Kahin Na Kahin koi Hai from Sony stable, is in its third week now. Marriages are sacrosanct in India, and Sony has taken a well thought out risk by weaving a reality show around it. But, has the Indian audience lapped it up? TRP's don't really indicate it to be a run away success. However, the channel believes it to be a good beginning - and has no doubts that its popularity will increase at a steady pace. Says Sunil Lulla, Executive Vice President, Sony Entertainment Television, "Kahin Na kahin Koi hai has done well for us. Prior to its launch, Sony did not have as much viewership on 8.30 slot. Kahin Na Kahin…was an attempt to improve the viewership, and it has increased by 250%. This, in itself, is a great milestone."
The optimism for Sony stems from its research conducted in Delhi and Mumbai at the end of the first week of show being on air. The channel had commissioned AC Neilsen for a quantitative study with a sample size of 1000 individuals - 500 in each city.
Key findings of the research indicate that 74% of C&S homes were aware of the show. 33% of the respondents had seen the show in the first week and the average time spent on the show was 20 minutes. On the scale of 1-5 the show scored 4.3 on uniqueness and 3.7 on likeability.
Says Lulla, "All these factors put together indicate that the show has some inherent strengths. This is a different genre with a sensitive subject - marriage. It is being done for the first time at this scale and canvas. Madhuri is very likeable. It is delivering to us what we expected it to deliver."
And now the channel is planning to make the programme more interactive. Says Lulla, "Effective today, you can call in or SMS to tell us who do you think the girl would choose. It would definitely encourage viewer interaction."
Agreed, 250% increase in viewership is no mean achievement. But are people really getting married? "Of course", says Lulla, "Meenakshi and Vinod were the first couple to get married. We have shown them in the last episode as getting married. Not everybody who came on the programme has made choices, but some people have."
Is it just a big city phenomenon or families in small towns are also showing interest? Says Lulla, "We are not getting bio-datas only from big cities, even people from small towns are sending in their bio-datas."
What happens when the initial curiosity factor dies down, and novelty is done with? Will Indian public accept the concept of searching for a groom on the television screen, or prefer the old fashioned way of Times of India classifieds? If it hits the jackpot, Sony would inch towards the much-coveted number one position. Right now, we will just have to wait and watch.