STAR One is all set to launch four new shows in its weekends. The idea is to build enough programming around the driver show ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge Dviteeya’ (Second series), that is coming in the Friday slots, to keep the audience glued. The channel terms the initiative as ‘Fantastic Fridays’ and will be following the driver show marketing strategy, implying primary noise around TGILC and ‘Don’.
The new shows coming on the channel in the Fantastic Friday block include reality game show ‘Jet Set Go’, which is the last to release in the new line-up on March 10, 2006 in the 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm block. The show marks the return of Optimystix on the STAR Network. This will lead into the detective show ‘D.O.N’, which is the first to go on-air in the Friday programming, on February 10, 2006.
‘TGILC’ would be in the 10.00 pm slot and ‘Mano Ya Na Mano’, anchored by actor Irrfan Khan, will be in the 11.00 pm slot – both launching on February 24, 2006.
Even though Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Director, STAR India, is confident with the new line-up, she isn’t assuming anything at present. “STAR One has been recognised and appreciated for some innovative and truly differentiated work that it has been doing. We are attempting the same with the new line-up. Fantastic Friday brings unique new ideas spread across a variety of genres that is aimed at keeping the viewers glued to their screens,” she said.
Speaking more on the expectations from the shows, Kejriwal said, “STAR One has been an unpredictable channel and all these shows are indigenous with no history of what worked and what hasn’t. I know we have put in our best and I am hoping for the best, but will these shows push the channel on the top slots? I don’t really know.”
Going by examples like ‘India Calling’ and ‘Darna Mana Hai’, it has been seen that soaps and tested genres like horror hadn’t really worked with the audience that brought numbers to shows like ‘TGILC’ season one and ‘Nach Baliye’. Commenting on this, Kejriwal said, “We are happy with the numbers of ‘India Calling’, given the fact that the show is giving some steady ratings that even 10-year old channels find hard to deliver today.”
Elaborating further, she said, “Shows like ‘TGILC’ and ‘Nach Baliye’ are objective viewing – they stay with you for that much time and that’s it, but soaps come in the domain of subjective viewing and it is important for such shows to have characters and story lines that the viewer can relate to. Fiction takes time to set in, but once it does, it sticks and we will keep trying till we have hit success on that count.”
Kejriwal is clear that there will be more innovative ideas coming from the channel. On Optimystix coming back in the STAR fold, she said, “They are a fun team – both Vipul and Sanjiv. They know how to be classy and still keep mass messaging at the core. It is great to work with them again.”
The marketing challenge that the channel faces is how the four shows will find consumer attention without getting in the way of each other. Elaborating on the plan of action on that front, Puneet Johar, Senior VP, Marketing said, “We will follow the driver show strategy here. We are already making noise around ‘TGILC’ and ‘D.O.N.’ and we expect the slot to grow with these shows. In the case of ‘Mano Ya Na Mano’, we are expecting the audience from ‘TGILC’ bring routed to the show.”