New on TV today: Sunday 17 January

Written by Shows Editor from the blog New Shows and Seasons on 17 Jan 2021
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The Next Big Thing

Channel: SABC1
TX Time: 18h00
Genre: Reality Competition, Music

The Next Big Thing

Judges, also known as "The League" - Dame Dash, Zaytoven and Tina Davis - will place 21 up-and-coming R&B and hip-hop artists through a grueling artist development boot camp designed to create bonafide superstars.

Handpicked hip-hop and R&B artists from across the USA will compete weekly in survival-of-the-fittest challenges leading to a showdown where A&R executives will have the chance to offer a record deal on the spot.

Nipsey Hussle, Lil' Kim, Tamar Braxton and Joe Budden are among the celebrity artists who appear on the show as guest mentors throughout the series' 10 episodes.

Drancy 1943: The Big Escape

Channel: Curiosity Channel (DStv 185)
TX Time: 19h00
Genre: Documentary, History, Factual

Drancy 1943: The Big Escape

Seventy Jewish prisoners dig a tunnel to escape from Drancy transit camp, working in shifts day and night for three months.

Only a few metres from freedom, their plan is discovered by the SS guards.

Fourteen of them are immediately arrested and tortured before being deported to the death camps.

Kevin McCloud's Rough Guide to the Future

Channel: SABC3
TX Time: 19h30
Genre: Documentary Series, Science, Technology

Kevin McCloud's Rough Guide to the Future

The presenter of Grand Designs send a trio of comedians around the world to explore some key issues.

This three-part series takes a unique look at some of the toughest challenges of our time and how advances in technology could offer a solution, from driverless cars that purport to save lives, to avatar robots that change the way we interact, and lab-grown meat which could challenge our approach to food and livestock.

Kevin McCloud is passionately optimistic about technology and the future, but British comedian Jon Richardson, British-Malaysian stand-up comedian Phil Wang and British presenter Alice Levine have concerns about what lies in store for humankind.

Kevin sends the three around the world to look at some of the biggest issues of our time and the tech that could offer solutions.

Seeking technological enlightenment Phil, Alice and Jon journey to three countries at the cutting edge of technological innovation: China, Japan and the USA.

But how open will the team be to embracing new ideas and technologies that may change the world for the better?

Like most of us, each have concerns about what's in store for humankind. But one man remains positive about technology and its role in our future, and that man is Kevin McCloud.

Jon Richardson in the USA

From bio-hacking to eco-friendly towns, driverless cars and revolutionary steps in food production, Jon heads to America, the crucible of modern capitalism, to discover ground-breaking technological advances.

Alice Levine in Japan

Alice heads to Japan, the world leader in innovation, consumer electronics and robots.

She'll be investigating the weird and the wonderful, from AI and robot dogs, to robot funerals and café workers.

Phil Wang in China

Journeying across China, a nation vying to be the next tech superpower, Phil will discover revolutionary innovations in construction, gut-wrenching but ingenious food waste solutions, and groundbreaking farming techniques.

The Interpol Case

Channel: Curiosity Channel (DStv 185)
TX Time: 20h00
Genre: Documentary

The Interpol Case

We all know this international crime-fighting organisation. But how does it work?

Through interviews of Interpol's leaders, active agents and experts, this investigation lifts the lid on one of the world's most secretive organisations, which has recently made strategic alliances with Philip Morris, Sanofi and FIFA.

Can one of the regulatory authorities of our states be financed by private funds?

How can it maintain its integrity and avoid any conflicts of interest?

Wild Metropolis

Channel: SABC3
TX Time: 18h30
Genre: Documentary Series, Wildlife, Nature

Wild Metropolis

Explore our cities from a fresh perspective, through the eyes of animals that live there, and discover a wilder side to a world we think we know.

Humpback whales breach in New York's Hudson River. Smooth-coated otters make themselves at home in Singapore and huge colonies of megabats have made Adelaide their home.

African Penguins find sanctuary and safe places to nest in Cape Town.

Meet the extraordinary wildlife living in the fastest changing habitat on the planet - our cities.

Animals have adjusted surprisingly well to city living. Not only are they applying their natural-born skills to this urban environment, they're also making amazing adaptations.

Discover the extraordinary animals adapting to life in the world's most loved cities, and witness the remarkable ways they meet the challenges of surviving in the newest habitat on the planet.


The world's cities are growing at a faster rate than any other habitat on the planet.

And while most of us imagine them to be concrete jungles devoid of nature, for animals of all shapes and sizes they are just a new habitat filled with new and surprising opportunity.

With similar needs to humans, these wild animals face similar challenges, and like us, if they play their cards right, they can find everything they need in the city.

With the natural world shrinking, and our urban centres continuing to grow, adapting to life in the city has never been more important.

This first episode examines what it takes for these wild residents to thrive in the newest and fastest changing habitat on the planet.


This episode explores whether the secret to an animal's success in this fast-changing world is to keep one foot in the wild and one in the city, becoming a wild commuter.

Leaving the wilderness they must overcome the unique challenges that the urban world throws at them to benefit from the opportunities on offer.

Many animals displaced from their natural habitat are now using their wild skill set in the city to help fulfil their needs.

Could this be the beginning of a new and very modern migration?


In the last 30 years the world's urban areas have almost tripled in size, changing at a rate wildlife has never experienced before.

As cities are built, animals are pushed out of their natural homes. Their stories are the most surprising and captivating of all.

Today, these 'wild outcasts' find themselves fighting for their place in a land that once belonged to them.

In this episode we feature elephants in Sri Lanka and see that competition between them and humans for land and resources is resulting in deadly territorial conflicts, which demand solutions.

And on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica we meet a troop of capuchin monkeys and learn how our behaviour is affecting them, and raising big questions about their future.

But we also discover where we learn to live with wildlife as neighbours, and give it the space and resources it needs, it can thrive.

The resulting relationships between human and animals can be mutually beneficial.

We meet an Amsterdam heron called Kiri who has been visiting the same house twice a day for the last 17 years, befriending its owner.

We also meet the Florida manatees whose population has recovered to such an extent under the guardianship of local human residents that, in recent years, they have been taken off the endangered species list, and contributed to a massive boom in the local tourism industry.

We meet the swiftlets who have evolved to live only in people's houses and specially built swiftlet hotels in Indonesia.

And the surprising story of a population of tiny foxes on a Californian island whose presence benefits the hardened military personnel of a US naval base.

This hopeful but realistic episode culminates with the return of charismatic ocean giants to the world's most iconic city, as humpback whales breach against the New York skyline.


Actors in this post: Lil' Kim, Tamar Braxton

Channels in this post: SABC1, Curiosity Channel, SABC3


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