Come New Year and DD1 will undergo a complete makeover as Doordarshan authorities have roped in big time celebrity producers to revamp its programming on its flagship DD1 channel with mega channel driver shows to take on rival satellite channels.
So it is the likes of Ramanand Sagar, B R Chopra, Sanjay Khan, Dheeraj Kumar, Adhikari Brothers, Cinevista, Neerja Guleri etc., who will be mounting a rich fare of mega mythological and historical serials, super soaps and game shows. Doordarshan bosses are thrilled with the overwhelming response to its scheme launched in September under which they invited proposals for programmes on DD1 in the sponsored category. Currently they are expeditiously processing about 150 proposals they have received from the independent producers including those from the celebrity producers and big time production houses.
Sanjay Khan is mounting two mega serial – 1857 Kranti and Maharathi Karan while Cinevista has lined up Bhagwat Puran for Doordarshan. Vinay Apte’s historical extravaganza Chattrapati Shivaji has already been scheduled to go on air from January 14. Ramanand Sagar has infact asked for a ‘Sagar Hour’ slot under which he would be doing world premier of his films (like Bhagat Singh) which is currently been telecast on Doordarshan in the form of a eight part serial. The very first episode of Bhagat Singh hit the TRP of 6.8, which is higher than the TRP of feature film on Doordashan and rival satellite channels. In order to avail the services of these big time producers many of which have been black listed due to default in payment, Doordarshan has devised a plan under which they are allowed to air these programmes. These defaulters producers are made to make advance payment in the form of bank guarantees to run their programme while the repayment arbitration for their dues will continue.
But perhaps the most interesting catch of Doordashan is Siddharth Basu of KBC fame. Recently there have been speculative reports in the media about Doordarshan’s plan to telecast Basu’s KBC on DD1. But according to Doordarshan DG, S Y Quraishi, Basu is actually producing a all new game show for DD1 with attractive prizes, sans mega cash prize.
As part of its programme revamp strategy for DD1, Doordarshan authorities are also going in for creating special time band to attract viewers. Also on the anvil is a complete communication strategy aimed at branding and positioning of DD1.