The forthcoming Hindi general entertainment channel ‘Colors’ from Viacom18 is on track for its July deadline. The channel has unveiled two more properties, and if the content mix right now is anything to go by, Colors is clear that it wants different genres in its weekday primetime. The channel also has movies on its agenda but there is still time before the channel officials give anything more on that.
Adding to the properties ‘Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and ‘Mohe Rang De’ -- the former being in the reality genre while the latter is a period drama set in the Indian independence time -- the channel has announced ‘Balika Vadhu’ and ‘Jai Shri Krishna’ to its line-up now. Even as channel officials aren’t divulging anything on the scheduling, they have informed that these shows would be a part of the primetime line-up.
“We are planning to launch with a full-blown schedule. So you would see us making more announcements very soon,” said informed Rajesh Kamat, CEO, Colors. Giving more details on the thought process behind the current line-up, Ashvini Yardi, Programming Head, said, “As a channel, there are various responsibilities that we have towards our viewers, including a social responsibility. While we don’t want to be preachy, as that wouldn’t resonate well with the viewers, we do want to be play a role in social messages that impact society.”
That is where ‘Balika Vadhu’, a show on child marriage, comes to play. The show is produced by Sphere Origins. The channel has put together an experienced team for this show that includes people who have researched the subject, and writers who have seen child marriage instances. The interesting aspect about this show is that the channel wants to take it forward with the same protagonist. While that would depend on how the show clicks with the audience, and how long the channel can keep it on-air, in essence the decision to continue with the same actor, as she grows older, along with the storyline, has largely been seen on international television.
The second show, ‘Jai Shri Krishna’, too has a similar thought line, of the protagonist growing older with the show. It is a mythology for sure, but channel officials assert that their attempt is to capture another aspect of it. Yardi explained, “The quick association of Krishna may be with Mahabharat, but we are looking at the childhood tales of Krishna, and there are a lot of interesting stories to show there.” Since ‘Jai Shri Krishna’ is launching with the first content line-up of the channel, it would launch ahead of the other expected ‘Mahabharats’. Meenakshi Sagar Productions have produced this show.
Kamat spoke further on the channel’s plans and said that the channel’s marketing is beginning in another week’s time. He said, “Audiences watch shows, and we would be promoting our show line-up while stating that this is the new channel this show is on.”
He also divulged that so far, the shows have seen significant interest in the marketplace. “We are deliberately unveiling our shows in phases, and the desired reaction is ‘which is better than which’, and we are really getting those reactions. The first two shows have seen immense positive feedback, and these shows too are getting similar reactions,” he observed.
If the promos of the shows are anything to go by, the channel has managed to instil good production values in each of its properties. Whether these investments and shows would take the channel to the 100-GRP mark which it has kept as its first target, one would know soon enough. But as is seen, the combination of one good show and one good movie is deciding the number three player right now, and in that light, Colors would prove to be a worthy contender in the genre.