Sony’s big-ticket item, Fame Gurukul, is all prepared to fight it out for the audience’s attention. The event is slated to launch on June 27. While on weekdays it will take the 8.30 pm slot, on Fridays it would take a 90-minute slot at 8.00 pm.
With Optimystix now ceasing to be a part of Gurukul, Miditech has complete charge of the production of the show. Unlike Indian Idol, the auditions for Gurukul were decently muted and have given the channel 14 participants who are required to stay in the ‘Gurukul’, which would be cut out from the world but wired 24 hours with 20 remote cameras.
The first week will be all about introducing the characters, the first episode establishing the ‘Gurukul’ and settling the audience; the second episode would show the 100 participants coming down to 14; and the third and fourth would be about the training of these participants. The fifth episode would be a 90-minute gala.
The show is the next big thing for Sony and is charged accordingly. Sony was looking for six sponsors for the show, at a price of Rs 3 crore each. So far, the channel has managed five, which include Idea Cellular, Frito Lays, LG CDMA, J&J Sanitary Napkins and Lux.
As to what the sponsors liked about the show, LG CDMA’s Marketing Head, Praveen Pinto, said, “Over the last three years, reality has come of age. It was earlier seen mostly on music channels but success of Indian Idol showed that the genre can be on mass channels. Fame, too, is a large property worldwide and gives high expectations.”
Pinto pointed out that the channel is backing the property as it had in the case of Idol and this in itself holds promise for the show, a point that Frito Lays EVP-Marketing, Lloyd Matthias, agrees with. “Fame Academy (Gurukul in India) is an established and proven and successful programming idea abroad and music is a key platform to connect with today's youth. Sony Network has a good track record in successfully Indianising international templates and has demonstrated its capability on reality shows.”
The show will see judging not just from the jury but also by members from the audience, faculty and the contestants themselves.
Based on the international format Endemol’s ‘Operacion Triunfo’, the show has Ila Arun as the headmistress and other faculty members like Padma Wadkar, Prashant Samadhar, Anjali Chhabria and Geeta Kapur. As is known, the judges comprise Javed Akhtar, KK and Shankar Mahadevan, and the show is presented by Mandira Bedi and Manav Gohil.