If mass entertainment channels are going all out with year-end programming, can news channels be far behind? While some channels are still uncertain about the programme line-up following the tsunami devastation, others have cancelled the New Year bash barring some special programmes.
Aaj Tak’s year-end programming is looking to provide a mix of information, insight and entertainment. The programming will also capture the essence of the year that was and look at what the future has in store for us. Rajesh Sheshadri, Senior Marketing Manager, TV Today, said, “There is a significant viewership available on New Year’s eve and our differentiated programming – with programmes on the lighter side -- is in line with the season.”
The evening will start with Kismat Aapki Cards Hamare at 6 pm, a two-hour live programme, which will look at the future of viewers and personalities in 2005 with renowned astrologer Meenakshi. At 9:30 pm, there is Agar Aisa Hota, a 30-minute programme hosted by Jaspal Bhatti. And from 10-11 pm there will be Socha Na Tha, which will encapsulate some major events and controversies of 2004.
On December 31, Headlines Today will put together a one-hour programme, ‘Back to the Future’, at 7 pm. The programme will be aired from the projector room of PVR and will discuss all the major trends of 2004 and their potential impact on the future.
Zee News has planned an alternating cycle of news and special programmes throughout the day on December 31. The real attraction will, however, be a three-hour continuous show titled Alvida 2004. It will be aired live from the news centre with nationwide hook-ups and with reporters bringing the New Year celebrations live from across the country, from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Chandigarh. The highlight of the show will be crystal gazing into the New Year for viewers. Renowned future gazers ranging from astrologers to numerologists to tarot readers will answer viewers’ queries on what 2005 holds for them. The programme will be telecast from 9 pm to 1 am.
Alka Saxena, Editor, Zee News, said, “We want to give our viewers a mix of stories that will go with the mood of the day. We had planned a New Year bash but have cancelled that because of the tsunami tragedy.”
Star News has Kuch Hanse, Kuch Phanse at 9 pm, a Hasya Kavi Sammelan , where a group of poets will compose poems on events and happenings in 2004. There is also ‘Zero No. 1’ at 10.30 pm, an interactive programme which will present the year’s biggest losers from different fields!
The celebrations will continue the next day, with the best of Poll Khol. Anchored by Shekhar Suman, Kiski Khuli Pol on January 1 at 10.30 pm and Kiski Khulegi Pol on January 2 at 10.30 pm will present the biggest satirical highlights of 2004 as well as what he is looking forward in the New Year.
NDTV is still undecided on its programme line-up. There may be a Jai Jawan special but that is not confirmed yet.