New Head Writer To Revive Isidingo

It is no secret that Isidingo has been a ratings disaster for the SABC. The channel tried to salvage the show's glory by moving it to the 19h30 slot, which gave the show some good numbers when they broadcast it on the same slot during the World Cup. Unfortunately the move has been futile. Now the suits are finally doing something about it.

Liam J. Stratton has been appointed as the new head writer for Isidingo, the weekday soap on SABC3 produced by Endemol South Africa at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg.

Liam J. Stratton will now be leading the soap's creative team and focus the direction of the soap's future storylines which suffered a temporary disruption a year ago after a blaze swept through the soap's studios at the SABC's Henley Studios forcing rewrites, outside shoots and new temporary sets.

Liam J. Stratton who arrived in South Africa in 2011 and majored in writing for TV drama, sitcoms, soaps and theatre was script editor for M-Net Africa and Mzansi Magic's Nigerian soap Tinsel, says he wants to "recapture the magic" Isidingo once had and build on  the talent "and go back to the days where people rushed home to catch up with what's happening down at Horizon Deep".

He created, wrote and developed a Mzansi Magic mini-series and wrote the sitcom Let Heaven Wait which just started on SABC3. He's also been a story consultant on's soap Rhythm City.

He is currently working with producers and broadcasters on a training initiative for comedy writers and performers set to start next year and is also a journalist and copywriter.

Will Stratton's presence make a difference? Personally I doubt it if he keeps the same writers and plot devices. 

The show has lost touch with its core audience. Right now it just seems like a lost child who doesn't necessarily know where to fit in. The show does not have its own unique identity anymore. 

Decimating the Matebane family unit was a mistake and glaming up the show was just a step too far for loyal viewers. Isidingo did not have to be sexy. It was a family show where viewers connected with characters instead of ogling on them. 

Sometimes it is not a good idea to have young inexperienced writers because they tend to push their own agenda instead of serving the story. Isidingo was a classy show and that is what made it unique. Get that back and you will win over the viewers. 

That said, I love the show and miss its good 'ol days. Hopefully the hire will change things and restore the show's pride. Lawd knows the channel needs some revival. 

PS: Maybe if the show's PR team interacted more with all media platforms with no prejudice, they would actually see some interest in the show improve. 

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