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Oops! The Great Indian Laughter Challenge does it again…

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Oops! The Great Indian Laughter Challenge does it again…

Trust a successful proposition to deliver again. ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ (TGILC), which established STAR One in the big league game of mass entertainment, has opened well in its second season as well. Given the distribution problems that STAR One is facing in a key market like Mumbai, the opening numbers of ‘TGILC Dwitiya’ is good news for the channel.

TAM Media Research shows that for the target C&S 4 plus in the Hindi speaking markets, the show has opened at 5 plus. Deepak Segal, EVP, Content and Communication, STAR India, while encouraged with the numbers, is quick to add, “They are still below expectations and I think that we would have had an even bigger opening if we had numbers coming from Mumbai as well.”

The expectations from the show are massive again and the channel is expecting the same kind of growth graph as was seen in the first season. Segal said, “Fortunately, we have some great contenders again and the show is also grander than the last time. We are looking for some good numbers.”

Unlike last time, when the show was created in-house, this time, STAR India commissioned Endemol India to create the show. The opening numbers are good news for Endemol as well, as this is one of the first projects the Indian subsidiary has embarked on.

In addition to this, the channel’s decision to launch another show on the back of the show – ‘Mano Ya Na Mano’ – in the 11.00 pm block has also paid off. ‘Mano Ya Na Mano’ has opened at a TVR of 2.16 and for Friday night, these are indeed some of the better numbers that television in India sees.

In the light of the numbers that these shows have delivered, what is the channel’s point of view on the delivery of shows like ‘D.O.N’, the highest grossed for the show being 1.5, despite the 9.00 pm placement. Segal replied, “We are facing distribution problems. TGILC has equity now. The show rated a 10 plus in its finale – people will seek it out. But in the case of a new show, they have to be given a fair chance.”

This does bring back the point that media experts have made time and again about STAR One being a show for format shows than dailies. “So far, yes. The 100-meter sprints for the format shows are paying off. But we are training the marathons as well and I’m sure that we will be able to deliver on that count as well.”

Should we expect some more shows from the existing fare to go off and other new initiatives come in? “At present, I really hope that the current shows live up to the trust that we have placed in them,” said Segal, adding, “But new initiatives are very much a part of the channel’s plan and you will hear something on that soon enough.”

Though Segal isn’t divulging anything on the ‘new initiative’, the channel has already begun promotions of the much awaited Balaji daily ‘Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka’ on the channel. The expectation from the show, given the stable it is coming from, is high across the board and the show is expected to launch in April 2006.

The distribution problem of the Mumbai market is bad news given that it is one of the important markets for a channel like this. In the meanwhile, TGILC Dwitiya opening on a good note and the rub off this is having on the other shows is a positive sign for STAR One. Indeed, nothing succeeds like success.


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