Devina Joshi

STAR One hopes to create same magic with TGILC champions

Media planners are of the opinion that the new show, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Champions’, will do well, provided it reinvents itself regularly

‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge (TGILC)’ on STAR One has been one of the channel’s greatest successes. TAM figures indicate that the final episode of the comedy hunt got a TVR of 10.2 (C&S, 4+, HSM).

STAR One is targeted primarily at upwardly mobile viewers in metros. And as expected, the show has garnered even higher TVRs of 17.61 and 12.08 in Mumbai and Delhi, respectively.

What’s interesting is that the show has caught the fancy of viewers even in other parts of the Hindi-speaking market. For instance, in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the show attained TVRs of 17.31, 15.11 and 14.07, respectively.

However, the show doesn’t end here. STAR One has now launched a new weekly show, ‘The Great Indian Laughter Champions’, in the same time band, in which the six finalists of ‘TGILC’ will continue to tickle viewers with their comic routines.

The biggest challenge for STAR One now will be to maintain the high TVRs garnered by the original show.

As Kajal Malik, regional director, Optimum Media Solutions (OMS), says, “There is a lot more variety and novelty attached to any contest or talent hunt. For instance, in the original show, viewers used to wait for their favourite comedian’s performance. But now, four acts by the same performer in one episode may tend to get monotonous and repetitive.”

However, Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice-president, marketing and communication, STAR India, clarifies that the new show will not be predictable. He says, “I think the six finalists of ‘TGILC’ have become household names, and people can’t seem to get enough of them. In fact, the Friday 10 pm slot has become quite popular, and I believe people want to watch more of these comedians. Stand-up comedy shows such as ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ have been running successfully for a few years now.”

Vidyasagar adds, “We plan to introduce innovations at various points. For instance, the viewers will be allowed to vote for their favourite comedian, and a viewer’s choice award will be given to the one who gets the maximum votes.”

Basabdutta Chowdhuri, COO, Madison Media Plus, also seems quite optimistic about the show’s success. She points out that there will be a spillover of viewers from the original show.

Chowdhuri says, “Comedy shows have worked well for STAR One and the new show belongs to the same genre. Although the degree of success may vary, the new show will be a success.”

She adds, “There was a market for comedy shows on Indian television, which STAR One has capitalised on rather well.”

Sandip Tarkas, chief executive, Media Direction, concurs with her opinion. He says, “I think this show can maintain the viewership generated by ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’. There is nothing wrong with the concept, provided the six finalists keep dishing out more and more creative acts. I don’t think the show should face much of a problem maintaining the TVRs.”

However, he puts in a quick word of caution: “It might be a challenge for the six finalists to maintain the high calibre of humour that the viewers have come to expect after ‘TGILC’.”

Malik of OMS feels that content will pose a problem for the show. She also offers a word of advice: “What STAR One could probably have done after the success of ‘TGILC’ was taken a break and returned after a couple of months with a new comedy hunt and a new breed of comedians.”

She is of the opinion that the style and expressions of the performers will become predictable. Malik says, “In a comedy show, it is rather risky to reach a plateau.”

Media planners such as Hiren Pandit, general manager, MindShare, Mumbai, are of the opinion that comedy has a long way to go still in India, and this is just the beginning.

He concludes, “Comedy is an untapped genre that has been opened up by STAR One. I think if the new show keeps on reinventing itself, it should do well.”

© 2005 agencyfaqs!