According to television viewership statistics given to TshisaLIVE by the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa, the first episode of the popular SABC 1 drama series pulled over 5.7-million viewers in its first week.
SABC 1’s Tjovitjo recently became the most popular drama series on TV, with more viewers tuning in to the show than for local TV cult classics Yizo Yizo and Zone 14 in their prime.
SABC 1 programmes manager Sane Zondi told TshisaLIVE this figures set a viewership record for limited drama series on TV and surpassed the most popular shows they have ever aired.
“You can benchmark against previous drama series like Yizo Yizo which attracted around 3-million viewers. TSHISA pulled about 4.7-million and Zone 14 up to 4.5-million viewers. All of these were on SABC1. So in a way, SABC 1 sets and breaks its own records,” Sane said.
Speaking about the success of the show, which tells the story of a pantsula dance group who battle their way through struggles like poverty and hopelessness, lead actor Warren Masemola said it was a hit because of its “realness”.
“It is the state of the nation at the moment. So much of it is heartbreaking or hard to watch because it is so real. It is the places and the people that the country doesn’t normally see and it’s great to put a spotlight on that,” Warren told TshisaLIVE.