Skeem saam producer Winnie Serite reveals the show’s biggest challenge for the year so far.
accordingly,” winnie explains. luckily the writing team doesn’t have any major tonal switches to deal with since the show’s now back in its old slot. “our biggest challenge is to find more thrilling storylines that will resonate truthfully with our audience. we also need to maintain a balance between turfloop and university stories,” says winnie. that’s no joke. higher education didn’t do shows like gossip girl (2007-2012), gilmore girls (2000-2007) and glee (2009-current) any favours. it’s such a showkiller that one tree hill (2003-2012) opted to skip the university years completely.
but the skeem team don’t scare easily though. “at our show’s heart is a friendship between three boys [kwaito, katlego and tbose] and the experience of growing up. will the two who moved to joburg outgrow turfloop? we don’t know,” says winnie. fans have already seen kwaito (clement maosa) question this when he rejected his “girl back home” rachel (lesego marakalla) on monday 9 february. but that’s definitely not the end of their story. “the boys still rely on their turfloopbased parents to pay for the cost of their tuition. they still have friends and girlfriends in turfloop. it’s these family and romantic relationships that will help us keep the story tied together,” winnie reveals. “we’ll continue to tackle issues that everybody faces, not just students. with skeem saam, we’re proud that we have always created characters that our viewers recognise from their lives – from work and school… and best of all, home.”
off-screen, the skeem saam team will keep learning too. “we’ve always run acting workshops for actors who’ve never been on tv before and we’ll continue having those. we also have publicity workshops where we advise actors on how to answer questions and how to deal with this beast called fame,” explains winnie. and that will involve things like learning to deal not just with the workload and the intense filming schedule (skeem saam shoots seven days a week with four breaks in the year), but also with situations like the one that actress makgofe moagi (charity) faced in october 2014 when a facebook fan sent her nude photos.
eyes on the prize
at the end of the day, the skeem team will be watching and learning from their ratings as intently as we’ll be watching their show. “our goal is to increase our viewership to 4 million in the 18:30 slot,” says winnie. with millions of generations viewers discovering skeem saam and e.tv moving rhythm city from 18:30 to 19:00 as of monday 2 march, we suspect that the skeem saam cast and crew will beat that number and then some.
skeem saam’s big boss winnie serite.