afaqs! news bureau

Sony's fourth 'Encounter' with crime

The crime-based show will be launched on April 11. It will be hosted by Manoj Bajpayee.

Sony Entertainment Television is adding a new show to its portfolio. While other Hindi general entertainment channels bank heavily on soap operas or reality properties, the Multi Screen Media channel has taken the 'crime' route.

Sony's fourth 'Encounter' with crime
Sony's fourth 'Encounter' with crime
Sony's fourth 'Encounter' with crime
Playing up on its strength, crime, the channel will launch a new crime-based series titled 'Encounter' on April 11.

The series, produced by Endemol India, will be aired in 39 episodes. Sony will telecast Encounter every Friday to Sunday at 9 pm, replacing the channel's dance reality property, Boogie Woogie. It will also take away a day's telecast of Nandini (aired at 9 pm) and Jee Le Zara (aired at 9.30 pm).

Encounter, as the name suggests, is an account of the dangerous encounters between cops and gangsters. It will bring alive the stories behind the famous encounters between the police and the underworld in India, starting from the early nineties - Encounter, aims at redefining the proverbial action series on TV.

Each week, the story of a crime lord, his rise and his eventual demise at the hands of a police officer will be showcased via reconstruction. But unlike any of its predecessors, Encounter will spend equal time bringing to life the officer(s) who were ready to lay down their lives for the sake of their duty and uniform.

The format is similar to the channel's popular crime-based docu-drama Crime Patrol as the episodes are inspired by real life incidents. The series also brings Manoj Bajpai to TV for the very first time, as the narrator who helps string together the many events, people, and destinies that have transcended into fiction.

This is Sony's fourth crime-based property. The channel already airs C.I.D, Crime Patrol and Adaalat.

The channel's deteriorating viewership has been a concern for many. Almost all the fiction shows of the channel have failed to deliver good ratings. Its only the crime shows of the channel (besides the historical drama Maharana Pratap) that are managing to fetch some numbers.

As per TAM data (HSM, 4+, C&S), C.I.D, that is aired Friday to Sunday at 10 pm, clocked 4200 TVTs in the week ended March 22. Crime Patrol, telecast on Friday and Saturday at 11 pm, recorded an average viewership of 3500 TVTs in Week 12 of TAM, as compared to 2000 TVTs in the previous week.

The channel has recently winded its flagship dance reality show 'Boogie Woogie' that was launched on December 7. While there were high hopes from the oldest dance property on television, it failed to garner the expected numbers. Though it had got a decent debut rating of 4400 TVTs, it fell to 1700 TVTs in Week 12 (2000 in Week 11).

The channel also airs Bhoot Aya on Sunday at 11 pm. The horror show, which was launched in October, is rumoured to end on April 6. It did poorly on the ratings chart as it registered 1300 TVTs in the last week.

The other shows of the channel like Bade Achche Lagte Hain ended Week 12 of TAM with 1800 TVTs; Nandini closed with 1400 TVTs; Jee Le Zara scored 1400 TVTs; Main Na Bhoolungi bagged 1200 TVTs; and Ek Nayi Pehchaan grossed 1600 TVTs.

In February 2014, MSM passed on the baton of Sony from Sneha Rajani (senior executive vice-president and business head) to Nachiket Pantvaidya. Pantvaidya was the business head of Star Plus before joining MSM in September, 2013 for the latter's motion pictures business.

Sony's fourth 'Encounter' with crime
The network has also roped in ZEEL's Ajay Bhalwankar as chief creative director. Bhalwankar will assume the role on April 7.

Sony expects to boost its numbers with the new show in a successful genre, with added support from industry stalwarts. The channel has been resting at the No. 6 position for quite a few weeks. It grossed 312963 GVTs in Week 12 of TAM (291382 GVTs in Week 11). While the programming of the channel has been a concern, it has also suffered due to distribution issues.

Sony will soon launch its reality property, Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch bhi Karega.

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