Friday evening seems to be not that easy a slot for STAR Plus. With Josh… followed by Khullja… and, then the college drama Jeet coming in place, the channel has constantly experimented to find the right fit for this time-band. However, with not much success, Jeet wraps up on April 2, 2004 and the serial replacing it will be the half-hour thriller Darr.
Josh… occupied this troubled slot in the early 2003. However, on August 1, 2003 the show was taken off air. One reason that came to fore was that the action series was not delivering as per the channel’s expectations. Its ratings in the final days garnered a 6+ for the C&S 4+ in the Hindi Speaking market. Shailja Kejriwal, Creative Director, Content and Communication, Star India, however, refutes that it was taken off air due to poor TRPs. She explains, “Josh was an expensive production. It was supposed to be a 13-episode show and it was replaced when that period ended. It is the kind of show that should do seasons than be on an ongoing format.”
Jeet lived a six-month life on the channel. Like Josh, Jeet too came on the channel as a strong differentiator in family drama dominated content line-up. If ratings are anything to go by, the serial did not really take off at any point. For most part of its stay, the serial played between 3 and 4 TRPs for the given target market. In the last few weeks, even achieving 3 became an unusual incident for the serial.
Speaking on what went wrong here, Kejriwal elucidates, “Looking at the programme itself, Jeet is a good product. But our Friday line-up has more of kids’ programming, so the audience flow in and flow out of the programme did not give Jeet the kind of viewers it could have garnered on some other slot.”
She explains that in the current programming structure, unfortunately there was no other slot where Jeet could have been placed. The channel and the production house tried various things to give the serial more figures. The slot was shifted from 9.00 pm to 10.30 pm, the story line was tweaked and new characters were brought in as well. None of these attempts helped Jeet to pick up and the result hence, was to replace the programme.
So, what is the rationale in bringing Darr in this time band now? “Darr is like Fright Night. It is meant for the late-night audience. With a star cast like Irfaan Khan, KK and Harsh Chayya, it has the ability to lure viewers.” The 26-episode thriller will go on air on April 9, 2004. On-air promos for the serial are on. Following Sshh.. Koi Hai, the channel believes the audience flow in for Darr would be good.