In an attempt to expand its weekend programming and to help add more youth and male audience to its viewership, Sony Entertainment Television has decided to advance its Saturday weekend prime time to 8 pm.
The slot will house its new big ticket property, Adaalat, an absolute courtroom drama to be launched on November 20. Adaalat will be a weekly one hour show.
"Also, I believe that the show will help drive in more youth and male audiences on weekends during this time band," he elaborates. Currently, on Saturdays, the channel runs Comedy Circus Ka Jadoo (9-10 pm), CID (10-11 pm) and Crime Patrol (11-12 pm).
On being quizzed as to why the channel decided to go for a courtroom format, Thakur explains, "The format is extremely popular in America and India is yet to experience it in such scale. Thus, it was a conscious decision to head for the choice."
Supporting Thakur's statement, Abhimanyu Singh, producer, Contiloe Entertainment, states, "The Indian television scenario is at such a threshold that new formats will keep pouring in and the courtroom drama format is just one of them."
Talking about the marketing plans for the show, Danish Khan, marketing head, SET, says, "We plan to build Adaalat as a long term property for Sony and that's why the thrust is on building and promoting the character to the audiences."
The channel will promote the show heavily across mass media. As far as its television plans are concerned, Sony has booked approximately 2000 spots across 14-15 channels. These comprise Sony's own network channels, along with news and music channels.
"While we will run approximately 1000 spots on the show all through the day on our network channels, about 1000 more spots will run across various other news and music channels," Khan adds.
Meanwhile, out of home media will also be used extensively to promote the new property. The channel has booked about 400 hoardings nationwide, of which approximately 50 hoardings are for Mumbai.
"Adaalat will be promoted heavily through outdoor in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. In Mumbai, the show will also be promoted on about 180 bus backs and side panels."
Sony will also release a print campaign for the same on the day of the launch across all English and Hindi national newspapers. Multiplex and mall branding is also part of the marketing plan.
Also, to bring the character, KD, closer to the audience, Adaalat's Ronit Roy will be on KBC to answer Amitabh Bachchan's questions next week.
Meanwhile, with just three more weeks to go for KBC to wrap up, Sony has decided to replace the show with two non-fiction properties. While one of them will be the fourth season of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, an Indian version of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and ABC's Dancing with the Stars, the channel is yet to reveal the other non-fiction show.
However, speculation is that the other non-fiction show could be its still under-production property, Wife Swap, produced by UTV and borrowed from the international format with the same name. Originally produced by the UK independent television production company RDF Media, Wife Swap has been created by Stephen Lambert. The show was first aired in 2003 on UK's Channel 4. Since 2004, a US version has also been broadcast on the ABC Network.