Viacom18' comedy entertainment channel Comedy Central has big plans to woo its audiences this summer. The channel has announced the launch of about nine new shows in May, both in fiction and non-fiction genres.
To be launched at the 9 pm time-slot, Wipeout is a game show wherein the contestants make their way through a giant obstacle course to win a cash prize. The show will be aired from Monday to Friday. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, meanwhile, is a comic view of recent news headlines and political figures through a series of satirical monologues by Stewart. The show is scheduled to be aired Monday to Thursday at 11.30 pm.
Suits and Sean Saves the World will be aired Monday to Wednesday at 10 pm and 11 pm, respectively.
According to Ferzad Palia, senior vice-president and general manager, English entertainment, Viacom18, it's the new cycle of programming of the channel, replacing the earlier shows which will go off-air. "It is a great new line up. In my view, it makes sense to bring it all in together and captivate the audiences on the channel in one go and when you have shows like 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' coming back and 'The Kumar's at No. 42', it's huge."
The new season of 'The Kumar's at No.42' will be brought to the viewers on May 8. A sitcom/talk show will be aired every Thursday at 10 pm on Comedy Central. Another one, the first South Asian sitcom, will be launched on May 9. Titled 'Citizen Khan' and produced by BBC, the second season of the show will be aired every Friday at 10 pm.
On May 19, the channel will launch 'Brooklyn Nine- Nine', which will be aired at the 10 pm slot from Monday to Wednesday. The Mindy Project Season 3 will be launched on the same date at 10.30 pm and will be aired on the same days as 'Brooklyn Nine- Nine'.
The last show announced in the line up is 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' which will be launched on May 31 and aired every Saturday at 9 pm. It is an improvisational comedy game show in which four players act out various comic games and sketches.
The channel currently airs two to three hours of original/fresh content a day and otherwise banks on repeats of the shows. "We get viewership through the day wherein different sets of viewers are watching us at different times. There is a lot of viewership that we get at non-prime time as well, especially from the youth. Comedy Central offers the kind of content that they love, content which is not heavy because they are already stressed."
Palia feels that a channel like Comedy Central needs to remember that a viewer can watch it at any point of the day. "So, whenever you are playing something, it has to be good. We keep in mind who is likely to be watching us at what point in time in the day or if there is a different kind of audience coming on the channel on weekends."
"If you look at the entire English GEC genre, the kind of audience will come on the channel as per their convenience, so we all run a decent number of repeats," he adds.
The channel claims to have around 2.5 million fans on Facebook; and a lakh followers on Twitter.
Comedy Central will be doing a lot of on-ground activities in order to promote these shows.
While Suits sees the third season coming to a close, the channel is making sure the fans take away with them the memory of a lifetime. Now, fans have a chance to win a personally autographed DVD signed by the all-star cast of Suits. All they need to do is watch the first episode on May 5, spot the celeb guest on the show and answer the question on the channel.
For Wipeout, the fans will get to experience the Wipeout thrill LIVE in their neighbourhood. The channel has partnered with popular hangout places like Crossword Bookstore, Oxford Bookstore, Amoeba bowling, Aura Thai Spa and Golds Gym calling out to the fans to participate in the most fun obstacles and laugh it off.
After the activations, The Globes winner show 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' will take precedence and will see a similar nation-wide roll-out promotion plan starting mid-May.