Seasonal, but safe!
Reality shows have had multiple runs, but TV channels continue to air them. Does the recall value guarantee eyeballs?
Now that the cricket season is over, channels are betting on new programmes, particularly the big-ticket reality shows to entice viewers. Promos of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 5 and Indian Idol 6 have already started, entries are being called for Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) 6 and DID L'il Masters 2 is already on air. Even Nach Baliye is slated to make a comeback after a hiatus of three years. Plus shows like Roadies, Emotional Atyachar, Dare to Date, Bigg Boss, etc are expected to make their annual appearance. In short, all the tried and tested shows, are set to be back after their seasonal break.
Says Ashish Golwalkar, Non-ficiton Head, Zee, "Once you create a franchise, it's easier to market it. For instance if DID L'i
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l Masters is back, people know what to expect. At the same time, one has to avoid an overkill by maintaining a gap between the seasons." He should know, as Zee has made huge properties out of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Dance India Dance that continue to rock the charts. For instance, according to TAM data sent by the channel, DID L'il Masters 2 that launched two weeks ago opened to a rating of 5.8, and in the following week garnered 6.2 beating the launch day ratings of all other non-fiction shows including KBC 5 (5.2 TVR), Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 4 (4.1 TVR), Just Dance (3.7 TVR) in the last one year. It has even managed to score over Aamir Khan's Satyamev Jayate that opened to a TVR of 4 plus across channels. The point is, most reality shows, in their successive seasons have been doing consistently well. Does that mean they are safe bets for the channels?
"Not really," says Manisha Sharma, weekend programming head, Colors. "It's a myth that seasonal shows are safe bets. While these shows are established properties, they make us work harder to meet the audience's expectations," she maintains. Danish Khan, Senior VP and Marketing Head, Sony, echoes her thoughts, "It has to be packaged differently, given a new look and feel which could be in the form of changing the protagonists, either the anchors (or judges)," he says. Reports are that for the forthcoming season of Indian Idol, the channel is roping in legendary singer Asha Bhosale as a co-judge.
Earlier, when Bigg Boss shifted channels from Sony to Colors, the latter had upped the glam quotient by roping in Shilpa Shetty as the judge (right after her Big Brother win), followed by Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt in subsequent seasons. As Sharma says, "Be it through increase in audience interaction or introducing new and popular faces, we strive harder to increase the recall value for the show."
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