Television

To increase visibility Hallmark tries unconventionality

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Hallmark, which claims a viewership base of 8.2 million in India, is pushing hard to become the channel that the whole family can enjoy. Hallmark is different from the other English movie channels Star Movies, HBO and Zee MGM because a lot of programming is aimed at children. Besides Hallmark's mini-series and movies are quite unique.

It's new show Star Trek Voyager will premier on 30 September at 8 p.m. The target audience is science fiction and action fans who like mystery, adventure and thrills and have no difficulty suspending their disbelief. In one of the episodes the Federation starship USS Voyager hunt down Maquis rebels, enters the dangerous space nebula known as the Badlands. Both ships are taken to the Delta Quadrant, which is 75,000 light-years from Federation space. Then at 9 p.m. you can enjoy the movie The Yearling about a 12-year-old boy who learns the meaning of life, shouldering responsibility through his relationship with an orphaned fawn.

The channel will spend Rs 10 million to promote and advertise this show as well as Sliders in India. Sliders is being pushed through the print medium, billboards and hoardings. The hoardings are quite mischievously misleading. At Borivali there is one which claims that one has reached Worli. The ads are quite zany and eccentric whether it describes objects in an inaccurate manner 'The pyramid is a square', or misreporting an important news item of the past 'Princess Diana survives car crash'. Sliders deals with four people who travel through the time dimension zigging and zagging so much that a time comes when they are not sure what is real anymore. Advertising major Leo Burnett's campaign tempts viewers with a teaser "What is your reality?"

As far as movies are concerned the channel this month has been showing successful adaptations of classic novels under the heading From Page to Screen. Tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. the channel is showing the 'Infinite Worlds of HG Wells". It is an interesting fictionalised account of author HG Wells and how he was inspired to write novels like 'The Time Machine'.

The channel also harbours ambitious desires of rising to the next level by extending the concept of the fairy tale to adult audiences. Next month on the 27th and 28th at 9 p.m, Storybook scandals will see the channel present two classic fairy tales where the end is not soppy and feel good. The first tale is the Grimm Brothers Snow White. It has state-of-the-art special effects not seen in previous versions. Starring Oscar nominated Brit Miranda Richardson (Tom And Viv) the wicked queen tries to kill Snow White and succeeds inspite of the best attempts of the seven Dwarfs to save the heroine.

The second is Prince Charming where the Prince, due to a curse becomes a frog. He can only change back is if he is kissed by a woman. This happens 500 years later in Manhattan but when he finds her he falls for another woman. Luck could run out as far as he is concerned. 

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