The Ranaka family.

The intriguing array of local drama and reality shows will see firm favourites returning while new shows will ensure thrill-a-minute, authentically South African viewing.

Mzansi Magic viewers can start blocking off 20:00 in January 2017 because they won’t want to move from their couches once the channel’s compelling offerings begin airing.

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The intriguing array of local drama and reality shows will see firm favourites returning while new shows will ensure thrill-a-minute, authentically South African viewing.

Kicking off the line-up is the new season of gripping family drama Saints and Sinners on Sunday 8 January. Season 3 comes chock-a-block with tension as characters dodge bullets, survive emotional beat downs, deal with triumphs and betrayals – all while staying ahead of everyone else in their twisted mind games.

In a small screen first, Mzansi Magic’s new prison drama Lockdown should make for compulsory TV watching when it airs on Monday 9 January. Set in a women’s prison where power and survival mean everything, the terse and fast-paced drama will take you into the lives of the inmates as they battle demons that hold them prisoner in every sense of the word.

“I think it’s safe to say that come January 2017, people will not be taking calls or going out at 20:00 because they’ll be parked in front of their TVs watching DStv channel 161,” says Reneilwe Sema, M-Net's Head of Drama. “As Mzansi Magic, we pride ourselves in being the mirror of South African society by telling stories that reflect our beautiful and complex society. Our growing content does just this.”

Tuesday 10 January sees the return of the emotional docu-series Utatakho. Nimrod Nkosi is back in Season 4 as the host and will journey with men and women on their path to find their biological fathers, and deal with the joy and pain that comes with unravelling their genetic background.

Sticking to the theme of family, Mzansi Magic will unveil a new reality show, Papa Penny Ahee! on Wednesday 11 January. The series follows the colourful existence of legendary Shangaan disco king Penny Penny as he navigates life as a musician, polygamist, a father of 17,  community leader and son to his 90-year-old mother.

Another fascinating family reality show is The Ranakas, a spin-from the hugely successful Vuzu AMP show Dineo’s Diary. The Ranakas debuts on Thursday 12 January, and will take viewers deeper into the world of this boisterous entertainment family who have long captivated the imagination of South Africa.

It's going to be a thrilling January, all exclusive to Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161).