Given the boot

The SABC has served High Rollers with a can­cel­la­tion let­ter but the soapie says it’s fight­ing back!

TV Plus (South Africa) - - HIGH ROLLERS -

High Rollers Week­days SABC3 (*193) 19:30

From kid­nap­ping plots to preg­nancy scams, High Rollers (2013- cur­rent) has been deal­ing high-stakes in­trigue first as a weekly drama, then a three-day-a-week te­len­ov­ela and from July this year, as a week­day soapie thanks to the SABC’s 90% lo­cal con­tent man­date. For a series about the peo­ple work­ing in the com­plex and cun­ning world of casi­nos, there was a sur­prise that not even pro­duc­tion com­pany Rous House Pro­duc­tions could’ve pre­dicted – the SABC served the show with a can­cel­la­tion let­ter on Fri­day 18 Novem­ber. But the pro­duc­ers aren’t tak­ing the mat­ter ly­ing down.

Luke Rous, the show’s exec producer and the head of Rous House with his brother Joshua and busi­ness part­ner Meren Reddy, says that they’re in shock. “Things are stress­ful but we have to be cau­tious and try en­gage with the SABC about re­vers­ing its de­ci­sion.” In a state­ment, Rous House says that the only rea­son given for the can­cel­la­tion “is due to pro­gram­ming strat­egy changes on SABC3”. Rous House say that this is con­fus­ing as they ben­e­fited from the 90% lo­cal strat­egy so why, if this is the man­date the SABC is fol­low­ing, have they been can­celled?

When asked if they could take the show to an­other broad­caster, Luke ex­plained that the SABC owns the in­tel­lec­tual rights to High Rollers and go­ing to an­other chan­nel would be im­pos­si­ble. tv­plus con­tacted SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago for com­ment on the mat­ter and this was his re­sponse: “The SABC is not in a po­si­tion to dis­cuss its con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions with pro­duc­tion houses/con­tent providers with third par­ties, in­clud­ing the me­dia. If there is any­thing to be com­mu­ni­cated, the SABC shall do so ac­cord­ingly”.

High Rollers op­er­a­tions man­ager Se­lai Ralar­ala says that the team are still busy film­ing new episodes. “At this stage, we are work­ing as usual. We are aim­ing to fin­ish shoot­ing sea­son 3, which will end mid 2017.” Episodes have al­ready been filmed to the end of Jan­uary 2017 and at the time of go­ing to print, High Rollers was still on SABC3’s De­cem­ber and Jan­uary pre­lim sched­ules. NB! For fan com­ments, see p5. Dhanny and David’s part­ner­ship de­vel­oped into a re­la­tion­ship af­ter he took her to Den­ton’s poker tour­na­ment to spy on the gang­ster’s il­le­gal oper­a­tion, Jakes won the Queen Of Hearts poker tour­na­ment, and mar­ried Ben was liv­ing it up while Tal­lu­lah was away in Dur­ban. Den­ton up­dates his se­cret data­base with new in­for­ma­tion on Kings Casino, its guests and staff, while Dhanny and Busi try their hand at a friend­ship. Tal­lu­lah’s back but she’s shocked to find the pent­house in ru­ins. Jakes makes it clear that he’s tired of be­ing treated badly by Den­ton, and Busi finds out ex­actly how close Dhanny and David re­ally are.

Jakes and Den­ton are work­ing well to­gether again… un­til Den­ton tells Jakes the fi­nal de­tails of his cam­paign against the Kings and it turns out he’s af­ter a lot more than just re­venge. Ben is happy to have his wife back but AJ tells him to pay more at­ten­tion to what she got up to while she was away. Busi dis­cov­ers that get­ting her brother Luther to come work for her isn’t go­ing to be an easy task, while Jakes comes clean to Thandi about his con­nec­tion to Den­ton. AJ flirts with Ben and en­tices him into a kiss, while Jakes finds out the hard way how tough a ne­go­tia­tor Den­ton is. Mean­while, Paul and Esme make an im­por­tant de­ci­sion. Jakes’s friend­ship with Paul and his re­la­tion­ship with Thandi is ru­ined, while Analine dis­cov­ers the real rea­son for Linkie’s sud­den need to go on hol­i­day. Else­where, Busi re-lives her break up with Paul.

The King broth­ers and their casino are on the chop­ping block.

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