers as hashtags dedicated to the shows trend on social media every time the shows are broadcast.

Sphumelele Sibeko, who heads the reality TV division at M-Net, says that there is growth of the genre among viewers.

“The nature of reality shows allows for entertaining, easy consumption for the viewer, and it’s a way for viewers to take a closer look at the lives of other people while reflecting on their own,” he said.

Thomas Gumede, co-founder of local production company Parental Advisory Productions, says the key to South African reality TV shows doing well lies in their local format and licensing.

Gumede says shows such as Idols SA and The Voice SA are licensed from overseas using their formats, while locally produced reality television shows have a characteristically African format and licensing structure.

“Africans are about Africa for the first time in a long time. We are the ones now who must say enough with the American format.

“We love them, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t come up with our own,” said Gumede.

Another local reality show gets added to the TV schedules tonight with the debut of Parental Advisory Productions- produced Ezase Afro: The Empire on DStv’s Mzansi Magic channel.

The first season follows the personal and professional lives of the artists signed to renowned Durban record label Afrotainment and features artists such as Big Nuz and DJ Cndo.

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