Although the afternoon time band is crucial to mass channels - second only to the prime band in the evenings - afternoon soaps, paradoxically, have never quite swept the ratings chart like their counterparts in the prime band. At best, soaps in the afternoon band, especially original shows, deliver rating points to the extent of a 6 or a 7, with figures of 8, 9 and 10 almost unheard of (figures are for a base population of C&S 4+, All India). Hence, when an afternoon soap does manage to buck the trend and negotiate its way into the big league, it says something about the show. And in recent weeks, Kumkum - Pyara Sa Bandhan, produced by BAG Films and telecast on STAR Plus at 1.00 pm, has been the cynosure of all eyes for achieving this feat.
The show hit the 9.5-mark in the week of March 28-April 3, 2004, with the score being 9.2 a week earlier (March 21-27, 2004), and 9.1 in the week of April 4-10, 2004. (Source: TAM Media Research; base population: C&S 4+, All India). In Hindi-speaking markets, the show touched a high of 13.41 in the week of March 28-April 3, 2004, while a week earlier (March 21-27, 2004), the figure stood at 13.1 (base population: C&S 4+). What is worth noting is that the build-up in performance started as early as January this year, with the show working its way to the top slowly but steadily.
From a TVR of 6 in the week of January 11-17, 2004, rating points jumped to 6.8 in the week of February 22-28, 2004, touching 7.5 in the week of February 29-March 6, 2004, followed by 7.8 in the week of March 7-13, 2004 and 8.5 in the week of March 14-20, 2004. In the current week of April 11-17, 2004, rating points of the show have dropped to 8.5 from last week's 9.1, but, according to Deepak Segal, senior vice-president, content and communication, STAR India, the show has emerged as the frontrunner in the afternoon band. "Shagun set up the afternoon audience for us, but it is Kumkum, which has taken the baton," he says.
UTV-produced Shagun, incidentally, was replaced with Balaji soap Kesar on April 19, 2004, while Kumkum saw the introduction of a "unique plot", which has assured it of a place in the Top 20. Segal describes this uniqueness as a "bit of filminess" to rev-up interest in the story. Kumkum, a beautiful young girl, marries into the Wadhwa family, and is the lovable daughter-in-law and dutiful wife (to Sumit Wadhwa), battling every obstacle to keep the family together. After two years, the storyline has now progressed to introduce a new character named Chanda, who bears a striking resemblance to Kumkum and has a love interest in Abhay, played by Aman Verma. The story now explores the lives of the two women - Chanda and Kumkum - with the former playing the role of the Wadhwa bahu and the latter in captivity.
With the storyline having taken an interesting turn and the channel being optimistic about the show, it is to be seen how much longer can interest levels be sustained. © 2004 agencyfaqs!