Original Indian English programming has been facing problems of its own on Indian television. When STAR World launched 'India's Child Genius,' the expectations were high but the result wasn't. The segment didn't appear to be a promising one. However, with the entry of Karan Johar on the scene with his Koffee, the picture has quite changed for the better.
'Koffee with Karan' was launched on STAR World on November 19, 2004. While it would be wrong to say that the show changed STAR World's face, what one cannot miss is the fact that the show signifies that there is space for original English content on television. The show has rated better than any of the international successes that has been brought on television and falls lower only to a few English blockbuster movies.
For the SEC C&S ABC 15+ in the metros, STAR World's channel share of the Friday slot jumped from 0.04 to 2.16 per cent with the launch episode. Depending on the celebrity guest that Johar invited, the share has remained largely on a 1 plus mark, making the 2 plus channel share jump frequently. The numbers are even higher for the target CS SEC AB 15-34.
World weekends per se are looking better with the inception of 'Koffee with Karan,' the Sunday repeat of the show playing a significant part in that.
Ajay Vidyasagar, Sr. VP, Marketing and Communication, STAR India, said, "The channel has benefited from the pull that 'Koffee with Karan' has exerted on the audiences. Both slot shares and all-week shares have registered a significant increase post the launch of the show. Evidently new audiences who have come to the channel have stayed on."
Speaking on the genesis of the show, Vidyasagar said, "We wanted something that would give viewers a casual yet candid look into the lives of India's biggest celebrities. We thought that Karan Johar, with his suave personality and relationship with India's biggest stars, would bring that something special to this chat show. A meeting with Karan Johar confirmed that he was also thinking on the own lines. The rest, as they say, was history!"
The show has now approached its season finale, which would see the likes Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan luring the viewer. Vidyasagar explained that the show will return after a few months. The season finale is a simulcast on Star World as well as Star One on May 27, 2005 at 10 pm.
Regarding the show replacing 'Koffee with Karan,' Vidyasagar said, "To replace India's biggest English entertainment show, we needed something equally big, and something in keeping with Star World commitment of bringing the best of World entertainment to our viewers. You will see one of the very biggest shows on American television today coming soon on Star World. It would be premature to say too much more at this point in time, but rest assured the new show is practically guaranteed to become as much of a talking point as 'Koffee with Karan' became."
Star-based shows are available by the dozen today. 'Koffee with Karan' cannot be congratulated on the idea behind the show but the execution and promotion of the show have been worthwhile. The performance of the season finale would be interesting to watch out for.