First came prime time, followed by the afternoon block and now it is weekends. For STAR Plus, the sky is clearly the limit and in the process, if the channel has to rewrite certain rules, then so be it. At a time when fictional programming on Saturdays is not exactly the order of the day as far as general entertainment channels are concerned with the exception, of course, of Sony's Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat, STAR Plus has attempted to capitalise on the floating weekend audience with a line-up of fictional shows since October 11.
For viewers, otherwise fed on a diet of movies and events, this strategy is a clear U-turn from the cautious approach maintained by mass channels so far with regard to a Saturday.
What has prompted mainline channels to shy away from original programming on Saturdays is a drop in overall viewership over weekends apart from the fact that weekend audiences are not loyal like their weekday counterparts, constantly flipping channels to arrive at a destination, which may catch their attention at any given point in time.
STAR Plus with its three-and-a-half-hour block of fictional programming on Saturdays is out to change that with a mix of magic, suspense, comedy and gameshows. Beginning at 7.30 pm is the Aman Verma-hosted Jaaduu, followed by Vikraal Aur Gabraal, a spin-off of STAR's late night Friday show Ssshhhh…Koi Hai at 8.00 pm, Gharwali Upparwali Aur Sunny at 9.00 pm and Khulja Sim Sim at 10.00 pm.
A look at the ratings chart indicates that STAR's attempt has met with a lukewarm response with Gharwali Upparwali Aur Sunny opening with a TVR of 3.5, followed by Jaaduu at 2.5. (Source: TAM Media Research; base population: C&S 4+, All India)
In the second week, that is, on October 18, the performance of STAR Shanivaar as a block improved with three out of the four shows registering decent figures on the ratings chart. Jaaduu and Gharwali Upparwali are tied with TVRs of 3 while Vikraal Aur Gabraal makes a modest entry at 2.4.
Khulja Sim Sim, the "hit format show" hosted by Aman Verma is conspicuous by its absence on the ratings chart, indicative of the fact that the change of timing from 9.30 pm on Fridays to 10.00 pm on Saturdays, may not have augured well with viewers.
Though it's early days yet with STAR Plus testing waters with its new programming block, it will be interesting to watch how audiences take to the leader's latest in innovative programming strategy. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!