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Channel 7 leans heavily on non-fiction and lifestyle shows to survive competition

18-May-2005
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Channel 7 leans heavily on non-fiction and lifestyle shows to survive competition

Two months down the launch, Channel 7 stays committed to introduce non-fiction programmes to ensure they don't get burnt out by the hot competition among news channels.

"A news channel has to go beyond news to retain eyeballs and we see everybody following this trend. We see everybody coming up with movie reviews, cookery shows, etc., but the real question is how innovative are you with these shows?" remarked Siddhartha Gupta, Director, Channel 7.

Channel 7's focus is to innovate within this genre. Recently, the channel launched two shows - 'Khaas Khansama' and 'Premier 7'. The objective behind these shows was to get away from traditional cookery shows and clichéd movie reviews, and Channel 7 claims to have achieved this with a different treatment to the shows.

"In Premier 7, we avoided a movie critic or doing a vox-pop with people stepping out of the theatre. Instead, we decided to go for a tie-up with PVR and introduced a new treatment, wherein we escort a couple to the movie hall, make them watch the movie and tell them to do a movie review for us. Similarly, with the cookery show, the idea truly was to make it as interactive as possible and here the chef goes to peoples' houses and cooks for them in their kitchens using home ingredients," Gupta said.

The Channel 7 boss informed that a lot more shows were lined up in the non-fiction segment including a makeover and a dating show, an interactive pseudo game show, a business show on how to set up small industries and one that follows pilgrims through their journey. "In the dating and makeover show, we have tie-ups with designers, salons and sponsors. The show will be a weekend special and should be on air this month. The pseudo game show is also going to be on air in three weeks' time," he said.

Crime is the other genre that Channel 7 has focused on. It has introduced five new crime shows-'Masoom' on juvenile crime, 'Ek Aur Natwar' which focuses on scams and exposes, 'Deewangi' on savagery and how strained relationships lead to criminal activities, 'Raaz' on how forensic science can detect crime, and 'Giraftaar,' an anchorless format, which unfolds like a film narration.

Said Gupta, "The idea is to move away from the news format where an anchor narrates the story. We are thinking in terms of a documentary film format, wherein the whole crime unfolds like a film."

He also raised the issue of poaching of ideas in the media industry. "So many times we have faced this situation when we find that our ideas have been used by other channels. In fact, even the treatment is just the same," he added. Asked how the ideas got leaked, he said, "We were editing in public places and because of operational issues such incidents occur."

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