End of the road for Sony's 'JCPK'?

Sony Entertainment Television has finally decided to pull the plug on its high profile gameshow Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke, industry sources indicate. The last of the series, episode number 90, was canned recently, and the show will be going off air by end-September, the sources say.

Rekha Nigam, senior vice-president - programming and production, SET, however denies that JCPK, hosted by filmstar Govinda, is coming to an end any time soon. "We have some great episodes lined up and there is no question of the show going off air just yet," Nigam stresses, adding that, as with all programming on the channel, there is a continuous review process going on. Nigam said the shows were being recorded keeping in mind Govinda's busy schedule. "We have enough episodes in the can to see us through for the near term," Nigam adds.

Speculation that JCPK's days are numbered has been doing the rounds for a while now and has increased since it went from a thrice a week airing to a twice-a-week show from 2 June. It now airs on Fridays and Sundays with the Saturday slot being given over to movies.

As to the possible reasons for JCPK's imminent demise there are many. Falling TRPs is an obvious one. Add the cost factor - an estimated average cost of Rs 4 million per episode - and the returns in terms of ad revenues are just not there. While the same could be said to some extent about Star India's Amitabh Bachchan-hosted gameshow Kaun Banega Crorepati vis-?-vis TRPs (4.6 as per market research agency ORG Marg's Intam data for the week ending 1 July), the difference is in the profile KBC enjoys. KBC has helped lift all the shows which have been worked around it but JCPK was never anywhere close to becoming Sony's channel driver.

So what next from the SET stable? All indications are that another possibly even bigger blockbuster show is on the anvil. When and what form it takes is the question.

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