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Will Sony get it right with Bachke Rehnaa?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | September 11, 2002
The Mohnish Behl-hosted game show made its debut on September 9 at 8.00 pm


Bachke Rehnaa Zara Sambhalna, the Indian adaptation of the Russian Roulette, the popular game show produced by Columbia Tristar Domestic Television, premiered on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) at 8.00 pm on September 9, 2002. Hosted by film-cum-television personality Mohnish Behl (he features in STAR Plus's take on the medical fraternity titled Sanjivani and has notable films Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun to his credit), the first episode had four popular television actresses, all starring in SET programmes, battling it out for the megabucks. These included Simone Singh (Heena), Tasneem (Kkusum), Aparna (Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka) and Pooja Ghai (Par Is Dil Ko Kaise Samjaye), who had to challenge each other to answer a series of multiple-choice, general knowledge-based questions.

The format of the show is such that every correct answer gets the contestant some amount of money and the chance to play on whereas the wrong answer literally means that the contestant 'drops out'. In other words, on giving the wrong answer, the contestant must pull a lever that triggers one or more of the 'drop zones', thus running the risk of 'falling out' of the game through holes in the floor, leaving the remaining players to continue with the game. To add to this, there are pulse rate monitors on the set that capture the heart rate of the contestants during their anxious moments!

Bizarre, or simply innovative?

The moot question is whether Bachke Rehnaa will be able to recreate the magic around gameshows as in the heydays of Kaun Banega Crorepati. After all, its much-touted Madhuri Dixit-starrer Kahin naa Kahin Koi Hain has gone down quite tamely with the TVRs of the opening episodes of the programme hovering between 2 and 3 in C&S homes, according to AC Nielsen TAM. Moreover, its top offering, the Balaji Telefilms-produced Kkusum seems to be stuck in a rut with single digit figures (for the last week of August, Kkusum is ranked 28 in the list of Top 100 TV shows with a TVR of 4.4, compared with 6.71 in the last week of July, according to Tam Media Research).

Though it is still early days, analysts predict that Bachke Rehnaa have the potential to be a TVR grosser. As Ashish Bhasin, president, Initiative Media, puts it, "KBC is too difficult a benchmark to emulate. Having said that, Bachke Rehnaa has chances of doing well simply because it is a tried and tested formula with a good format in place."

Agrees Punitha Arumugam, chief operating officer, Madison Media (west), "I don't think Sony is trying to position Bachke as an answer to KBC. That would have worked more with the Madhuri Dixit show rather than this one. I think Bachke is one more offering from the SET stable that has an interesting format with a packaging that looks brilliant. However, I have a feeling that Sony is pretty clear that the show may not achieve those figures that KBC did."

In fact, Madison's Programme Predictor (as the name suggests, it is a software that predicts the outcome of a programme) has a very "conservative outlook" towards the gameshow, implying that it does not see the programme clocking figures that would "shake up the industry".

Again, a senior media planner from a Top 10 agency draws attention to the cautious approach of SET with Bachke Rehnaa. "Besides the apparent similarities between Bachke and KBC - that both are adapted from hugely popular foreign gameshows with a thrust towards general-knowledge-based questions and has Bollywood celebrities at the helm - there is hardly any comparison between the two. The point is that KBC began with a bang right from day one. STAR left no stone unturned in its publicity for the programme, which significantly contributed to the man on the street tuning in to the channel to watch KBC," he says.

Sony, he claims, has been far too muted in its promotions for Bachke, which indicates that the channel is "still unsure about its product". "Of course, for every KBC there is a Kamzor Kadii Kaun. But the point is that the recipe for successful programming is based on certain ingredients - including the right push in terms of marketing inputs and promotional tactics - besides basic programming, and the stable it is coming from. Let me tell you that the last factor is a crucial determinant in the success or failure of a programme with the channel's critical mass playing a key role in it," he adds.

So it seems one has to wait till the novelty factor wears off to be able to gauge if the show will go on or if Bachke Rehna will join the ranks of Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke (Sony) and Sawal Dus Crore Ka (Zee) in history. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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