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M-Net Studio 53 turns into a Nigerian show – what went wrong?

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Ameyaw Says

M-Net Studio 53 turns into a Nigerian show – what went wrong?

As an avid follower of M-Net’s major cross-continental lifestyle TV magazine, Studio 53, I have enjoyed the growth of the show since its inception when it covered only a few countries in Africa to covering the continent further in subsequent seasons.

I was even more excited when the show was revitalized as Studio 53 Extra in July 2010. According to Multichoice back then, the decision to restructure Studio 53 came as M-Net sought to constantly innovate its television formats in line with international trends and evolving audience needs. The re-invigorated Studio 53 Extra thus became a half hour show, showcasing dynamic elements such as entertainment news, as well as the latest on Africa’s celebrities and captains of the industry.

[pullquote]If M-Net Africa wants to make it a Nigerian show, then it’s senseless maintaining the 53 Extra name. I suggest a name like ‘Naija Extra’ or ‘Bella Naija Extra’. Oh, and while at it, they might as well move Jara with Uti and Helen Paul from Africa Magic to M-net! Nigeria may be the biggest market in Africa for DStv but it surely isn’t the only country in Africa! God bless Africa![/pullquote]

As part of the changes, Studio 53 Extra was now anchored by the gorgeous duo of Georgina Eku Edewor Thorley and Marcy Dolapo Oni . Last season, the show went through another transformation not so much in format but the name changed to simply 53 Extra. With news and features on celebrity and lifestyles from all over Africa, it wasn’t surprising that I was sometimes credited for some photos and news items that popped up on the show.  (wink!)

However it seems the show has gone through another transformation with the new season as the content has been exclusively skewed toward Nigeria. Each week I have watched with anticipation of finding out what has been happening elsewhere in Africa but I have been left with disappointment throughout the five episodes in the new season so far.  Week in week out, I tune in hoping that the content would change to represent more of Africa but it has become clear that 53 Extra is now a Nigerian TV show.

Throughout all the transformations that Studio 53 has gone through, the number 53 has remained a constant because it was derived from the 53 countries that form the African Union. If anything at all, it should change to 54 Extra now that South Sudan has joined as an independent country. So why would M-Net Africa maintain the name that is so symbolic and yet feed viewers with Nigerian content only? I just wish to get an official release from M-Net concerning the new direction and if indeed it is only going to be on Nigerian content, I can stop tuning in each week for information that I can read on Bella Naija anyway.

If the decision to focus on only Nigeria was for production and cost reasons, then at least the features can remain Nigerian while we have a news section for events and happenings across Africa. That way at least ameyawdebrah.com could receive some credits for my exclusives from Ghana (Laugh out loud, I am allowed to be selfish!).

But seriously, if M-Net Africa wants to make it a Nigerian show, then it’s senseless maintaining the 53 Extra name. I suggest a name like ‘Naija Extra’ or ‘Bella Naija Extra’. Oh, and while at it, they might as well move Jara with Uti and Helen Paul from Africa Magic to M-net! Nigeria may be the biggest market in Africa for DStv but it surely isn’t the only country in Africa! God bless Africa!

“Tell it like it is or like you want it to be!”

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Ameyaw Kissi Debrah, known professionally as Ameyaw Debrah, is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter.

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