Why does Kamzor Kadii Kaun have to go?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 16, 2002
Was it a failure of the show or was it bad timing? Or, did the show succeed in its own modest way?

After months of swinging wildly, Kamzor Kadii Kaun (KKK) will come to an end. On Tuesday, May 21, the show will air for the last time, though STAR Plus says that the show is taking its "seasonal break."

KKK, in retrospect, was the "swinging pendulum" of shows on cable and satellite television. It is one show whose TVRs fluctuated widely. The question that remains to be answered is: Did the show fail because it inherently did not suit Indian audiences, or because it came in at the wrong time? Media planners feel that it is a combination of both, but that the latter had a bigger role to play in its assessment.

Others believe the show actually won in its own modest way, but was overshadowed by the constant comparison with KBC. This is the view that STAR Plus subscribes to. "The show has been doing consistently well, and has been in the Top 50 shows on C&S. A TRP of around 3 is much better than a whole lot of shows that are on Zee and Sony," points out an official spokesperson of the channel.

KKK did come in on a weak wicket. Right after Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), which rewrote Indian television history. Inevitably, comparisons were made between the suave Amitabh Bachchan (host of KBC), and the acerbic Neena Gupta (host of KKK). The show was later toned down, but the comparisons persisted to the detriment of KKK.

At another level, the show did not have a fair hearing. A show like KBC is a one-off event, something that changed television history. It was futile to expect that KKK would have done the same. KBC started off with all the advantages that mirrored the weak points of KKK. In other words, KBC had the advantage of being a completely new show that debuted in a period of stagnant programming. Everything about it was new. The charismatic presence of Amitabh, the prize money, the type of questions asked.

By the time KKK debuted, Indian audiences were already jaded. Take prize money for example. While KBC offered Rs 1 crore, Zee offered Rs 10 crore in its own version Sawal Dus Crore Ka. In its turn, KKK could offer just a few lakhs. Again, Amitabh as a host always had one or another ace up his sleeve - whether a couplet from his father's poems, or just a bit of chit chat. "With KBC, there was always something to pull the audiences back. With KKK, it was like if you have seen it once, you have seen it all. Except for the specials there was no viewer compulsion," assesses a senior media planner based in Mumbai. That finally emerged as the major weakness of the show.

The show debuted well. Pretty well, if one goes by the TRP ratings of the first two weeks of the show. According to ORG-Marg Intam ratings for all C&S homes from December 24 to December 30, 2001, the show had a TVR rating of 5.3. And according to AC Nielsen's TAM ratings for all C&S homes, between December 23 to December 29, 2001, the show had a TVR rating of 6.11. It was among the Top 10 shows on C&S television then.

The show began to flag later, with TVRs falling to around 3. STAR Plus did try to jazz up the show by bringing in celebrities. But the fluctuations did take their toll. For example, on March 5, KKK reached a TVR of 11.89, courtesy its special 'vamp' show. This was the episode that starred Indian television's most recognisable 'other' women - like Jaya Bhattacharya, Anju Mahendru, Deepshikha, Kunika, Rekha and Mandira Bedi - and was christened the Meethi Churi special. In that week, KKK stood at 17 among the Top 20 C&S shows, for an audience comprising women in the 15-44 years age band in Sec ABC homes in Hindi-speaking markets. The week before, for the same audience group, the show did not make it to the Top 20.

Thus, KKK began to depend more on the people in the show, rather than on the show itself. This was its main weakness.

Now, STAR Plus plans to replace KKK in the 9.00 pm Tuesday slot with a movie - Santosh Sivan's Asoka which will play out in a five-part series from May 28. Asoka was a box-office failure. Asoka was made on a relatively puny budget of about Rs 10.5 crore. However, collections crashed in the first week itself and some theatres in small cities and towns were 70 to 80 per cent empty in the first week itself. So is it a good idea to pin any kind of hope on a flopped film? The strategy seems to be different. "KKK was not doing well anyway. So they have nothing to lose by experimenting in the slot," points out an official from a rival channel.

STAR Plus is counting on the fact that the full movie spanning five hours - compared to the three hours that were screened in movie halls - will be shown. Analysts point out that STAR does have a strong wicket - curiosity to see what they have missed is sure to bring viewers on board, and the shortness of the series - five weeks - is a protection against flagging viewer interest. Another major advantage is that movies have consistently done well on television. "We expect the show to do well," is how STAR Plus cryptically puts it.

It will also be the first time in Indian television that a movie will be screened as a mini series. Right now, despite all this, though STAR Plus remains the undisputed leader of the C&S network, there is a vacuum in programming. Rival channels, like Zee and Sony, are hoping to capitalise on that. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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