After its transformation from Sahara Manoranjan to SaharaOne, the channel’s content didn’t undergo complete change. However, new programming initiatives, under the stewardship of Chief Operating Officer Karuna Samtani, are being chalked out at the channel now. With three mega-launches already lined up, including a driver reality show – ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ – hitting the screen in February, 2005, SaharaOne is all geared up for the New Year.
The first of the three launches is ‘Kamini Damini’. Even as Sahara Manoranjan hadn’t seen expected success with shows like ‘Karishma’ or ‘Malini Iyer’, SaharaOne experiments with cine-star Hema Malini again for ‘Kamini…’. The daily soap is slotted to go on air on December 27 in the 10.00 pm slot.
“It’s not true that ‘Malini’ didn’t deliver for the channel. The show has a role to play, which it did. It lived its life and then was taken off,” says Samtani, “Kamini, however, is expected to begin a faster growth for the channel. The story isn’t something that is seen on television presently and surely would give the audience something different to sample.”
The second show, ADA (Acting and Dancing Academy), comes from Ken Ghosh for the channel. “This is a high-energy show, reflecting the lives of people who want to make it big in life. Again this is something that will give the audience some spice.” The show hits the tube on January 17, 2005 in the 9.00 pm slot.
The third is again a reality show and Samtani’s excitement about this one is obvious. “Dil Chahta Hai is a reality show but of a different kind. The show is conceptualised by Miditech and should do very well for the channel.” The show is slated to go on-air on February 14, 2005 in the 9.30 pm slot, as per Samtani.
“It is designed to be a driver for the channel,” adds Nikhil Alva, CEO, Miditech, “The good thing is that it comes at a time, when it is evident that reality has definitely arrived in India in a big way. Indian idol is an example. If the show is made keeping in mind, Indian ethos and taste, it will be well accepted.”
Sharing more on ‘Dil…’, he says, “The intention is it to make it a mega scale, which breaks through the clutter of programming today. The intention is to give Sahara a show that will rate in primetime.”