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What’s hot on the small screen – 26 August

Jared Orlin, Deputy Editor of TVPlus magazine, on all the latest TV scoops and gossip this week.

A television remote control. Picture: espensorvik/Flickr

7DE LAAN MIGHT GO ON STRIKE

Major SABC drama 7de Laan might go off air. According to the City Press newspaper, they’re going to stop filming on Friday if the SABC and the producers don’t get their signed contracts by then. If not, according to a memo sent to cast and crew by the series creator Danie Odendaal, they will have to stop filming.

SABC contracts are long, complicated and run from year to year, which can be frustrating as the levels of red tape and bureaucracy to get anything done are immense. I know, I’ve worked for the SABC as a PR Specialist consultant before.

In the memo, Danie states, “The reality is we can’t offer an account for recorded programmes to the SABC if we do not have a signed contract. Danie Odendaal Productions does not have the cash reserves to continue indefinitely.”

The show is hugely successful and is one of SABC2’s flagship shows so it’s not likely the soapie will be cancelled, but there may be a significant delay.

The worst case scenario is that taping only resumes once the contracts are signed, in which case the show may either go off air for a brief period or, as they tape in advance, the production team will have to scramble to play catch-up.

Either way, it’s probably going to be a tense week on the 7de Laan set.

TV’S HIGHEST PAID

According to TV Guide magazine’s annual survey of actor/presenter salaries, Ashton Kutcher and Judge Judy are on top.

COMEDY (per episode)

Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men): $750,000
Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother): $225,000
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation): $200,000
Robin Williams (The Crazy Ones): $165,000
Max Greenfield (New Girl): $75,000

LATE NIGHT (per year)

Jon Stewart (The Daily Show): $25-30 million
Jay Leno (The Tonight Show): $20 million
David Letterman (Late Night): $20 million
Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live): $10 million
Andy Cohen (Watch What Happens Live): $2 million

REALITY

Howard Stern (America’s Got Talent): $15 million per year
Keith Urban (American Idol): $5 million per year
Blake Shelton (The Voice): $4 million per cycle
RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race): $50,000 per episode
Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset): $18,000 per episode

DAYTIME/SYNDICATION (per year)

Aisha Tyler (The Talk): $500,000
Sharon Osbourne (The Talk): $1 million
Michael Strahan (Live with Kelly and Michael): $4 million
Katie Couric (Katie): $10 million
Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $47 million

 

It’s the biggest shift in this year’s survey, based on conversations with agents, managers, and studio heads and network executives. Ashton Kutcher remains the top paid actor in prime time with $750,000 an episode for his role on Two and a Half Men. NCIS star Mark Harmon is still the salary champ in drama, with $525,000 an episode plus a piece of the show’s profits.

But there could be some new titleholders on the horizon, sources tell TV Guide Magazine. The three leads of The Big Bang Theory – Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco – are expected to seek new deals that pay them up to $1 million an episode of the top rated sitcom. Each member of the trio currently earns around $325,000 an episode in the contracts that expire after the upcoming season.

WHEN ARE THEY COMING HERE?

SABC3 is actively pursuing adding Revenge to their schedule. Paperwork is still pending but it’s due to start in October.

Dexter season eight starts on 29 October 2013 at 21:00 on MNet.

The Michael J. Fox Show will start on MNet on 11 October at 19:30. It is a comedy with Fox playing a fictionalised version of himself, called Mike. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Mike Henry had to give up his career as a news anchor and focus on his health and his family. Five years later, Mike decides to get back to work and struggles between family and career.

The Tomorrow People, about a group of young people each with special powers, will start on M-Net on 25 October at 20:30.

Some Revenge scoop for the upcoming Season 3, which only starts in SA in January 2014 but begins in the US at the end of September:

We already know that Ashley will leave the show – the character was written out – and she’ll leave in episode one of season three. How? Well, portrayer Ashley Madekwe made a very public plea that her character die in a blaze of glory but the new show runner Sunil Nayar tells us that they’re not killing her off. In fact the plan is for her to go away for a bit and come back with “her own revenge agenda.”

Also, every Revenge fan loves those Emily-Victoria fights. But in season three we’re going to actually see the rivals working together. It’s a short lived truce but they’re forced to work together to sort out a crisis – we don’t yet know what that will be – and then they go back to being nasty with each other. Which is just how we like it.

Modern Family will be introducing a sibling for Cam season five, which they’re now taping. In this season’s fourth episode we’ll meet Cam’s big-boned, very non-glamorous farm girl of a sister, who has something of an explosive personality. Role has yet to be cast but I’m thinking Rosie O’ Donnell would be amazing.

WHAT TO WATCH

On Monday, Liz Lemon gets married in a Star Wars-themed hilarious wedding on the seventh and final season of 30 Rock on M-Net Series Showcase 19:00.

After that, Survivor Redemption Island will be on its 12th episode of the season on SABC which starts at 20:30. There’s a four-way Redemption Island battle and the Immunity Challenge is intense, exhausting and great to watch. In the challenge, the castaways have to race to assemble 18 puzzle steps in a staircase. But they can only carry one puzzle step at a time up the staircase and have to place the steps in order from bottom to top. Plus there’s a big blindside in the tribal council and someone deliberately sabotages camp life by burning part of the shelter. There are just two episodes to go to the final and reunion episode on Monday 9 September.

Meanwhile, Rhythm City is on fire at the moment with their big kidnapping storyline. Friday’s episode was a cliff-hanger with Naomi trying to kill Ronald and baby Quinton. On Monday, the lads are saved when Lucilla arrives and Naomi’s forced to spin a story (that Ronald kidnapped Quinton). Lu believes it and so do the cops, who arrest Ronald on Wednesday.

“That’s really hard for him. He’s jailed on a lie. But he’s also acutely aware that there really was no other option since Naomi took pics to implicate him.” Gail and David will scheme to get revenge on her, and it looks like the plan will work! The next issue of TVPlus, on sale from Friday, has Naomi on the cover.

Monday also sees the start of Streets of Mangaung on SABC1 at 20:30. It’s a repeat so if you missed the original run in May 2012 or want to re-watch the 13-episode police drama series, then this is a good time to start. It’s got some big names in it, like Tshepo Maseko (who played Parsons in Isidingo), Phuti Komo, Aubrey Poo (from The Wild and Scandal) and Patrick Mofokeng (from Yizo Yizo and Zone 14).

Thursday sees the start of the fourth season of SA’s Got Talent on e.tv at 20:30. Once again, Ian von Memerty, Kabelo Mabalane and Shado Twala are looking for the best talent in the country. It’s the most diverse talent show in the country; any age can enter with any talent, singing, juggling, dancing, you name it. Also, Tats Nkonzo returns as the host of the show.

On Saturday, Suits season three kicks off on M-Net at 21:30. Where we left off: Mike and Rachel slept together and he told her his secret. In the season premier, Harvey is assigned a high-profile client who could lose her company and Mike has nightmares of Rachel exposing him. Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones) stars as oil magnate Dr Ava Hessington. Some highlights this season include more insight into Harvey and Donna’s past. We know they’re close and we’ll find out just how close. Plus the famous can opener’s origin is finally revealed.

(Edited by Craig Wynn)

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