This third season of Hard Copy returns with a re-invented newspaper that sees The Bulletin become The Bullet, swopping it's hard edge and ethical dilemmas for tabloid sensation and celebrity gossip.
Benny, Ivan, Kim, Grant and Dorothy are back with a shake-up as they face new trashy angles to copy and a new playboy editor who needs to be managed while trying to make it out of sleazy situations like drug busts, hostage dramas and con men in their offices.
Prince Modise - the dilettante son of love-to-hate millionairre Zolani Modise - is their new Editor man in charge and when he arrives with long suffering P.A. Noxee, hot off the press takes on flambouyantly new proportions for everyone.
Characters in the season are:
Prince Modise - Editor
Prince is the son of Zolani Modise, zillionaire owner of The Bulletin. He is a trust fund kid, educated at the best schools, who's always had a passion for the media.
When he discovers his estranged father has an entire newspaper infrastructure sitting on ice, his imagination is fired, and he realises he has finally found his calling.
Ivan Ferris - Sub-Editor/Journalist
Ivan undergoes a powerful transformation early in this series. Ivan and Dorothy have always been the moral soul of The Bulletin, the old guard who insisted on the almost sacred nature of journalism – the sense of mission, of purpose and responsibility - but with Dorothy's departure, and with the Bulletin no more, Ivan finds himself adrift.
His relationship with Dorothy hasn't worked out, and Ivan has taken to the bottle again. In dire personal straits, needing money, needing simply to work in a newsroom again, he comes back to Prince and asks for a job.
Prince is actually desperate to have him back, as he needs someone on board who knows what's what around The Bullet, but Prince plays it cool, making it a condition of rehiring him that he wholeheartedly accept the new order, the new vision, the new way of doing things. Ivan agrees.
As the series progresses, Ivan finds himself unexpectedly enjoying the new life, he enjoys the challenges of tabloid journalism, the newness, the energy of it. He is drinking again, but he is a functional drinker.
He has a difficult relationship with Dorothy Wilcox, who reappears periodically in her new role as press ombudsman, determined to convince him of the wrongness of his new life and his new choices. Ivan's is a dark journey, to a dark destination, but for a while, he embodies the new life and energy of the new Bulletin.
Kim Smollen - Investigative Journalist
Kim is in her mid-20s, Jewish, living with her parents. In the previous season she was the entertainment reporter, chafing against her lack of opportunities.
But Benny's move to News Editor afford a chance for her to move into his old position and she gradually finds her feet, and as her abilities grow, so too do her courage and ambition.
Noxee - Personal Assistant
Noxee is the yin to Prince's yang. She is his conscience, his guardian angel, his super-ego. She is the details person, the organiser who tries to clean up after Prince has swept through, dispensing his grand plan and his vision of the big picture.
Noxee grew up poor, went to local schools in Soweto, worked her way through a graduate course at a private university.
Grant Fletcher - IT Guy
Grant retains his position as the webmaster at the Bullet, but as Prince does not consider the expense of a full time position justifiable, he has to find a new niche for himself, and opens an internet café next door to the newsroom.
He retains his comic function and in this season Grant finally loses his virginity!
Benny Jacobs - News Editor
Benny undergoes a far-reaching transformation in Season 3. Whereas before he was the wild card in the office, the freewheeling free spirit who played by nobody's rules, Prince now promotes him to a News Editor position, winning Benny over to the idea.
His style evolves over the course of the series from rebel urban guerilla to a more mature look, while still retaining his stance in opposition to the world, and his singular individuality.
Zolani Modise - Owner
A shady businessman, power-mongerer and the zillionaire owner of the now defunct Bulletin, Modise's only ambition is to sell off the assets and be done with the paper. But his estranged son Prince's ambitions to start up a tabloid draw him back into the world of journalism.
In this season we are afforded a glimpse of the humanity behind the ruthless persona.
Dorothy Wilcox - Press Ombud
Dorothy refuses point blank to work for Modise, much less on a tabloid newspaper and in the first episode walks out, livid that the reputation and memory of The Buletin is going to be dragged through the mud by Prince and his father.
She gets a job as the Press Ombud, which means she still has a certain amount of power over the paper.
Produced by Curious Pictures, the head writer of Hard Copy was Darrel Bristow-Bovey, with original music by The Junior Musicians' Yacht Club. The series producer was Tim Greene and the executive producers were Harriet Gavshon, David Jammy and Mpho Mosimane.