NDTV Imagine, ZeeNext, 9X and now ‘Colors’. Viacom18 has chosen this name for its forthcoming Hindi general entertainment channel. Clearly, the generation next of GECs in India has embraced the fact that some words, even in English, capture the spirit of the new India, even though in English, capture the spirit of the new India or – as Rajesh Kamat, CEO, Colors, explained at a press meet held in Bangkok on May 5 – Bharat.
Unveiling the name and identity of the channel, Kamat said that emotions were key to attracting the attention of Indian audiences, and that the channel would look at capturing the various shades of human emotions. This thought was further embedded in its tagline ‘Jasbaat ke Rang’. The channel’s philosophy, according to Kamat, was to drive disruption in all its functions from programming to scheduling to even distribution. Channel officials informed that they were targeting July 2008 for launching the channel.
Kamat informed that distribution would be a key area of focus for the channel and that it had already factored in the costs given the increased competition today. He further said that the network’s experience in this space through DEN, which, he clarified, would not be distributing Colors, would come in good stead for the channel.
Ashvini Yardi, Head, Content and Creative, Colors, divulged that the channel intended to launch with a full-fledged primetime band, but did not reveal about all the shows yet. The two driver shows that she spoke of were Endemol’s ‘Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi’, which was on Sony Entertainment Television in its first season, and period drama ‘Mohe Rang De’.
‘Fear Factor’, in this season called ‘Fear Factor – Khatron ke Khiladi’, will see actor Akshay Kumar as the host of the show and will have 16 episodes. Kamat said, “Differentiation and disruption are going to be the drivers of our launch strategy to challenge the status quo in this segment. This, coupled with the multi-screen strength that the Network18 group commands, gives us a serious edge over our competitors.”
In a prepared statement, Haresh Chawla, Group CEO, Network 18 & CEO, Viacom 18 Media, said, “The combination of our stronghold in the young adult and kids audiences and access to the audience franchise of Network18 will lend enormous leverage and strategic advantage to our entry into the mass general entertainment space and we look forward to replicating our success and delighting millions of Indian families with Colors.”
Commenting further on Colors’ programming strategy, Yardi said, “Colors’ programming would lend a new hue to the existing Hindi GEC with a variety of great content across genres covering the entire spectrum of emotions. The programming mix endeavours to be relevant to today’s evolving viewers, who have a deep rooted desire to escape to their fantasy world, while still remaining within the realm of reality.”
Another attraction of ‘Fear Factor’ in this season is going to be the 13 actresses and models taking part in the show, including Yana Gupta, Aditi Govitrikar, Pooja Bedi, Sonali Kulkarni, Tapur Chatterjee, Tupur Chatterjee, Sayali Bhagat, Nethra Raghuraman, Anjana Sukjani, Dipannita Sharma, Payal Rohtagi and Meghna Naidu, among others. The show would be shot entirely in South Africa over a period of one month and is being produced by Endemol India.
Deepak Dhar, Managing Director, Endelmol India, said, “We are very pleased to be part of the launch of Colors. ‘Fear Factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi’ is unlike anything that has been seen on Indian television before. The scale is huge and it has some of the country’s biggest stars, and bigger and tougher challenges for the contestants. It is shot in an international destination and there are 13 beautiful and daring women who are vying for the title of ‘Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi’. At Endemol, we have the international lineage and experience to create a show of this magnitude and we are certain that it will appeal to our viewers.”
Another programme launched at the event was ‘Mohe Rang De’, a period drama set in the backdrop of 1942 Quit India Movement. The show has been produced by Deepti Bhatnagar Productions.