Desperate times call for desperate measures and Uzalo's clearly feeling the pinch of stagnant ratings, head writer musical chairs, too many polygamy weddings, not enough humour and the loss of series star Dawn Thandeka King.
The result: the show's going retro for Season 7 by bringing back much loved, previous characters who were ejected from the show after it first reached 10 million viewers in 2018.
As you may recall, the show held a celebration bash in KZN
when Season 4 wrapped filming.
GC, played by Khaya Dladla, was the fan favourite at the event and Ntokozo "TK" Dlamini (Mastermind) and Nokuthula Mabika (Thobile) were in the thick of things as if they'd be with the show forever.
Three months later and all three were gone or side-lined, along with Nay Maps Maphalala who didn't even attend the party.
Viewers have wanted Mastermind back since he first left, with rumours of his return circulating annually and the glitz and humour instilled by GC has never been recreated.
The behind-the-scenes nonsons that happened was kept hush-hush but when asked about his exit, this is what TK told TVSA:
TK: Well, firstly I needed to grow, but also the environment in that production is not the same anymore. It doesn’t feel like we’re a family, it feels like everyone is just there to get a pay check... and I can’t work in a place like that, because I’m not doing this for money, I do it for the love of the industry.
I hope they treat the new cast members, better than they treated us.
There's been a whooooole lotta change of heart and contracts between everyone obviously because all four are back in the fold.
Here's a close-up on Who's officially In and Who's Out of the Season, with the original character biographies for each of the returnees, as they were introduced before the show first premiered in February 2015:
Played by Ntokozo "TK" Dlamini
Mastermind grew up in poverty, in a broken home where none of his siblings shared the same mother. He had to grow up very quickly as both his parents died of AIDS-related illnesses when he was young and he had to assume the role of breadwinner.
He's been dating his girlfriend Thobile for two years; she is fun and very different from him. With her he can relax and switch off from all the seriousness and responsibilities he holds in the other spheres of his life.
One day he would probably want to be in the position to get married and do the other ‘normal’ things he sees men in his community doing, but he is aware that for now, he shouldn’t even hurt himself by trying to have those dreams.
Day to day survival and protecting his younger sister are his priorities. He's found a way to make money off his smarts. Charismatic and easy-going, he is an extremely likeable criminal.
Played by Nay Maps
Mxolisi is the unwilling hero who has to go on a journey of discovery, from being a good boy to being the leader of his father’s criminal syndicate.
From the day he was born, Lindiwe and Muzi (his parents) were convinced that that there was something special about their son, and did everything they possibly could to ensure that he had the best of life.
Mxolisi was born with a gift, he could sing - even as a baby, he could hum a tune that awakens the soul and soothes a broken spirit. In him, Lindiwe and Muzi saw a new continuation of the Xulu dynasty.
Growing up Mxolisi was exposed to violence, dodgy dealings, police run-ins and extreme excess, as a man coming into his own he is determined to distance himself from this kind of life. Although he does not approve of the family business, Mxolisi loves his family fiercely.
Played by Nokuthula Mabika
Born to alcoholic parents, her mother died when she was 12 years old and her father is a drifter who wonders in and out of her life. She was adopted and raised by her aunt and uncle, who provided for her a loving and supportive home life.
Although she has suffered many hardships Thobile chooses to see her life as a blessing, she holds no resentments or bitterness. She is a confident woman who fears nothing and lives for the moment. She has dreams of building a fashion and beauty empire.
She works at Nkule’s hair salon doing nails. She is Mastermind’s girlfriend and sees the two of them in the same league as Kim and Kanye, Jay Z and Beyonce. There is not a thing she doesn’t know about pop culture, she has a peculiar fashion sense and an odd sense of humor.
The queen of malapropisms, she loves using big words (though often in the wrong context) and is just as likely to quote Aristotle or Shakespeare as Chris Brown or Aliyaah. She posts 20 pictures on her Facebook page every day and hashtags everything.
She also speaks in hashtags. She is fun, street-wise and cunning but is often undermined because she is so jovial and fun loving.
Played by Khaya Dladla
Khaya made his television debut in the role of one of the church choir members, making his first appearance in February, 2015.
The role was expanded into the character GC, which originally stood for "Gay Character" in the script before being fleshed out by the writers.
When the decision was made to expand the character, his back story gave him the name Gamakhulu Cetshwayo, although he is known as GC.
He recurred in the role for three seasons and was promoted to series regular and given starring billing from Season 4 before being written out in later seasons.
Played by Khabonina Qubeka
Khabonina reprises her role as Nokuthula, who was first introduced in later part of Season 2.
She's described as a dangerous cougar and this season she's going to enlist MaNgcobo’s help to pull off a “Bonnie and Bonnie” heist before MaNgcobo makes her exit from the show.
Played by Mbali Maphumulo (4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, Is'thunzi)
Mbali plays Phelelani’s mother who has the sole intention of ending the relationship between Phelelani (Omega Mncube) and Nonka (Thuthuka Mthembu), which she believes is a distraction steering Phelelani away from his dream of being a lawyer.
She plays a wealthy, mystery woman involved in the purchase of Qhabanga's church but this is a guest role.
Dawn Thandeka King's ship-jump from Uzalo to Mzansi Magic's new series Diepsloot has officially been confirmed to happen in April so we'll still see her for early episodes of the new season.
Baby Cele as Gabisile was rumoured to be out too, but the production hasn't said thank you nor goodbye to her in their latest press release about the season - which they have with the others - so either they've shaded her or she'll be back.
Also definitely out:
Siyabonga Shibe as Qhabanga and Jet Novuka as Captain Mpambani.