Colors was launched in July, 2008 with an aim to create differentiated and disruptive content. While the other channels focussed on family drama, it dared to take up social causes and build shows around them. Balika Vadhu (July 2008-still running) and Na Ana Is Des Laado (March 2009-July 2012) are two such successful examples.
While programmers believe comedy fiction is difficult to pull off on an on-going basis, what encouraged Colors to take it up? Prashant Bhatt, weekday programming head, Colors, says, "Doing comedy on a daily basis is difficult and a gamble hence others are shying away from it. But this is the reason why we are taking it up. We are trying to do shows to entertain viewers out there. What we felt was that there was one element missing in our programming and it was the much-needed element of humour."
Apparently, 'Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal' is an attempt to underline the importance of laughing and being happy in life. The show is being produced by Hemal Thakkar's Playtime Creation.
The show will take up the 7 pm slot on the channel, so far left vacant after 'Kairi-Rishta Khatta Meetha' went off-air in December, 2012. The show will compete with Star Plus' Saathiya Saath Nibhana and Zee TV's Housewife at this slot. It is pertinent to note that Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal will be aired from Monday to Saturday, while the others are aired five days a week.
Colors earlier had shows like Havan and Humari Saas Leela on this slot but they failed to do well. Talking about the slot, Bhatt adds, "We have opened this slot again and believe that this show will start the warm up session for entertainment. Though there are strong properties on other channels, ultimately it's about the content you offer. If it's good, there is enough audience to watch it. SAB has Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma at the 8.30 pm slot and it's a hit but still our show Madhubala has managed to get its own set of audiences on that slot."
In the past, comedy shows have revolved around the families. Be it Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Dekh Bhai Dekh or Hum Paanch, the shows had families as the integral part. 'Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal', however, has been knitted around one central character. Also, the show features cross-dressing, a concept which still reflects uncertain audience acceptance.
Confident about the concept, Bhatt avers, "We have seen that movies like Chachi 420 have done well and any concept which is good is well accepted. Audiences today are flexible in viewing the shows. Also, may be in the promos, Pammi is a standalone character but she is an integral part of a family which is being featured in the show."
Although not really a revolutionary concept, humour stands a good chance, feel industry insiders. Karthik Laxminarayan, COO, Madison Media, says, "The concept of the show is fine but at the end of the day, the audience watches a show for a reason. If the content is good they will watch it. If it appeals and if the timing is right, the show will get good numbers. 7 pm is an average rating slot and the show should do decently well."
For the record, Colors currently airs a comedy reality show, Comedy Nights with Kapil, at the weekend 10 pm slot.