Sony Entertainment Television - after impressing viewers with 'aspirational' and 'feel-good' serials like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Yeh Meri Life hai or, the newly launched Ayushman - is now set to launch programmes in diverse genres like
reality shows, humour and thrillers.
Sony will, in fact, announce the launch of its reality TV programme this week. The programme has been produced by Nikhil and Niret Alva's Miditech.
Sony Entertainment TV India CEO Kunal Dasgupta was quoted as saying barely two weeks back - "We understand that there are certain negatives attached to such shows (referring to reality programming) in India. We need to understand why reality shows haven't been very successful in India and then address them. Maybe, India hasn't had a real reality show on TV in that sense."
The fact that Sony is now going ahead with its reality shows indicates that Sony has done its homework and perhaps, buried the ghosts in such programming.
Humour is another area of focus for forthcoming Sony programmes. Sony Entertainment's executive vice president Sunil Lulla says, "We have not done much in this category, and would like to do programmes in this genre. Making good comedies is tough, because it calls for a good quality script. What also makes life difficult is, as Indians, we do have a sense of humour. But, while watching television, we like seeing tears as well."
The other problem around comedy shows is to do with script writers. Writers, Lulla points out, drives the comic sequences of the show. "However, it has been seen that scriptwriters tend to move towards the big screen, after a few successes on TV," he continues. "This creates a shortage of humour-writers in the television industry. While there's enough fresh talent, a sudden vacuum is always hard to fill."
As for thrills and chills, the channel has current programmes like C.I.D and Saakshi from this genre. More such programmes are on the anvil, Lulla indicates.
"The current focus of the channel is to get the right combination for the 8.00-9.00 slot. Our programmes in the after-9 pm category are already scoring with the viewers. At 28 per cent market share, we have seen a seven percentage points jump over the January 2004 figure."
Between the first quarter (April-June) of 2003 and that of 2004, there has been a 26 per cent growth in viewership for Sony Entertainment. Other competing channels like STAR Plus (down by 6 per cent in market share), Zee (-24 per cent), Sahara (-21 per cent) and Sabe (-9 per cent) have all shown a downward graph, Lulla says.
"In fact, our market share has been remarkably rising in the 9.00-10.30 slots across regions. In metros, our share has grown from 30.7 per cent to 40.4 per cent between early May and early July. During the corresponding period, our share has risen from 16.7 per cent to 23.6 per cent in the North, while the West has seen a jump from 13.7 per cent to 19 per cent," he adds.
Coming back to reality shows, the genre can be broadly divided into three main categories. In the first, the viewer and the camera are passive observers following people going about their daily personal and professional activities. This style of filming is often referred to as "fly on the wall". The famous 'Big Brother' series work on this concept.
In the second type, hidden cameras are rolling when random passers-by encounter a staged situation. The reactions of the passers-by can be funny to watch, but they also reveal the truths about human conditioning. The very watchable MTV Bakra is an example of this category.
In the third type, the so-called "reality game shows", participants are filmed intensively in an enclosed environment while competing to win a prize; Kaun Banega Crorepati being an example.
Now, it remains to be seen how Sony brings about its own version of reality programmes to the Indian viewers.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!