‘India’s Minute to Win It’, which went on air on January 12, 2010 on AXN – the action and adventure channel backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment – will be part of the channel’s primetime programming on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the 10 pm slot. Meanwhile, the first season of ‘Got to Dance’, a dance reality show by CBS, premiered on Monday, January 17, 2011.
A local adaptation of NBC’s ‘Minute to Win’, ‘India’s Minute to Win It’ follows a simple format where each contestant is presented with a challenge that must be successfully completed within 60 seconds by making use of everyday household items like buckets, empty cans, toothbrush, noodles, pizza tray etc. Each game has a time limit of a minute and failure to finish the task on time will lead to elimination. Some of the challenges include ‘Bite Me’, which involves picking up paper bags of different sizes using one’s mouth; ‘Blind Ball’, which involves collecting two balls balanced on card board tubes while blindfolded; ‘Bottoms Up’, which involves knocking over empty cans using a yo-yo tied to the waist; ‘Bucket Head’, which involves catching three balls in a bucket placed on top of one’s head.
The Road in 2011
AXN’s programming strategy comprises four distinctive types of programming – mass acquisition of latest seasons of international formats divided into action-adventure reality shows such as ‘Fear Factor’, ‘Wipeout’, ‘Minute to Win’; global hit dramas such as ‘CSI’, ‘24’, ‘House’; or dance shows such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Got To Dance’.
Speaking on show launches for the year 2011, Rohit Bhandari, Senior Vice President, AXN & Animax (India), informed exchange4media, “For the current fiscal, these two launches (‘India’s Minute to Win It’ and ‘Got to Dance’) will be our new additions. Apart from this, latest seasons of currently airing shows such as the ‘House’ will continue.”
Last year, AXN had experimented with new programming touches such as subtitling for series such as ‘24’, which guest starred Anil Kapoor. The 9-10 pm band on AXN is focused on reality shows, while the 10-11 pm band is focused on serialised telecoms. In terms of ad spot rates, too, the channel is expecting some growth this year.
The Local Palette
AXN has successfully operated on international content, besides the bouquet of general entertainment and action-packed movies. Since 2002, the channel has consciously begun experimenting with local programming with ‘Who Dares Wins’, followed by others such as ‘Amazing Race Asia,’ and lifestyle show ‘Men 2.0’ in October 2010, an Indian adaptation of international show ‘Man’s World’.
Bhandari added, “When we aired the international show on AXN, we received mass feedback where people told us that the simple games were used by them during family gatherings. AXN believes in acquiring the best available content for its audiences. With this show, we plan to strengthen our mass appeal and increase our reach.”
When asked about the choice of show host, he said, “We wanted a host who was spontaneous, had a keen sense of humour, and as required by the format of the show, did not need to rely on a script or a teleprompter as he was to respond to the participants’ reactions. We wanted a known face, yet someone who was friendly and not intimidating. With his years of experience as a television host, Gaurav Kapur fit the bill, as a package.”
The show has signed on four sponsors with Fair & Lovely as the presenting sponsor, along with Titan’s Purple watches, Castrol, LG Optimus phones and Tata Motors. The winner stands a chance to win prize money to the tune of Rs 1 crore on completion of all the levels of the tasks set forth in the game. “The show follows a simple format and does not require participants to possess a special skill set, physical capabilities or for them to be good looking to be given a chance to make money. The games are simple and the show provides entertainment meant for family viewing,” Bhandari further said. He defined the channel’s audience as males and females in the 15-45 age group, but as a structured core target group to be audience of 15-24 years of age.