MTV opens weekday slot to bring in fantasy fiction

By Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 04, 2014
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The channel is launching a supernatural drama on vampires. Titled 'Fanaa - An Impossible Love Story', the show will air on Monday through Friday, at 6 pm.

After the success of 'Haunted Weekends', featuring Sunny Leone, Viacom18's youth entertainment channel MTV, is aiming for more thrills. The channel has decided to summon vampires and werewolves, with the launch of its first fiction supernatural drama 'Fanaa - An Impossible Love Story'. The show will be produced by BBC Worldwide Productions India and will go on air on July 21.

Promo MTV Fanaah An Impossible Love Story

Teaser MTV Fanaah

Screengrab of the Facebook page of the show

Sumeli Chatterjee

MTV has come up with a show that will occupy a weekday slot after nearly a year when it aired Reality Stars. Fanaa will be aired on Monday through Friday, at the 6 pm slot (with three re-runs in a single day). The shows currently on air include 'Splitsvilla' (a weekend show, hosted by Sunny Leone and Nikhil Chinappa), 'MTV Webbed' (Fridays) and 'Jhand Hogi Sabki' (weekends). All are non-fiction shows.

'Fanaa- An Impossible Love Story' is a story of power and love. Some of the actors the show will feature include Karan Kundra, Rithvik Dhanjani, Chetna Pande, Anita Hassanandani, Ratan Rajput and Ahsaas Channa. Of these, Kundra and Dhanjani will be seen in the lead roles - Kundra will play the vampire and Dhanjani will play the werewolf.

This is not an entirely new theme. In the past, Star One had aired a show called 'Pyaar Ki Yeh Ek Kahani' that starred Dhanjani (werewolf), Vivian Dsena (vampire) and Sukriti Khanpal (their common love interest). Fanaa will also have a love story angle along with other plots. The show is also being compared to a popular American series, 'The Vampire Diaries'.

According to Sumeli Chatterjee, head, marketing, media and insights, MTV India, the only similarity between Fanaa and the other shows is the presence of a vampire, a werewolf and a human being. She insists the treatment of the show has "never been seen before" on Indian television.

"Fanaa has a different style of narration. It is a story of five teenagers, based in the modern age. However, the story includes a time lapse; it goes back and forth in time. The narration - and characterisation - is something new in the youth genre on Indian television, and that makes it a very different concept," Chatterjee avers.

In life, people are not 'black' or 'white'; rather, personalities are always shaded with grey areas. The team drew inspiration from this fact. It is learnt that even the situations, relationships and emotions in the show will not be easy to classify as either 'good' or 'bad'.

The whole concept took birth earlier this year, when the MTV conducted its 'Curious Minds' study. That's when the team realised that among the youth, there exists a tremendous appetite for fantasy and fantasy-based love stories. Thus, the channel decided to ideate on this show.

Fanaa is targeted at "tweenagers" (10-14 years) and teenagers. MTV, Chatterjee says, enjoys similar popularity (reflected by viewership numbers) among both males and females. "It's the mystery and supernatural element of the concept that will draw male audiences. At the same time, the love part of it and the theme will attract female viewers," she says. As of now, the channel plans to telecast the show for a period of six months. However, the show may be extended further, depending on its performance.

To promote the show, MTV released a teaser film on YouTube last month, in which a bunch of youngsters is shown partying. In the film, Kundra (a vampire in the series) is shown biting a girl. The channel plans to promote the show on the digital medium too. On the day of the launch, MTV will unveil what it calls a 'parallel digital world' on the company's official (India) website.

The media mix also includes a 20-city outdoor marketing plan as well as promotions across cinema halls. For the record, the last fiction show MTV India aired was 'Reality Stars' (March 2013). This season-based, satirical fiction show, in the drama-comedy space, was created by Nikhil Taneja. It captured the comedy and chaos of the entertainment industry.

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