The year 2005 is seeing some key changes in the 9.00 pm slot for mass entertainment channels, especially for STAR Plus with the introduction of 'Miilee' and Sony Television with considerable changes in 'Kkusum' and the female protagonist changing again. Zee TV shows a level graph, and similar is case with Sahara One and SAB TV.
Despite being the traditional primetime, 9.00 pm didn't see much action in terms of ratings in 2005, at least for the first three months. According to TAM Media Research numbers, the beginning of the year kept STAR Plus in the leadership position grossing a channel share moving between 30.9 to 35 per cent. The number two player Sony stays at a considerable distance playing between 13.52 per cent and 11.12 per cent. The highest that Zee TV sees here is 4.39 per cent and the lowest 3.96, in effect, maintaining a linear graph for the channel.
While this is the story until week 7, in the following period until week 13, STAR Plus sees a dip bringing its shares to as low as 30.61 per cent. Sony maintains a consistent 12 plus channel share and Zee continues with its 4 plus run. Week 14 takes Sony high to 14 per cent. However, come week 15, when STAR Plus introduced 'Miilee', the games change considerably, for at least the top two players.
'Miilee' launch week gave the channel a 34.92 share, which is one of the highest that Plus recorded in 2005 until then. The predicament that came with 'Miilee' was that three shows had been wrapped and one show moved to accommodate the newcomer. The corresponding week for Sony brought in a dip giving the channel a share of 11.34 per cent.
In the following week, Sony peaked a little moving to 12.38 per cent and STAR dipped a little moving to 33.33 per cent. However, in the three weeks since, the audiences have given a thumbs-up to 'Miilee'. The channel share for STAR has moved to 38.19 in week 17 to 38.23 in week 18, moving further up to 38.72 in week 19. For Sony week 17, 18 and 19 see the channel throwing 11.25, 11.7 and finally 11.3.
'Kkusum' is evidently facing some real life threats.
Zee TV doesn't budge from the 4 channel share and as for SaharaOne and SAB TV, the number four and five positions change occasionally throwing a 1 plus mark but largely moving in decimal ratings.
What 'Miilee' has given STAR is a consistent 10 plus TVR for two weeks straight. For Anita Nayyar, MD, Starcom (North), these are great numbers as they are for Divya Radhakrishnan, Vice President, The Media Edge. Radhakrishnan reasoned, "Miilee has more vibrancy than anything that other channels have to offer in that slot. This, in tandem with good marketing, might be working for the Indian viewer and it would be interesting to see how long it works."
Nayyar throws in a similar word of caution saying, "In any show, you will see that the story peaks when there is a twist. On that note, I think it's a little premature to say that Miilee will work with the viewer, even though the start is a commendable one."
One point that both experts agree on is that 'Kkusum' needs attention. Even as the channel hasn't shared much on what is planned for the show, on a closer look, they concede that the change in protagonist and the resulting changes in story lines have taken a toll on the show.
"The story has completely moved from what it had begun and that could contribute to the reason why the audience is losing interest," said Radhakrishnan.
"The audience relates more to the character of the show than actor of the show," said Nayyar, "However, a change in face does to some extent matter to the audience. Also, in the case of Kkusum, the story line drifted from the title with the change in the protagonist and now the protagonist has changed again."
Radhakrishnan added, "By the time, the viewer can empathise with one face, there is another one. And the storyline has been really pulled - the male lead has married five times in the serial!"
If a longer time period is seen, 'Kkusum' has seen steady drops even though marginal ones. The show does remind of the fate of 'Kahiin Kissi Roz', which was eventually taken off-air after the show lost its female lead. However, Balaji serials have away of coming up and if word has to be believed, Ektaa Kapoor has quite a lot planned for the show. How this changes the fate of this long running 9.00 pm would be an interesting watch.
More changes expected in 8 pm slot of mass entertainment channels