Sony strengthens weekday programming; launching four shows by July '17

MUMBAI: After strengthening the weekend programming with Super Dancer, Sony Entertainment Television is all set to bring one of its iconic shows -- Indian Idol -- back.

“Sony has traditionally done very well as far as the weekend is concerned. So, when we started rebuilding this channel a year ago, the aim was to make Sony the number one weekend destination. I am happy to say that we have achieved that. Weekday programming is where we are going to focus now. We have launched Beyhadh which received a good opening. Weekday is a habit which will take time to be cultivated, and can't happen in one go,” said Sony Entertainment Television EVP and business head Danish Khan.

Khan added, “There are three-four launches between January and July in 2017, and, in July, people will see a very healthy weekend. It will be gradual, step by step, but, like you have seen in the weekend, you will see weekday of Sony fulfilling expectation of the audience very soon.” Sony's much talked about historical drama Peshwa Bajirao is slated to launch in January.

Indian Idol is the first step in bringing back the old iconic shows of Sony. The show will be aired from 24 December on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm.

The channel has roped in Vivo as the title sponsors, and KUV 100 and Quick Heal as the 'Co-powered By' sponsors. According to sources, a 10-sec ad rate for the show has been sold for Rs 1 lakh each.

This season also marks the comeback of its original trio of judges, Farah Khan, Sonu Nigam and Anu Malik, which has come together on the platform once again, after 12 years. Their chemistry and unique style of interaction with the participants holds promise -- to make this season an ultimate entertainer on the Indian television.

While the contestants impress viewers with their talent, the judges will also mark them on three most important factors that define the Indian Idol platform – Riyaaz, Awaaz and Andaaz. The legendary singing sensation of India, Sonu Nigam, will focus on the contestants’ ‘Riyaaz’, the maestro Anu Malik will be keenly observing their ‘Awaaz’, and known for her distinguished style, Bollywood’s ace choreographer-turned-director Farah Khan will judge their ‘Andaaz’.

The show will begin with audition episodes from across the country; episodes that witnessed lakhs of talented singers competing to make it into the top 110. Hosting the ninth season will be the charming Karan Wahi and Paritosh Tripathy.

Speaking to, Sony Pictures Networks CEO NP Singh said, “It’s an authentic talent hunt show with authentic talent. Indian Idol is a show which broke new ground a few years ago, and in many ways changed the landscape of reality shows in India. It worked really well for us.”

Post the fantastic success of its most popular show Super Dancer, the channel now brings to the fore one of its biggest properties -- Indian Idol. Khan informed, “We have created a dedicated time of 8pm on weekends that will continue to bring unseen talent to our viewers. Super Dancer saw some amazing dancers and now, with Indian Idol, we intend to take this legacy ahead. The original trio of judges is a wonderful combination in the world of music and their chemistry coupled with outstanding singers will surely create magic on screen.”

Said FremantleMedia India business head Vidyuth Bhandary, “The global phenomenon of the Idol format -- launched in 52 territories worldwide and rated as the No 1 show 48 times -- has been watched by half a billion viewers globally, making it one of the world’s most loved shows. We are proud of our strong partnership and collaboration with Sony Pictures Networks India, and happy to announce the launch of the 9th season of Indian Idol. It's been 12 years since the first season of Indian Idol was launched on SET making it the longest-running reality show in India with unprecedented participation.”

The channel will soon bring back all its iconic shows such as -- KBC and Dus Ka Dum.

“Indian Idol has been a torch-bearer of sorts in terms of the non-fiction programming slate for Sony, and has proved to be a war-horse when it comes to TVR numbers. Thus, it's great news for Sony that the show is making a return after a rather long hiatus and what's better is that they have gone back to the earlier panel of judges, which allows the audience to find an instant connect from the word go. What's worked for the show earlier is the platform that it has provided for stars of the future, but the fact that the show wasn't around for four years has allowed other shows like 'The Voice' to create ample room for competition. It will be a great battle to be witnessed between Indian Idol's return along with a new format in Colors' Rising Star on the small screen in the coming days,” said a senior media planner.

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