Viveat Susan Pinto

Sony’s Fame Gurukul will go on air by mid-June

After Indian Idol, Sony Entertainment Television is ready with yet another music-based talent show

Call it the Indian Idol effect or plain programming sense. Whatever it is, the `in thing’ on Sony Entertainment Television at the moment is music.

Indian Idol got Sony a TVR of 14.29 (in the base population of C&S, four plus in Hindi-speaking markets) during the grand finale telecast on March 5, 2005. The total number of votes received during the show was a whopping 55 million. Not to mention the huge talking point that the show and its contestants had become for the media as well as viewers at large.

Indian Idol, no doubt, was a hit. And having tasted success with the ‘music/reality/talent platform’, Sony seems to be in no mood to give it up. “Music has taken the country by storm,” says Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, SET India. “It is an important part of our programming,” he adds.

Sony will be launching the second season of Indian Idol sometime in October this year, but before that, the channel will bring to its viewers the Hindi adaptation of the Spanish reality show ‘Operacion Triunfo’.

Titled Fame Gurukul, the promos of the show have been running on the channel for a few weeks now. Plans are to begin telecast in mid-June in the 8.30 pm slot on weekdays. On Fridays, there will be a one-hour “gala” episode at 8 pm.

To accommodate the new show, Sony will wind up the Cinevistaas-production Ayushmaan that currently plays in the 8.30 pm slot.

Auditions for Fame Gurukul will commence on May 6 covering four cities – Kolkata, Delhi, Indore and Mumbai. Unlike Indian Idol, which dwelt on individual performance, Fame Gurukul revolves around 14 contestants, who are housed in an academy (or gurukul), training and competing under the watchful eyes of a faculty and jury. The ultimate hunt is for a pair of singers as opposed to one singing sensation in Indian Idol.

Anupama Mandloi, creative director, Sony Entertainment Television, sums up the basic difference between the two shows in the following manner, “Fame Gurukul is not about the process by which a singing talent is discovered, which was presented in Indian Idol. It’s more about the journey that the 14 contestants will take in their quest for stardom. In that sense, it is much like a soap opera, a reality drama, if you like.”

Predictably, a 360-degree marketing exercise will be unleashed around the show, beginning with the on-air promos, followed by advertising in print, radio, Internet, outdoor etc. Viewers will be asked to vote from the opening week itself, with direct marketing, PR and on-ground activities thrown in to increase hype. © 2005 agencyfaqs!

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