One of the most premium slots on television is set to see a new offering. STAR India has announced the launch of 'Viraasat' in its 9.00 pm block, which so far was housing 'Miilee'. 'Viraasat' comes on air on June 12, 2006. Keeping in line with the attempt to provide new story lines on television in India, 'Viraasat' would be a classical tale of good versus evil and as channel officials put it, it would be a "multi-starrer on television".
The outgoing show, 'Miilee', was launched in April 2005. It was the need of the hour was to make the viewer aware of the mergence of three weeklies to make way for one daily. TAM Media Research showed that for the target CS 4+ of the Hindi speaking market, the launch week of 'Miilee' gave the channel a high of 34.92 per cent share. With the early weeks of the show throwing TRPs as high as 10 plus, 'Miilee' was seen as a success. However, going forward, the ratings of the show slip to stably play between the 5 plus and the 6 plus marks that it throws now.
Speaking on 'Miilee', Shailja Kejriwal, Senior Creative Director, STAR India, said, "Miilee was always planned as a finite show. We want to consciously be able to give our audience a variety in their TV diet. With the Balaji shows, there is staple diet from the channel in any case, but in every other block we have to give them different kinds of properties."
Some examples that she quoted as initiatives from the channel to achieve this goal include 'Baa, Bahoo aur Baby', 'Sai Baba', 'Jodee Kamaal Ki', 'Pyaar Ke Do Naam', 'Prithviraj Chauhan' and now 'Viraasat'. "If you see the premise of any of these shows, these really are stories never told on television," Kejriwal said, adding, "in that sense, the reason why a show is going on air is purely based on the gut feel of the programming team - we believe that these shows have the necessary ingredients to hold on to our TG."
Kejriwal is clear that the new breed of shows that will come from the channel wouldn't be longer than a year or year and a half. On what the expectations from 'Viraasat' are, citing that the show really has no precedents, Kejriwal refused to divulge any comments. Replying to whether we can expect the show to touch the double digit mark in TRPs, she candidly stated, "While I would really hope and strive for that, I do believe that television is moving to a phase were there the 12s and 13s aren't really a reality anymore."
Explaining further, she pointed that with the kind of fragmentation and media proliferation that has happened, the move was from just numbers to involved viewership numbers. "The shows from which a 12 was expected at one time, today rates at probably an 8 - being optimistic at that," observed Kejriwal.
"When we launch a new show, we typically look at fresh faces. At some level, it gives the audience a feel of seeing some one real - someone who is one of them. However, that is not where we are headed now at all. 'Viraasat' casts some of the most popular faces on television - it would be seen as a pure entertainer," added Kejriwal.
In regards to what the strengths of the new show are, she said, "It's a classic tale between good and evil. The story is about how love survives despite all odds. Our base line 'Naftrat ke khel mein, Do dilon ki chahat' pretty much captures the fact that it is an extremely different kind of a show."