Rhythm City Hemorrhages Ratings | From 3mil to 1mil

Loadshedding has affected TV ratings, that is to be expected given our country's current situation with power supply. While some TV shows continue to weather the storm, etv's Rhythm City is struggling. 

It is no secret that etv's youth soapie has lost its luster. Gone are the days when the show used to be the channel's vibrant daily fix for viewers with who could not get enough of the show's gripping storylines and introduction of fresh talent on screen. 

Sadly, the soapie has now become one of the lowest rated soaps in South Africa. This year the show's ratings have plummeted to a dismal 1.8 million viewers — a far cry from the 3.5 mil it pulled at the same last year. 

I have not watched the show in a long time so I can not give a detailed opinion on why the show is failing to attract viewers. i can however, state that my disinterest in the show came with the departure of characters I had gotten attached to like Tshidi. 

The departure of the show's long time actors such as KB Motsilenyane and Peter Se-Puma who. played Lucilla and Miles Vilakazi respectively, the show lost its continuity factor. The addition of Pallance Dladla as a replacement for Lungi Radu as Sbu Vilakazi also hurt the show in my opinion. 

Nice as Pallace is as a person, he just lacked the charisma of Radu for the role of Sbu.  While I cheered when I heard that the producers had finally decided to let go of the dull character Gail played by Pam Andrews, I still believed that the show could sustain some interesting storylines sans Andrews since she wasnt adding much to the show anyway. 

Change can be good but sometimes too much change can have dire consequences. Perhaps there have been just too many changes at Rhythm City in short period of time that audiences can not connect with the show anymore.

I also think in etv's quest to be the alternative to the SABC, the channel has somehow lost its way. There are great things happening on the channel. The talkshow block is a refreshing addition to the brand and the introduction of more local content has really given the channel a boost in being a relate-able local channel.

Scandal is doing ok but Umlilo and Ashes To Ashes have not fared as well as one anticipated. Umlilo has garnered some great critical acclaim but just can't seem to attract the numbers beyond the 2mil mark like the SABC's local primetime shows do.

Katch it With Khanyi is now the darling of the channel. Nicky Greenwall's shows have failed to use their platform on the channel to promote the channel's stars so hopefully Kanyi would not fall into the same trap. 

I might be grasping at straws here but I have hope that if Etv used its talent to promote the channel and its shows like SABC1 does, there is some hope that people can connect with the actors and actually want to watch the shows they are on. Enough with taking SABC rejects, discover new talent, hone it and build an audience pull off of that.

Matatiele is another etv gem that if promoted right, could create some stars for the channel. Clearly Rhuythm City is becoming a dead horse that the channel is still riding. Either rebrand the show by using the magazine shows on the channel to create stars out of the soapie's actors or let it go. Bringing actors from SABC or other popular shows on other channel is clearly not working.

If people can tune in to watch eKasi Stories in droves, surely the problem cant be production quality because Rhythm City, even in its worst day, is still a lot better than these eKasi films. The problem has to evidently lie in branding of the show.

There is no reason that a show with young talent and room for cool, trendy and sexy stories should be in the bottom one of the lowest rated shows on a free-to-air channel. Rhythm City is now not even in the Top 5 of Soaps/telenovelas in SA.


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