Report on Shemaroo

To expand reach, Shemaroo TV bets big on Ronit Roy-starrer ‘Jurm aur Jazbaat’

The original crime show will help the channel carve a niche for itself.

MUMBAI: With the tag line Badalte Aaj Ke Liye, Shemaroo Entertainment bravely forayed into the Hindi GEC space with Shemaroo TV when the broadcast business was weathering turbulence. Despite all challenges, the brand has been evolving with changing times and entertaining its audience through different avenues. As the lockdown was lifted and the country stepped into the new normal, Shemaroo TV was working intensely to put together an original series for its viewers and is now all set to unveil its first crime show, Jurm aur Jazbaat.

Conventionally, the content on Hindi GEC revolves around saas-bahu sagas, mythology, romance, or historical drama. Sony Entertainment’s Crime Patrol, which captured the imaginations of many, was an exception to this rule of thumb. On the other end of the spectrum are OTT audiences who prefer watching action, thriller, gritty crime shows, or courtroom dramas like Criminal Justice, Illegal and Your Honour. It would seem that Shemaroo TV is trying to take the OTT route with its new show.

Shemaroo Entertainment chief operating officer Kranti Gada said it was a question of feeding consumers’ demand. “From very early on, we decided we want to do a crime show based on our programming strategy and audience preferences. We did extensive market research to identify what is trending, which kind of crime show viewers watch. We didn’t want to make a run-of-the-mill kind of show.”

A deep-dive into the market research made the Shemaroo team realise that the crime genre has a very good connection with free-to-air (FTA) audiences.

“Also, we identified that there is emotion behind every crime. So, to simplify the concept, we called it Jurm aur Jazbaat. We worked with various production houses in terms of creating pilots, ramping up, and then going into the production part. As it was our first fresh and original programming, we wanted to have a very strong face who can connect with the audience, create a great viewing experience for them and that's how we zeroed in on Ronit Roy,” detailed Gada.

In order to make sure that viewers relate to the stories, the show has been shot in the hinterlands of India. The team filmed in locations like Burhanpur, the outskirts of Lucknow, and Bhopal. FTA audiences are mostly from the heartland, and Gada wanted them to have an authentic feel of those locations and people. As compared to studios in Mumbai or its outskirts, she feels it was easier to shoot out in the boonies.

For Gada, differentiating Jurm aur Jazbaat from existing crime shows and seeking the audience’s attention was the most challenging part. According to her, what sets it apart from other crime series is its making and the overall look and feel. At present, no more than two FTA channels are creating original shows and Jurm aur Jazbaat will help the channel carve a niche for itself, she asserted. Each episode is going to be a standalone story that will uncover the deep dark emotions and interpret the actions that led to the crime.

She added, “This is for the first time we are entering into the crime genre and we will definitely be doing more originals. In fact, the whole idea of Shermaroo TV is that even though we are the channel for DD FreeDish viewers, our aim is to provide quality content to our audience. We want to bring an original content slate to attract both existing and newer audiences.”

Currently, the market sentiment is very positive and the channel has over 40 advertisers on board, mentioned Gada. Advertisers have a positive perception of brand Shemaroo. Along with its extensive movie library and other iconic shows like Khichdi, the Great Indian Laughter Challenge, Dil Se Di Dua and Saubhagyawati Bhava, Shemaroo TV recently added three high-impact properties – Suhani Si Ek Ladki, Code Red and Ek Boond Ishq, as part of its 2021 content offering.

Of course, roping in a renowned, acclaimed actor to headline its first original crime show doesn’t hurt – the channel plans to leverage Ronit Roy’s brand image to get the viewers and advertisers flowing in.

“As a channel, we have put an amazing line-up of programs but now we need to build on our reach. Roy serves as a great way for people to come into the channel and sample this show and on the back of it sample the rest of the channel. Therefore, our primary target is to get sampled by a maximum number of people in the hope that some of them will end up to be our long-time viewers,” she elaborated.  

Shemaroo TV has also devised an aggressive marketing plan comprising television, digital, print, and OOH. In certain territories and interiors of some states, promotions are happening on buses, billboards and bus stands for maximum reach and buzz generation.

The show Jurm aur Jazbaat goes on air on 23 February 2021. Viewers can tune in every Monday to Friday at 10 pm and again at noon.

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