Boogie Woogie is back with a bang

MUMBAI: One of the oldest and longest running dance reality shows – Boogie Woogie – is returning to television screens after a hiatus of nearly four years.

The show promises to be bigger and better in its new avatar - Boogie Woogie Kids Champion – even as it retains popular elements like the judges’ trio of Javed Jaffery, Naved Jaffery and Ravi Behl. Scheduled to premiere on Sony Entertainment Television on 7 December, the show will take the slot vacated by Kaun Banega Crorepati, airing every Saturday and Sunday at 8.30pm.

Produced by R&N TV Productions owned by Ravi and Naved, the show will see 16 talented kids between 7 and 13 years of age compete for the title of ‘Boogie Woogie Kids Champion’. This time round, nearly double the amount of money has been spent on producing the show; informs Naved. The show travelled to 10 cities and auditioned around 1 lakh children, of which 1000 kids were short-listed in the beginning. “100 were finalised, out of which 16 have been selected for the show,” says Naved.

A lot has been done in terms of packaging to add freshness and newness to the show. For instance, the show will now have two hosts in actor Sargun Mehta and 12-year-old Rakshit Wahi who will keep the audience entertained. Speaking on the sidelines of the show’s launch on Monday, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) VP & Head – Non-fiction Programming, Aloka Guha, said: “While earlier, we didn’t have hosts, this time, we have got Sargun and Rakshit on board to add more fervour.”

Since the show is not trying to compete with any other dance reality show on television, the theme is very family-oriented. “We are competing with ourselves. We were ruling for 17 years and have become a culture in a way,” says Naved, adding that the huge leap in technology in the last three to four years is helping them come up with a better product. “However, only technology can’t really help a show; one has to come up with strong engaging content as well,” he points out.

While earlier, we didn't have hosts, this time, we have got Sargun and Rakshit on board to add more fervour, says Aloka Guha

The show is a mix of old and new elements and unlike other dance reality shows, the makers haven’t introduced any audience voting system. "We didn't feel the need for a voting system. We want the audience to watch the show for its content and nothing else," says Naved.

Programming-wise, Sony Entertainment Television is working in tandem with R&N TV Productions and Aloka is of the view that since the channel has hosted some of the best reality shows like Indian Idol and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, it has a team of the top order, which can really help produce an excellent show. Interestingly, SET wanted to start a dance show for quite some time and what better than to revive a brand like Boogie Woogie, which enjoys a long and successful association with the channel.

About the phantom high-speed camera used for shooting the show, Aloka says: “The camera can record up to 5,000 frames per second and that has given an edge to the show. The show has scaled up in a lot of other ways as well. While we have a very large set-up, we are also following the pyramid shape structure for the first time. Boogie Woogie has never been a reality show where you follow a contestant. It has had special episodes like super moms, weekly etc. However, now, through the 15 weeks, we are going to follow the journey of the contestants and that is a big development.”

The team is trying to get on board the show celebs with a knack for dancing. So, the first episode will have Prabhu Dheva and Shahid Kapoor while latter episodes will see Madhuri Dixit and Arshad Warsi among others.

Coming to promotions, SET has so far released four videos that are parodies of popular songs including ILU ILU, Lungi Dance, Na Na Na Re and Chaar Baj Gaye.

16 finalists with the judges

Aloka says the idea was to make the promotions fun just like the theme of the show. “We were brainstorming for the promotional videos when somebody generally hummed Ye Boogie Woogie kya hai, ye Boogie Woogie..And bang on, we got the idea of what we have to do,” she says.

Informs SET head of marketing and senior VP Gaurav Seth: “The promotional videos are being promoted on all the Multi Screen Media channels including SAB, SET, PIX, MIX, SIX and MAX.” He hopes the show will help take SET’s ratings up. “Since the weekend slot has worked really well for us, we are hoping for a lot of traction for this as well. Plus, since the concept has worked really well for us in the past, we are planning a lot of on-ground activities to promote the show. We may even come up with a mobile app to reach out to the tech-savvy generation,” he adds.

Currently, Horlicks has come on board as the ‘powered by’ sponsor whereas other deals are in the process of being finalised. “We would clearly know the final sponsors by the week end,” says Seth.

SET plans to go in to a digital overdrive as well for the show. However, they want to keep their strategies a ‘secret’ at the moment. “We have to go with the time and we will go all out to make the show a phenomenon. However, we will decide the promotional strategies as we progress,” Javed signs off.

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