On New Year's Eve, still Star Plus' soaps that ruled

MUMBAI: If it was Star Plus' soaps that ruled the TRP charts in the year gone by, the tale was no different as Hindi entertainment television bid adieu to 2003.

While a whole lot of people were letting their hair down on New Year's Eve, there was that loyal lot who was glued to the television too. And unsurprisingly most of them were watching Star Plus.

For Star Plus it was a matter of having its cake and eating it too. The TAM India ratings of CS 4+years homes of programmes aired across various channels from 8:30 pm onwards on 31 December 2003 tell their own tale. It wasn't the special events or programmes that were popular with the viewers on New Year's Eve but rather Star Plus staple of daily soaps.

Star Plus, which did not have any special programming lined up, instead chose to weave the New Year angle into their soaps. The strategy seems to have worked well and one of the top rated programmes on the channel was Kasautii Zindagii Kay which aired at 8.30 pm and garnered TRPs of 13.99 in Mumbai on 31 December 2003, whereas it notched TRPs of 16.55 in Delhi. Across the six metros Kasautii... led with a TRP of 9.39 when compared to other popular soaps like Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki , Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhie Bahu Thi and Sanjivani,.

Star's innovative packaging on 31 December started with the Khichdi characters getting ready for the new year party at 8 pm who move across the sets of various Star serials, starting from Kasautii..., moving on to Sanjivani, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahiin To Hoga and finally ending the party with Kaahin Kissii Roz..

Kyunki... followed close behind Kasautii... with TRPs of 12.69 in Mumbai, 14.95 in Delhi and 8.32 across the six metros. Sanjivani, followed trail with TRPs of 12.59 in Mumbai and an average of 7.7 across the six metros on 31 December.

For the record, Zee TV had hauled funny man Sajid Khan who was all pervasive on the channel in a special programme called Jalwaa Unlimited which aired from 8.30 pm.

While Sajid failed to hook audiences on Zee, he did an ok job on Sony Entertainment Television's Non Stop Hungama which was aired at 10 pm. He anchored the show with a gang of secretaries from Sony's ace card Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin. The show boasted of performances by Fardeen Khan, Salman Khan, Govinda, Aarti Chabbria, Ishita Arun, Yana Gupta, Kanta Laga girl - Shefali Zariwala and Kaliyon Ka Chaman Meghna Naidu. The show managed a TRP of 5.38 in Kolkata and 4.18 in Mumbai, with an average of 4.18 in the six metros.

Jassi... remained low in the TRP race and failed to offer competition to the 'K' soaps as it managed TRPs of 4.92 in Delhi across CS 4+years homes and 2.99 in Mumbai. Could the Jassi magic be fading after the initial hype and hoopla?

Action channel AXN, meanwhile, had an 84-hour movie marathon and Continuous Wild On marathon as a bonus. However, it did not quite gather marathon TRPs. In the six metros Wild On, which was aired at 11 pm managed ratings of 0.3, in Mumbai 0.5 and in Delhi 0.36 in CS 4+years homes. Sexy American model Brooke Burke took the couch adventurers on a wild ride around the world in search of some of Planet Earth's most exotic and beautiful locales.

Sahara Manoranjan famous for bringing big screen biggies to the small screen through various concerts, shows and more recently even serials, had yet another treat for the viewers on 31 December. Sahara had lined up a filmi fare with the Now or Never Live in Concert. The show which was aired on 30 and 31 December from 8.30 pm onwards notched up a TRP of 3.75 in Kolkata, while managing only 1.61 and 1.39 in Mumbai and Delhi respectively across CS 4+years homes.

Viewer fatigue or no viewer fatigue, Star Plus with its family sagas held sway in the numbers' game even on 31 December 2003. Without, it needs repeating, any special programming lined up to woo viewers.

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