Star Plus : Banking on 'Sanjivani'
has made its debut at a time and on a slot that's crucial to the
The serial came on air exactly a week after Kaun Banega Crorepati
bid adieu, leaving viewers with a choice of family soaps on rival
channels. Cinevista had last year, approached Star with a concept
that was novel yet had mass appeal - a series on doctors, exploring
their professional and personal lives.
As the channel experiments with a variety of genres in the New
Year, the one hour long weekly soap seems its best bet thus far.
It has completely new faces to play the four interns, who struggle
to keep pace with their image as serious medics. Fresh faces ensure
that jaded viewers do not see the same faces as they flick channels.
For star appeal, there is Mohnish Behl, the senior doctor who's
given the charge of the fledglings, as well as Kulbhushan Kharbanda
and Daisy Irani.
The marketing of the serial has been aggressive as well. Hoardings
at prominent locations dot the cities, bus panels, print ads (the
innovative print ads were in the shape of a red cross) taken across
all metros and in the Hindi heartland. In addition, the channel
distributed packets of Band-aids with the Sanjivani logo
printed behind it on the morning of the launch in buses, trains
and busy shopping places in Mumbai. The channel has positioned
Sanjivani as a one hour slot at 9:00 pm on Wednesdays,
with the intention of retaining audience interest for the later
Balaji soaps too. If the strategy works, the channel will control
the prime time band on Wednesdays.
The serial has already scored a march with an earlier launch over
Sony's Dhadkan, a similar hospital series that is scheduled
to air shortly. The decision to create a completely different
hospital set for Sanjivani was taken by the channel and
the production house jointly, says a spokesperson, to provide
viewers with a new experience of the surroundings they dread so
much. Fifty-two episodes of the serial have been cleared so far,
but as Cinevista says, it is a subject that has potential to go
on for many more.