Colors bets big on cookery show with Farah Khan as host

MUMBAI:  Food is an important part of general entertainment channel’s (GEC) programming line-up these days and this time round Colors is adding the entertainment quotient to it.

Colors is all set to bring to the table a variety of dishes with the launch of its new cookery show - Farah Ki Daawat, which will be hosted by filmmaker Farah Khan.

After her successful stint in the channel’s reality TV show, Bigg Boss Halla Bol, Khan is set to return to the small screen with the new series. Produced by Wizcraft Entertainment, the new programme will see Bollywood and television celebrities showcasing their culinary skills by tossing up some delectable dishes. What’s more, Khan will be seen breathing down their neck and emphasizing on perfection as the judge cum host.

Talking about the concept of the show, Colors CEO Raj Nayak feels that the new offering will provide viewers with an uninhibited glimpse into the kitchen of their favourite celebrities - a concept which has never been seen on television before.

Nayak says, “At Colors, it is our constant endeavour to present differentiated content, which adds to our bouquet of offerings while making the channel a one-stop entertainment destination for our viewers.”

The show will see celebrities from different walks of life sharing their favourite food recipes and memories from their kitchen. The series will also feature challengers who, teamed up with the celebrities, to raise the entertainment quotient while engaging in quirky tasks and activities.

Nayak is of the opinion that apart from the novel concept, Khan - a multi-faceted personality, who is a closet foodie, will be the cherry on the cake. “The combination of good food and great conversations convinced us that the concept could be a potential attention grabber amongst viewers,” asserts Nayak.

According to Nayak, currently the plan is to shoot 15 episodes. However, that could change on the basis of viewer feedback towards the episodes. As of now, five-six episodes have already been canned.

If industry sources are to be believed, keeping in mind the celebrity quotient on the show, a 10-sec ad slot on Farah Ki Daawat demands anywhere between Rs 1 - 1.2 lakh per episode.

Apart from the promos on-air, Khan herself has been aggressive about promoting the show on the social media platform - Twitter. From posting pictures while shooting with celebs to inviting people for the ‘dawaat’ on 22 February, she has created a lot of buzz.

The celebs that have shot with Khan till now are Abhishek Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh, Avinash Gowariker, Manish Paul, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Malaika Arora Khan. What’s more Bigg Boss 8 winner Gautam Gulati and housemates like Pritam Singh, Diandra Soares, Sambhavna Seth, Rahul Mahajan, Ajaz Khan and Praneet Bhat will also be seen on the show.

For Farah Ki Daawat, the channel has already got thumbs up from advertisers. Colors has roped in a volley of sponsors including Videocon as presenting sponsor, Kenstar as associate sponsors and Everest Masala as taste sponsors. The show will be powered by Mahakosh Cooking Oil.

According to a media planner the cookery chat show will manage to grab some eyeballs with the celebrity quotient factor. “Initially, the show will have a certain audience, but in the end content is king. Let’s see if Farah is able to pull off her host element well and secondly if an hour-long session is entertaining enough.”

It may be recalled that channels have for long experimented with food based cooking shows. From brief cookery episodes on Surabhi (DD) to Zee TV’s Khana Khazana, which launched Sanjeev Kapoor as a celebrity chef, the small screen has had a lot of shows revolving around producing gastronomic delights, apart from dedicated food channels like Zee Khana Khazana, Food First and Food Food.

Competition is hotting up in this space too. Post MasterChef India’s (Star Plus) launch in 2010, a plethora of cookery talent hunt shows followed suit, including Kitchen Champion, with celebrity chef Gauti (Colors), Cook It Up with Tarla Dalal (Sony), Zaike Ka Safar (Zee TV), Mirch Masala (Star Plus) and Shipra Khanna Cookery Show (Star Plus), amongst others. What’s more, in a renewed attempt at the segment in 2013, Sony had launched Sanjeev Kapoor Ke Kitchen Khiladi, its first cookery-based competition show. Star Plus too continued its MasterChef series with MasterChef Junior.

Today’s broadcasters realise that there is a show for every segment of the audience, from kids to grand-parents, from a 10-year old to health conscious corporate executives, house wives, working men and women to a 70-year old grandmother, is discussing food and tuning into food shows on television for recipes and more. It remains to be seen whether Farah Ki Daawat is able to tingle the audiences’ taste buds.

Farah Ki Daawat will air from 22 February every Sunday at 8 pm and will see competition from shows like Private Investigator on Star Plus, Adaalat on Sony, Peterson Hill on Sab, Neeli Chatri Waale on Zee TV and Savdhaan India on Life OK.

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