Television

Star Plus revamps 9-10 pm band to build long term property

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MUMBAI: Come 25 January and leader of the Hindi television roost Star Plus will be incorporating some major changes in its 9-10 pm slot. The band, which has one-hour weeklies Monday through to Thursday, will see the conversion of all four current shows into a half-hour format.

The 9:30-10 pm "balance band" will see the debut on 25 January of a new daily Kkavyanjali produced by Balaji Telefilms.

The 9-10 pm band currently runs one-hour soaps from Monday to Thursday. They being Des Mein Nikhala Hoga Chand (Monday), Kehta Hai Dil (Tuesday), Sanjivani (Wednesday) and Saara Akash (Thursday).

The reasons for this strategic change are as follows:

a) These soaps have now been on air for the last three years

b) Time to introduce some freshness in the band to avoid fatigue

c) An endeavour in building another brand as well and a long term property.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com about the impending programming revamp, Star India creative director Shailja Kejriwal says, "Kkavyanjali has been tailor-made to provide a complete family entertainment which not only targets women but also caters to men and children. The show is a typical family set up but has a flavour of suspense and intense romance weaved in."

Kejriwal also points out that as the leader of the space, they need to be the first movers and experiment and take chances with programming. "We are taking a risk considering that our 9- 10 pm band is delivering very well and this is definitely a leadership statement."

Incidentally, with the launch of Kkavyanjali, Balaji has finally breached the 9-10 pm band on Star Plus, something that creative director Ekta Kapoor has been striving hard to do for over two years now. With the addition of this show, Hindi entertainment's leading soap factory now has almost complete weekday dominance of the evening prime time space on Plus, running from 8:30 right through to 12 midnight. The only look-in non-Balaji shows will have on Plus in the prime time band will be between 9-9:30 pm.

Curently Star Plus' 9-10 pm band garners an average of 9 TVR.

Kejriwal is quick to point out that Plus does not expect heavy numbers immediately. "Any new property has a gestation period, and we are excepting results six months down the line. A daily matures at the end of the first year. So, that will be determine whether the show is a success or a failure," she states.

Another point on note being that the current shows in this band command a loyal following, hence the change is keeping in mind a crisper show with more offerings. The channel also wants to observe how these shows rate as half hours. Kkavyanjali is will now collide with Sony's Jassi... from Monday - Wednesday and with Indian Idol on Thursday. Sony's new soap which will replace Jassi... in due course will also come in at a time when KKavyanjali would have settled down.

Interestingly, according to industry sources, Star Plus is also slated to launch LOC (Life Out Of Control) produced by Rajiv Mehra which falls in the comedy genre in mid-February. Although when queried on the same, Kejriwal refused to comment.

 

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