MUMBAI: Movies Now is treating its viewers to a rush of adrenaline -literally! The channel will soon launch a new drama series aptly titled ‘Rush’ staring Welsh actor Tom Ellis as Dr William Rush.
Dr Rush is a “medical fixer” hooked onto pills, working from his Mercedes and tending to the crème da la creme of Los Angeles on the quiet. Rush is a bad boy with a good heart who has lost his position as an ER doctor after an impulsive decision taken earlier went wrong.
Entertainment Weekly after the telecast of the first episode of the series in the US said, “Rush might be USA's darkest -- and most interesting – show. Rush is the guy you want to call if you’re a famous athlete and your girlfriend needs stitches after you’ve physically abused her, for instance. Or he’s the guy you want to call if you’re a famous movie producer who just broke his penis and you don’t want the paparazzi to catch you on the way to the hospital. Rush makes up his own fees on the spot—and they’re high—and asks for cash payments upfront.”
And USA Networks, the network that airs the show in the US, has this to say on IMDb, the popular movie and television reference portal – “Dr. William Rush is not your average on-call doctor. He's not attached to any hospital, he's highly discreet no matter what the ailment as long as the client can pay his cash-only premium and the doctor can party with the best of them. He has no desire to change his life or how he lives it, until an old flame and his conscience begin to stir things up.” USA Networks ‘Rush’ logo currently includes the tagline ‘Lifestyles of LA’.
Rush premiers in India on 7 August at 11:00 pm with a repeat scheduled over the weekend. The maiden season will consist of 10-12 episodes which according to some planners could cost anywhere between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per episode.
Informs Movies Now content head Mansi Shrivastav, “Rush is not an average medical drama. There is a sense of glamour, style and suspense attached to the show. There is a new twist to every episode which will provide our viewers a new perspective”. The channel decided to air it later in India as it needed more time to establish and market it well, considering the fact that it is a new season.
Since the series had already been broadcast in the US, www.indiantelevision,com queried - Would downloading of the new series by Indian fans be a problem? Shrivastav avers, “Downloading is a major problem, but it is often more of an access problem as everyone can’t download a new show, but people do share it via their hard disks. And since it is a new season the problems may begin once the viewer starts consuming it and it gains popularity.”
To leverage its viewers who view the 9:00 pm prime time movie and ensure stickiness, Movies Now has decided to air the show during the 11:00 pm slot. The channel believes that once the prime time movie ends, its viewers would continue to watch Rush and not switch to some other channel.
Movies Now marketing head Shantanu Gangane reveals that Rush will be marketed through a three week long marketing plan. “The promotions will run on all of our five channels. We will also have print ads. We also plan to initiate a Rush helpline and an ambulance service to promote the series” he adds.
The marketing of the show will be focused mainly in the eight metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmadabad and tier II cities. About the best performing market for Movies Now, Gangane further reveals, “Pune has contributed significantly at the category level which has seen a jump from five or six per cent to 18 per cent. Mumbai and Delhi meanwhile continue to rule the roost alternately. Ahmadabad has seen a dip from four per cent to two per cent.”
In a category where channels are aggressively trying to position themselves differently, Shrivastav says that the channel sees opportunity in commoditisation. “Promotions earlier were seen for ‘Movie of the Month’ but today promos are being created even for the day’s movie. We believe in investing in good content"
Marathon is a strong property for which there has been a great advertising response, she adds. According to some media planners the advertising plus subscription revenues for the English genre category is around Rs 950 to 1000 crore, of which Rs 450 to 500 crore is the advertising revenue alone of the English genre.
Gangane, while spelling out the channels future plans says, “In three months from now promotions will focus on Hollywood iconography. If it is an IMAX movie we will promote the visual element of it.” Just before the festive period (Diwali and Christmas) the channel plans a revamp during which it will go big on promotions for a better viewing experience for audiences.” The channel is currently in talks with different agencies for the same.