It is perhaps one of the most intellectual and evolved format shows that Indian audiences were ever introduced to. The Indian adaptation of the American game show, Moment of Truth, which has been launched in 23 countries worldwide, has got an encouraging start in the country. As per TAM reports, the show debuted in India with a TVR of 4.6 (C&S, 4+, HSM), much ahead of what other reality shows have garnered in recent times.
The format of the game puts a participant through a polygraph test that maps body reactions to detect lies. The participant is asked about 50 questions prior to the show. During the show, 21 of the most interesting questions are repeated to the participant, who is unaware of the polygraph results, and has to then ensure that he/she says the truth to win the prize money.
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Besides, mass media was employed to announce the arrival of the show. The channel is also employing a PR strategy to build hype around particular episodes featuring celebrities. For instance, the episode featuring cricketer Vinod Kambli, where he is asked a question related to cricketing icon and long-time friend Sachin Tendulkar, was widely written about in the media. "The idea is to keep the buzz going and get people to talk about the show," says Anupam Vasudev, executive vice-president, marketing, STAR India.
The average TVR recorded by the show in the week of its launch (on July 15) was 4.3. Media planners rate it as a good start, given the complexity of the format. Manas Mishra, executive vice-president and country head, Mudra Connext, part of Mudra Max, says while the show is interesting, voyeuristic and novel, good PR has definitely helped build curiosity.
"STAR did a very good job creating buzz around celebrity participants on the show. To sustain viewer interest, it will be good to bring in celebrities at various points in time as they are great viewership boosters," he adds.
The average TVRs predicted for the show in the coming weeks is in the range of 2.5-3.5, appealing more to the urban audiences.
While it is a refreshing format, it may hit a few roadblocks. "Even in the west, when the show was launched, there were problems with the nature of the show. The Indian market is more conservative as compared to the west and hence, some of the questions asked might create dissonance among viewers," Nayyar observes.
It already has. STAR Plus has been sent a show cause notice from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry alleging that the show is against the morality of Indian culture and offends decency. The Ministry has given the channel time till 4 pm, July 27 to clarify its stand. The channel officials were not ready to comment on the issue.