Viveat Susan Pinto

Premieres are the new mantra for STAR Movies

The channel has launched a new slot called Exclusive Saturday Premiere at 9.00 pm prime time, which comes in addition to its Friday Night Premiere

Apart from good fare, what counts for a movie channel is a film's premiere. Not only do these flicks bring a certain amount of exclusivity, but also top-of-mind recall for the channel, and not-to-mention the required eyeballs.

Different movie channels have different strategies pertaining to premieres, and STAR Movies, in particular, has opted to go ballistic on this front. Apart from a regular premiere slot on Fridays at 9.00 pm titled Friday Night Premiere, the movie channel is now set to launch a new slot on Saturdays titled Exclusive Saturday Premiere (at the 9.00 pm prime time again) from July 17. Premiere film shows in TV terminology are films that are telecast for the first time on TV.

The new slot will be a monthly offering, and the first movie to be telecast will be Shanghai Knights (on July 17), which is the sequel to the Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson starrer Shanghai Noon.

The next in line will be Phone Booth (starring Colin Farrell), and according to Deepak Segal, senior vice-president, content and communication, STAR India, the rationale behind launching the new slot is to provide some value-addition to viewers. "Weekends and late nights are crucial for an English movie channel, and we want to capitalise on the viewership during these time bands."

Shanghai Noon, incidentally, was rated as the most watched English flick on STAR Movies in 2003, and Segal is hopeful that the sequel will also generate a positive response from viewers this year.

Meanwhile, the regular Friday premiere slot has its own line-up including Joe Somebody on July 16 and The Princess Diaries on July 23. The movie Unfaithful, starring Diane Lane and Richard Gere premiered on July 9, and if Segal is to be believed, there is more in the offing in the coming months. "There are more exclusive premieres on the cards. So just grab a bag of popcorns and enjoy." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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