AXN aims to reach wider audience with new series

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 18, 2010
With Anil Kapoor as a part its famous series, AXN hopes to attract non-English entertainment viewers

For the last season of its series named 24, an American TV series produced by 20th Century Fox, AXN is doing things differently.

The specialty of the show is that each season has 24 episodes, which show every hour in the life of a federal agent named Jack Bauer. This last season of the series also stars Indian actor Anil Kapoor. He plays the role of the President of Kamistan, a fictional country akin to Iran. The series will be aired August 23 onwards.

Rohit Bhandari, senior vice-president, AXN is treating this property differently to gather more eyeballs. "We hope to cash in on Anil Kapoor's name as he is an important part of the series this time," he says.

Unlike the earlier seasons, AXN will feature this season with subtitles. This will be the first property on the channel to have subtitles and it will be exclusive to 24. "We hope that this season of the series will attract audiences who are not the usual English entertainment viewers since an Indian actor is a part of it. For these people, accents might be difficult to comprehend," he adds.

The episodes of the entire series, which are hourly, will either run break free or with only one advertisement break in between. Usually, AXN has about four breaks in an hour for any other show. "24 is a very tightly written story. Given its fast pace, we thought of offering uninterrupted viewing to viewers so that they can follow and enjoy the drama better and build viewer engagement," Bhandari says.

The show will be aired from Monday to Thursday at 11 pm, while the repeats have been timed for 10 pm (Tuesdays and Fridays). This has been done so that viewers who miss episodes can catch it on the next day, before the new episode.

This is AXN's attempt to attract newer audiences to the channel and expand its core TG (target group) which comprises the 15-45 year olds in the SEC A, B category. "We hope to draw new audiences and retain them with other properties coming up on the channel, such as the last season of CSI and NCIS Los Angeles," he adds.

AXN will promote the show outdoor across Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, with Anil Kapoor as the main focus. A cross promotion on television on English news and infotainment channels will also be implemented.

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