Alokananda Chakraborty

Kya Masti Kya Dhuum to go off air

The Sonali Bendre-hosted show will air for the last time this season in late August, and will go for a 13-week break

One year after it started, Sonali Bendre might leave the position of the host of Kya Masti Kya Dhuum (KMKD), the talent show for kids, on STAR Plus (Fridays, 8.00 pm). According to informed sources, Sonali is planning to "concentrate on her film career" and the channel is scouting for another host, and would possibly rope in Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon.

Officially, the show is taking its seasonal break. An official spokesperson of the channel confirmed the last episode of the show would be aired later this month, but insisted that the talks with Tandon were held for another show and that they had nothing to do with her possible induction as the host for KMKD. He said the show will take a 13-week break and will be on air again, sometime in late October.

However, industry observers point out that several shows from the STAR Plus stable, which had gone off air to take their ‘seasonal breaks', have not been revived, KBC being one famous example. Meanwhile, the channel is going all out to celebrate the first anniversary of the show with a special episode, in which Sonali will change positions with the host of Khulja Sim Sim, Aman Varma, when, as part of their anniversary celebrations, the two shows will be aired on Friday, August 16, at 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Aman, on his turn, will host Sonali's KMKD.

In an official release from STAR Plus, Sonali says, "I really enjoyed interacting with kids and some of them have amazing talent. The show really helped a lot of young, budding talents to surface." KMKD might have helped talented kids, but it hasn't done much good for STAR Plus, as the TVR figures indicate. Going by STAR Plus standards, its performance was, to say the least, lackadaisical, with the TVR hitting its highest at 4, and falling below the 2.5 mark several times.

But, in its small way, KMKD did contribute to the STAR Plus's standing in the pecking order on Indian television. For example, for the week July 21 to July 27, while the TVR rating of the show stood at 3.3, it did make it to the Top 50 rankings on C&S television, with a rank of 36.

In many ways the eclipse of the show is what one media planner calls the "eventual natural death" of such shows. Analysts point out that gameshows, countdown shows and comedies have the problem of creating a loyal audience base as they are episodic in nature, and they do not have the storyline that binds viewers to the popular soap operas. Interestingly, all the STAR Plus shows that took a break, are such shows, and their eclipse has followed a predictable pattern. After the initial hype, the shows began to flag, and the channel tried to revive interest with innovations. Take Kamzor Kadi Kaun, which after a run of topsy-turvy ratings, fell back on specials like the Meethi Churi episode on March 5 that starred Indian television's most recognisable other women like Jaya Bhattacharya, Anju Mahendru, Deepshikha, Kunika, Rekha and Mandira Bedi. That episode of KKK reached a TVR of 11.89. Even Kaun Banega Crorepati had to invoke the bahus of the most famous of the ‘K' serials on STAR Plus to revive its sagging fortunes.

In the case of KMKD the same pattern was followed, and eventually, the show had a total of over 250 children participating with a total of 65 celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Fardeen Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Salman Khan and Esha Deol coming on to the sets of KMKD. But, as a media planner points out, "Sustaining these kind of programmes over a certain length of time becomes a nightmare. It is much easier to sustain a show with high viewership loyalty, such as a soap."

So as the sheen wears off KMKD, it seems Sonali will have to follow the footsteps of Amitabh Bachchan and Neena Gupta to a prolonged hibernation. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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