Channel V’s ‘Gumrah’ aims to make 1 pm a destination slot

MUMBAI: What if your kid desires to be a murderer or a rapist when he/she grows up? Bringing home uncomfortable realities of teen crimes, Channel V is back with its fourth season of its crime-based property - Gumrah - End Of Innocence.

Though television serials showcasing prevalent evils in society are not uncommon, the 13 episode series through its multiple seasons has always given a new outlook to how crime is perceived by viewers.

The show tackles issues like peer pressure, the need to fit in, materialism and the dilution of morals, thus initiating a dialogue for the youth to express and address their problems. Taking a step ahead from the earlier versions, season four will focus on what actually makes the person a criminal, because nobody is born one!

Come 31 August, the one-hour episode will showcase 13 episodes every Sunday at 1pm.

Talking about the show Channel V vice president marketing Nipa Asharam believes that for it, Gumrah is more a brand than just a TV show. “Our realisation came after Gumrah season three that people are actually concerned about safety, so this season we thought about what new can we offer?”

Staying true to its philosophy -‘to be politically incorrect and emotionally correct’, the channel has penned the series on the same line. According to Asharam, young kids talking about becoming a rapist or a drug dealer is unusual and hard hitting. “We are trying to make people see that criminal qualities have their roots in childhood so it is important to identify them,” she says.

Produced by Balaji Telefilms, season four will be hosted by Abhay Deol with real life stories involving first hand research. Then, second hand research is done by talking to people who fit into those stories. With four episodes in the bank, the show has got on-board a few celebrities who will share any teen crime story that they have experienced or witnessed in the course of their lives.

Channel V EVP and business head Ajit Thakur believes that the show is about the youth’s tryst with crime and the circumstances which led to the incident, rather than sensationalising the crime or the criminal himself. “Over the years, the show has gained popularity with its exceptional content and execution and we are upping the ante this time around, hoping to really get the message across,” he says.

According to Asharam, the USP of the show is honesty. “In every way, we have tried to maintain the honesty of the initiative right from the first time we conceptualised Gumrah. Honesty is the big reason I think the series has been successful,” she quips.

The channel is leaving no stone unturned to promote the series. It was created into a strong digital campaign along with TV. On the digital campaign front, it had an interactive banner ‘when I grow up I want to be a ------------‘ and when people put in various positive career options, what comes up is only murderer, rapist etc just to let them know that no one is born a criminal and there are kids who are becoming that.

At present, the show enjoys huge fan following on Facebook with 24 lakh likes at the time of penning this article.

Asharam believes that the response of advertisers has been very encouraging season after season. They have started to view the show as a brand and want to endorse the message that Gumrah sends out. It has also opened up whole new categories as well like education, mobile and technology. She further goes on to say that in the first season, there were a lot of apprehensions, but this season, advertisers were open to it.

The idea to air it at 1 pm was because it is a virgin slot when others usually show only repeats and movies. It aims to make it a destination slot.

A highly placed media planner believes that though the channel took a bold move of airing at 1 pm, it won’t attract much younger people on-board. “Though the channel targets the youth, in the end it is the content that is king. If the content is the same as shown before, it will lose its charm and audiences,” he says.

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