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Sony makes a comedy comeback with Kapil Sharma

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MUMBAI: A flurry of reports gave birth to waves of mystery, and sailing through rough seas was Kapil Sharma and his comedy enterprise. The water has now calmed as Sony Pictures Networks today (1 March 2016) announced the revival of comedy on its premier General Entertainment Channel (GEC) Sony. And the mantle for Sony’s return to comedy has been donned by Kapil Sharma and his crew. Jointly produced by Kapil's own production house K9 Productions and Frames, the show will hit the small screen every Saturday and Sunday from 23 April at 9 pm. 

"Comedy plays a vital role when it comes to viewership and is a very important part of Sony. Yes we took a break and now we are back and there is no better way to come back than with Kapil," said SPN India CEO NP Singh.

The show has been given a new sobriquet.  It is now The Kapil Sharma Show. SPN along with the televised show will also foray into a lot of on-ground initiatives. The first episode of the show will be the televised version of an on ground show in Delhi. Besides Delhi, SPN with Kapil and team will travel to Lucknow, Amritsar and Bhopal. 

"Our major focus will be the Hindi Speaking Markets (HSM) and the four city tour is very much a part of a marketing plan. With Kapil, the buzz is already built, you don't need to put in hefty investments. It’s just being at the right place at the right time. The eagerness for the show is already there and we will unveil our various campaigns in time" informed SPN SVP marketing Anup Vishwanathan.

The Kapil Sharma Show show will go on air at a time when SPN’s biggest asset IPL will be at its peak and the channel is all set to utilize the huge reach of the million dollar league in order to promote it. "IPL is a great success and is very popular. But we believe The Kapil Sharma Show will have a totally different set of audience and both will have high viewership. IPL and The Kapil Sharma Show can both run successfully at the same time. Rather IPL is a big advantage for us, we will use it to promote and generate more awareness,” revealed Sony EVP and business head Danish Khan

"There were sensibilities which did not match between us and Colors, therefore we could not reach a consensus and hence we parted. We will continue to do what we do the best, and that is to entertain people. The only difference is the network. I have had a great association with Sony and we are looking ahead for even better things," said Sharma.

SPN has already raked in a 'presented by' sponsor in Lava mobiles and is in the final set of discussion for powered by and associate sponsors category, "We are receiving a very positive response when it comes to advertisers and soon we will have more names to share," informed Khan.

The network is looking forward to a long term association with the comedian. "This is a long term investment and we are looking at the future. We want to take comedy to a new level, and we will do it together with Kapil and his team" Khan further added.  

But how is it different? What is it that differentiates the new one from the one that he was doing for Colors? "Creating differentiation for the sake of creating it is not good" replied CEO NP Singh. He further added, "The team of writers and the team of actors they have will create a differentiation naturally everyday. The viewers will need to constantly re-invent themselves and that's the magic the team can create."

The show will also be up on the digital platform Sony Liv through a yet to be determined business model. "We still have time to decide if we will put the show as AVOD or SVOD. But it will be available for the viewers on the digital platform," asserted Singh.

Due to copyright issues despite having the same crew Kapil will have to revamp the characterization all over again. Now it remains to be seen how Sony's foray into comedy unfolds in days to come.

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