Satyamev Jayate back for season II - with a difference

MUMBAI: In its first season, it did swimmingly well for Hindi GEC Star Plus. It created humungous amounts of buzz, won critical acclaim from industry leaders and activists and also generated laudable veiwership ratings for an otherwise barren Sunday morning slot. Now, the Aamir Khan-hosted Satyamev Jayate is ready to make a comeback for its second season; to engage viewers with its hard focus on tackling ills which plague the Indian social system.The format is almost the same; viewers will see that when it begins airing sometime in March 2014 - the difference is that it will be telecast in tranches.


Satyamev Jayate season 1 marked the debut of the method actor Aamir Khan on the small screen. It also marked the debut of social activism television in India, decades after shows such as Raajni did on Doordarshan in a fictionalised format. His inimitable and methodical approach towards exposing society's malaises helped Satyamev Jayate  become a household name. Viewers eagerly waited for the clock to strike 11 am every Sunday morning so that they could catch Aamir Khan at his inquisitive best.  


The director of the show - Satyajit Batkal says that season 2 will have the same tenor and feel in the creative. The decision to showcase the episodes of the show in parts, with breaks in between was taken because "as we feel there is so much we want to tell and do and this will help us in that. Also, it will let people work towards the causes they want to change.” 


Apparently, the year-long break helped the team at Aamir Khan Productions to conduct elaborate research on the topics chosen. The show has a sticker price of around Rs 3 crore to Rs 3.5 crore according to sources and all the five 


March episodes have already been fully shot and wrapped up, says Batkal.


But will this tack of airing just five episodes and then taking a break before airing the next tranche work? A media planner says the show will be a big draw at a time when the country is going through an upheaval  politically and economically. But however he admits that audience stickiness could be an issue.  “Out of sight is out of mind," he says. "It is quite probable that  channel will lose out on some money with this break pattern." 

Others disagree.  "Remember, the show is about sparking social change amongst Indian citizens; raising social awareness. Giving the common man some hope, this is what Satyamev Jayate did, and the initiative has been recognised by not just governments but also by several organisations," says another media planner. "You can't forget how AAP  - which is about the common man - stormed its way into the hearts of Delhi-ites who then swept it to power. Aamir Khan is Aamir Khan. The loyal followers are going to be drawn in come what may, even if there is a break"


No official communication has emerged from Star Plus as yet, but the show is quite likely to to air on all channels of the Star network to get it maximum viewership.

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