Star Plus prepares ground for 'KBC' arrival

MUMBAI: Paving the way for King Khan to make his grand re-entry onto the small screen with Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), Star Plus is rejigging its week day prime time line up.

In a strategic move, the channel has uprooted Karam Apnaa Apnaa from its well-ensconced 9:30 pm slot and placed it in the lower profile 8 pm slot, where it will take on rival Zee TV's Banoo Main Teri Dulhaan, a show that is giving decent ratings returns to Subhash Chandra's flagship channel.

Speaking to on the prime time strategy of Hindi entertainment's lead network, Star India creative director Shailja Kejriwal asserts that Karam Apnaa Apnaa currently grabs the third top spot on the channel alongside Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi…… and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and therefore, it is a good way to kick start prime time viewing on Star Plus.

In sync with this, Star Plus' Viraasat which the industry buzz has it is expected to go off air, has now been shifted to sibling Star One's 8:30 pm slot. Ironically, this position may give way to its gradual demise as it competes with the heavyweight Kasautii Zindagii Kay on Star Plus.
However, Kejriwal is optimistic about Viraasat and says, "Even if Viraasat carries one third of its audience to Star One, that will be great for the channel."

Stretching the prime time line up further, the channel will bring Star One's Paraaya Dhan with all original episodes to Star Plus at 11:30 pm. Presently, repeats of the show air in the given time slot on the channel.

Star Plus will have virtually no competition with sister channel Star One for the 9 to 10 pm duration of KBC as Sathi Re whose ratings are almost negligible, remains in its 9 pm slot. In the 9:30 pm position, what will air are repeat telecasts of Paraaya Dhan.

All hopes that the channel had in the big budget sci-fi series Antariksh, seem to have been short lived as the show is being taken off air. Along with its poor performance, Kejriwal admitted that "it was also too expensive."

The rescheduling means that Star Plus has beefed up its week day line up to the extent that Karam Apnaa Apnaa will get the ball rolling from 8 pm, followed by Kasauti... while KBC is positioned at the peak of prime time viewing at 9 pm. This will be followed by the likes of Kahaani…., Kyunki…., Kahin To Hoga and Paraaya Dhan.

All of these changes will come into effect with the launch date for KBC, 22 January.

What's left to be seen is whether season three of KBC with its new look and host can once again rewrite ratings records for Star Plus in the 9 to 10 pm slot and in the process stymie Zee's resurgence which has been scripted on the back of Kasamh Se and Saath Phere.

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