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Post SMJ, STAR hopes to retain the Sunday morning flavour

The new show, Lakhon Mein Ek, which will replace Satyamev Jayate , is based on real life inspirational stories, in a dramatised format.

The Star Plus-Satyamev Jayate (SMJ) partnership led the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) space to witness the revival of the dead 11 am slot on Sundays. Now, as SMJ gets ready to come to an end, Star Plus has decided to keep the slot alive with its new property, once again in the non-fiction genre.

Christened Lakhon Mein Ek, the new show will be launched on August 5 and will aim to depict true and inspirational stories through dramatisation (quite like Crime Patrol does for crime cases on Sony). The 13-episode series will have real life stories from the common man, about the people who have done something extraordinary in their lives. It targets the same audience set as SMJ, the age group of 15-34 years belonging to SEC A and B.

Lakhon Mein Ek

As per the market experts, the channel expects the new show to garner an average of about 2.5 TVRs. However, the industry expects Satyameva Jayate's viewership to rub off in the initial episodes, while the consistency will still depend on the stickiness of the show. Also, there is a vast difference in the marketing efforts put in by the channel for the two properties on the same slot.

While Satyameva Jayate was all over the media and social networks two weeks before its launch, Lakhon Mein Ek is evidently set for a comparatively silent launch. The channel spent approximately Rs 6 crore to market the former, while the latter has been marketed for not more than a crore, as per the industry sources.

However, the industry apparently supports this differentiation in treatment. Experts reason that earlier, the channel was not only about to launch a new kind of show for a GEC, but was also trying to bring alive a dead slot. Now that the stage is set, the content of the new show has to do the magic.

Experts unanimously laud the value addition through the stories of real life heroes. However, the industry has mixed opinions about the charm of the newly awakened Sunday morning slot, especially in the celebrity-deprived format.

A senior media observer opines that it will obviously be tough to replace Aamir Khan with no loss. But yes, STAR has a good marketing network and it can at least push for the best sampling of the show. "Now, merely 20 days ahead of the launch, we don't see any buzz around the television network, out of home or even on the social media. While it is true that there can be only one tent-pole property for any channel, the show is not even in the farthest mention as of now."

Rahul Jadav, senior director, trading, MEC appreciates the channel for taking the dead slot to a higher level.

Another media buyer, on condition of anonymity, mentions, "All the shows of a channel can't be star-led shows and it is not necessary that one celebrity-driven show will be replaced by another celebrity-driven one. But still, the calculations work for the best combinations."

It is really tough to carry a format show. There has been Crime Patrol which has done great while there have been many others which have failed.

It is learnt that Lakhon Mein Ek will be promoted through 20 TV channels, including the STAR network, and the leading national and regional dailies. A Facebook page exists in the name of the show but there isn't much buzz about it; even Twitter hasn't seen much mention of the show title as on July 17.

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