Television

Star One readies its big ticket for 2006 'Nach Baliye 2'

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MUMBAI: Nach Baliye, the celebrity dance talent show that propelled Star One to ratings highs last year is back and hoping to again shake up the charts in its second season.

And as was the case last time round as well, the target is pretty straightforward: achieve the number two position by the end of the year. It didn't manage it last year and now the challenge is even greater: a totally different market scenario with Zee TV having pushed Sony to third and Star One looking for a way forward from the fourth position.

And as the circumstances demanded, the second season of the celebrity dance talent hunt property has been summoned one month in advance. While the first season was launched in October 2005, Nach Baliye 2 is targeting a mid-September take-off.

Agrees Star Entertainment India CEO Sameer Nair, "Last year, Sony was our nearest rival. Now the scenario is totally different because Zee has made a comeback. And the fact that Sony is gearing up to bounce back makes things complicated for us. We will have a tougher market this time. But we are taking it in the positive spirit. It will be good for us because this would inspire us to give our best. Star One needs one or two big drivers to achieve our goal and we are confident of Nach Baliye repeating its success."

Point out to him that Star Plus is still well ahead of Zee TV and Nair retorts, "If you can see Zee TV in your rear view mirror, no matter how far they are, you should be cautious. You should be well prepared."
Nach Baliye 2 has its original format intact, but with a few minor changes. The show will feature some surprise elements including a special 'Wild Card round'. At the end of the seventh episode, one eliminated couple among the five would be called back, making the total number of contestants six. According to Nair, there would be an extra thrust on certain reality elements of the show.

"We had had our learnings from the first season of the show and we want to capitalise on that this time. The contestants have been better briefed this time. Overall, the effort is to present a better product," said Nair.

The list of the 10 celebrity couples, who will be 'dancing it out' to win the big crown this time is as follows: Narayani Shastri & Gaurav Chopraa, Gauri & Yash Tonk, Shweta Kawaatra & Manav Gohil, Shweta Tiwari & Raja, Ketaki & Rasik Dave, Gurdip Kohli & Arjun J Punjj, Gauri Pradhan & Hiuten Tejwani, Tina & Hussain, Keerti Gaekwad & Sharad Kelkar, Tanaaz Lal & Bhakhtyaar Irani.

A new set of choreographers will be training the couples and there is a change in the panel of celebrity judges also. Farhan Akhtar, who has been caught up in the production of Don, has been replaced by director Kunal Kohli (of Fanaa-fame).

Nach Baliye 1 ran as an half-hour show in the 9 pm slot Tuesday through to Thursday in 2005. When queried about the slot for the second season, Nair hinted that the channel might go for the same slot. "We have not decided on the slot yet. But we may go for the same slot as we had in 2005," he said.

The promotions for Nach Baliye 2 kicks off today, along with the launch announcement. "We have a 360 degree marketing campaign in store and it will be unveiled step by step in the coming days. We are planning a lot of on-ground activities as well to promote the show. Mini dance events and contests in colleges would be one such activity," says Nair.

Nair added that Star is now seriously looking at selling the Nach Baliye format in the international market. "We had a plan in mind to sell this format, which we created. But the focus was shifted to other activities and we couldn't really execute out plans. But, along with the launch of Nach Baliye 2, we have now decided to take it abroad and we are seriously pursuing our plans," he said.

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