It's been six months since SAB TV made the transition from general entertainment to humour with the tag line 'Only Smiles, No Tears'. But channel executives are not complaining. "Comedy is our forte and capitalising on our strengths was but natural," explains Shubhra Shandilya, creative supervisor, SAB TV.
For a channel, which had acquired a reputation of providing "relief" from the tearjerkers (read soaps) on frontline general entertainment channels, the move to push the element of humour was indeed its best bet, given the stiff competition in the general entertainment space.
The channel had launched four comedies in a row in May this year including Dhaaba Junction, starring Jaspal Bhatti, Bade Miyaa Chotte Miya with Shekar Suman in a double role, Hassi Woh Phassi and Sahib Biwi Ke Gulaam.
Going a step further, the channel has launched six shows this month including Carryy on Shekhar, a standup comedy cum entertainment show on the lines of the erstwhile Simply Shekar show on ZEE, from Monday to Thursday at 10.00 pm, Kisi Se Na Kehna, a slapstick comedy telecast on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8.30 pm, Sab Kuch Ho Saktaa Hai, starring Sajid Khan and Suresh Menon, on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8.00 pm, Shree Sifarishilal, a satire on the practice of obtaining recommendations (sifarish in Hindi) to secure a job with Deven Bhojwani in the lead and telecast on Mondays and Tuesdays at 9.00 pm and Banda Ye Bindas Hai, a candid camera show telecast on Sundays at 9.00 pm.
The only differentiated product in the line-up is the kiddie's show Say Na Something...To Anupam Uncle, which makes its comeback on the channel at 8.00 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. According to Shandilya, the return of the Anupam Kher show was on account of the feedback received from children and parents for the same. "We received a tremendous response, which is why it is back," she says. The channel has tied up with NGO CRY for this particular show, where every letter received will contribute Re 1 to the non-governmental organisation.
Apart from the new crop of shows, SAB's prime offerings Office Office, Yes Boss and Public Hai Sab Janti Hai, continue to drive viewership for the channel. According to Shandilya, the channel is looking to add Shree Sifarishilal to this list owing to its strong satirical content. "It is an important show for us," she says.
Meanwhile, its half-hour current affairs band between 10.30 pm to 11.00 pm will see some action on weekends with the inclusion of a new show titled Kursi Kiski, focusing on candidates participating in the forthcoming state elections.
On weekdays, this band has a strong line up of anchors including Vir Sanghvi in Faces and Names on Mondays, Karan Thapar in Court Martial on Tuesdays, Swati Chaturvedi in Kuch Khaas Baatein on Wednesdays, Harish Gupta in Jan Sansad on Thursdays, Manoj Raghuvanshi in Khula Manch on Fridays and Pratibha Advani in Swayam on Saturdays.
"The thrust for us as far as the current affairs band goes is on topicality," says Shandilya. "Shooting is done in Delhi and the idea is to catch the issue fresh off the oven," she adds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!First Published : November 13, 2003