Continuing with its new programming strategy, Sony Entertainment Television is all set to now launch an afternoon band. Called ‘Nayi Dopahar’, the block extends from noon till 3 pm. Two new shows have been planned for the 1-2 pm time slot, while repeat telecasts of some popular serials will cover the 12 pm to 1 pm and 2 pm to 3 pm slots. The new afternoon block will commence from May 15, 2006.
The new shows include UTV’s ‘Kabhi Tho Nazar Milao’ and Sri Adhikari Brothers ‘Rishton Ki Dor’ – both shows playing Monday to Thursday. SET COO, N P Singh, informed that the shows placed for ‘catch-up’ viewing in the afternoon comprise ‘Ek Ladki Anjaani Si’ and ‘Kaisa Ye Pyaar Hai’ between 12.00 pm and 1.00 pm and from ‘Thodi Khushi Thoda Gham’ and ‘Aisa Desh Hai Mera’ between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm.
Singh believes that this will help the channel in consolidating its all day (Gross Rating Points) GRPs, which as would be recalled, was the first front where the channel had started losing to Zee TV. Now with original programming spread across the day, the channel does have something to look forward to on that front.
Another significant development comes with ‘Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’ – an important show for the channel since 2003 – finally bidding goodbye. The show culminated on May 4, 2006 and would be replaced by a one-hour horror band housing the property ‘Khaufnak’. ‘Khaufnak’ has been planned as a finite show, which will be aired at 10.00 pm beginning May 8, 2006. The channel has some announcements up its sleeves on this one too, which would be made towards the end of the month.
Speaking on Jassi’s exit, Singh said, “Jassi has been a channel driver and some very good shows have been created around it. We don’t have any concrete plans as of now, but we will be working with Mona (Jassi) in the future as well.”
Coming back to the afternoon block, this is the third step in the new programming strategy of the channel. Singh is content with the performance of step one – the Friday block and the feedback of step two – the 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm weekday shows so far. He said, “Fear Factor has done very well for us. The show is averaging 3 to 4 and for a one-hour, these are good numbers. Also, the idea to take ‘CID’ in a one-hour format has also delivered with the show constantly giving a 3 plus. As for the new weekday shows, its still early to talk in terms of numbers, but the shows have got some great feedback so far.”
Speaking on how the channel is managing the production of new shows in short notices, he said, “The programming structure, which has Anupama Mandloi responsible for on-air programming and Gursheel Walia taking care of content development is paying off. Plus we have ensured that we have paced these shows well so even though there are production challenges that come with this scale of new properties, we have been able to cope with them well.”
Singh is clear that the mantra for most of the new shows will be to maintain pace in the story line. With a new host for ‘Deal Ya No Deal’, the channel is excited on the way forward.