MUMBAI: AXN is going about its mission of providing thrills through the critically acclaimed espionage drama 24. Kiefer Sutherland plays a counter terrorism unit agent trying to prevent an assassination of a senator running for the office of US President. The title indicates both the time span of an entire day as well as the number of episodes.
Speaking on the programme strategy, AXN Asia MD Todd Miller said that in the competitive Indian television market AXN stood out on account of its single minded focus on action and adventure."Our business is all about the buzz and we work hard to live up to the expectations as a channel that constantly provides an adrenaline rush. We launched 47 new shows last year and this year we will continue at that level," he said.
Miller also said that with the launch of 24 from 8 April, every Tuesday at 10 pm, the Prime Zone will shift from 8 to 10 pm. The change came about as a result of analysing television viewing trends in the country, he said.
"For us the primetime peak occurs late in the evening. This could be due to the fact that people work late and so take that much extra time to reach home or due to familial obligations. On Prime Zone you will see different series each night, which have both pedigree and buzz," states Miller.
"Another shift is that all movies will air over the weekends. The film every Sunday at 8 pm will be designated AXN Action Theatre. While these changes are being made what does not change is our aim of offering viewers a potent mixture of action, reality, escapism, daring and irreverence which went put together gives an electrifying buzz," he adds.
Asked about the delay in introducing 24 Miller said that this year the channel had deliberately been quiet so far on account of the cricket World Cup. Now the April-June period will see the launch of 11 shows including the third season of Crime Scene Investigation, the fourth season of Pacific Blue which has been described as Baywatch on wheels in the Prime Zone. CSI will air every Wednesday at 10 pm from 9 April. Pacific Blue will air every Monday from 7 April. In addition Tia Carriere returns as the Relic Hunter for the third time on Thursday's.
Later on in the year the channel will introduce The Shield with Michael Chiklis, which has won a Golden Globe. Who Dares Wins India Special will be back for another round. AXN will also introduce a show from the NBC stable Boomtown.
Elaborating on the first hot attraction of the year 24 , Miller said,"The show deals with counter terrorism unit agent Jack Bauer facing the longest day of his life. Not only is a senator about to be assassinated but his daughter has been kidnapped and there is a mole within the CTU. Since launching in the US 24 like many of our shows has won many awards including a Golden Globe for Kiefer Sutherland, an Emmy for the writing. Every hourly episode reflects an hour spent in real time and this makes the show very realistic. In the US in fact it has attained cult like status."
The show cleverly uses the split screen technique to give viewers a view of different things going on at the same time. A ticking clock shown at regular intervals adds to the intensity of the situation. The ad campaign has cleverly taken a few prominent figures of today's political world namely George Bush and Osama Bin Laden. One ad picture has Bin Laden saying, "I have nothing to do with this.OK."