Star One has chalked out some aggressive plans to beef up its programming. The channel has lined up four new shows and will also bear witness to a scheduling change in November. Launched in 2004, not much action had been seen on the Star One front in the past couple of years.
The first show to be launched is ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ at 8 pm, which is a love story and deals with the concept of first love. It is about a girl Manjiri, who is looking for ideal love, but like the concept perfect love, it is too Utopian to be true. The show comes from the production house called Panglosean Films.
The next show, which is on air at 8.30 pm, is ‘Pyar Kii Ye Ek Khahani’. It is an impossible love story where the girl and the guy can’t come together for various reasons, and in this case, it is because the guy is not human. This show has been produced by Balaji Telefilms.
The channel is launching ‘Dhoondh Legi Manzil Humein’ in the 9 pm time slot. It is the story about a rich brat who studies in the US. Her father is a politician in India and is trying to get her married, but she is least interested. She comes to India for some time and ends up staying here. The crux of the story is the transformation of a girl who set out to do something and lands up doing something else. Sarvam Communications is the production house.
The fourth show will be launched in December and the working title is ‘Tamanna’. The show will be produced by Drishtant Films.
Nikhil Mirchandani, GM, Star One, affirmed that the road ahead for Star One was firmly fixed in fiction. He said, “Every time we reached a high point, when with ‘Laughter Challenge’ and ‘Nach Baliye’ we reached 100 and 110 GRPs, next week you were back to where you were. It is an unsustainable business model. For a channel like Star One fiction, the path is going to be the mainstream. So, how do you translate what you did in the non-fiction space, which is innovative and disruptive to the fiction space?”
Apart from the new shows, the channel is also planning to go six days a week with all its shows. Mirchandani explained, “By November 20, 2010, we are going six days a week for all of our shows. The reason we are doing this is because all studies and all researches show that viewership on a Saturday is not very different from a Monday to Friday in terms of audience availability. Non-fiction is not something I am very keen on doing. Typically, Saturdays and Sundays are filled with non-fiction or movies, in absence of that, I would rather try to create fiction on all the six days for more original content.”
Currently, the channel’s average GRP stands at 50, and with the new line-up, it is aiming at getting at least an average of 70 GRPs. The channel has also upped its marketing budget. Mirchandani said, “We have upped our marketing budget, which has more than doubled because we hadn’t launched anything in a long time. The thing is that on Star One, where we have the strength of the Star Network, and on-air marketing is the single largest vehicle to promote your show, what we do outside of ‘on air’ is tokenism. We do radio, we do have 16-city radio plan, all one million plus towns. The honest truth is outside of ‘on air’ marketing, very few media build reach.”
He further said, “We are working on shows, we are building original content, increasing the number of hours of original content. We are phasing out our old shows and we are bringing in new shows. Whether they will work or not, only time will tell. We are putting in a lot of might in terms of ‘on air’ marketing, ‘off air’ marketing and everything. We are giving each of these shows a good shot. Whether they will work, will the audience like the characters? My sense is that it will work.”