Prajjal Saha

STAR to launch programmes blitzkrieg for its entire bouquet

Programmes include KBC, Karma, Opening Night and many more

Complacency is banned at The Masterpiece, STAR India's headquarters in Mumbai. In fact, STAR Network is making every effort to consolidate its position as the leading broadcaster of the country by launching a variety of new programmes for all channels across the network.

Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice president marketing and communication, says, "We have already been successful in getting a major share of the cable and satellite population in the country. STAR Plus has more than 70 per cent share of the prime time viewership but we also want to consolidate other channels of our bouquet."

To begin with, STAR Plus would be launching a new show every month for the next six months. After recently launching a daily show - Dekho Magar Pyar Se - based on Latin American serial, My Sweet Lady Valentina at the 8 pm slot, the channel will be launching its next serial 'Karma' in mid-August. The show, based on Indian Superman, will be telecast on Fridays at the 9-10 pm slot. Further, two new shows will be launched in September, to be followed by two more in October.

After STAR Gold recently launched Gold Premiere, which showcases 15 minutes of a movie - a day before the film is released, a similar programme called 'Opening Night' will be launched in the English movie channel STAR Movies soon. This programme will obviously cater to Hollywood films. 'I, Robot' will be the first movie that will be featured in this show.

Apart from these, STAR movies has also lined up some latest releases from Hollywood. 'The Banger Sisters', which is to be released two weeks from now, will be premiered on the channel in the sixth week of its worldwide release. Other forthcoming attractions of the channel are 'Guru' and 'Phone Booth'.

For the English general entertainment channel, STAR World, Vidyasagar says that it will continue with the Indianised programmes such as Rendezvous with Simi Garewal and India Child Genius, but is also planning to launch a reality show 'The Apprentice' in the next couple of months.

In this popular show of the US, Donald Trump - the real estate giant of Las Vegas - splits 18 candidates from all walks of life, including both Ivy League MBA graduates and street entrepreneurs with no college education into two teams.

The show is a test of their intelligence, chutzpah and street-smartness. They face the challenges of living in close quarters and are expected to complete humorous but difficult job assignments, and forced to think 'out-of-the-box' in order to outshine each other to get to the top.

In the next eight weeks, the music channel of bouquet, CHannel [V] will see another show on the lines of the popular show Popstars. Vidyasagar declined to elaborate further.

Vidyasagar says, events, irrespective of their genre, have always scored well for the television channels. For the next one year, the STAR channels have lined up 26 such events from different genres starting from Oscars to STAR Parivaar Awards.

Apart from these, STAR would also relaunch Kaun Banega Crorepati by next year, the programme which made STAR Plus the numero-uno channel. The host will be Amitabh Bachchan once again, and this was confirmed by Deepak Segal, senior vice president, content and communication STAR India.

When asked about the weekend slot on STAR Plus, Segal said that the channel would continue with non-committed programmes and would cash on movies and events. Segal explains, "Habits only form on weekdays as television falls into the daily routine of life, but on weekends people do not want to be committed to the same routine. And, television watching is no exception."

Commenting on restructuring of existing programmes at STAR Plus, Segal said the channel will be replacing any programme which is not doing well, as the competition is fierce. "But the scenario changes overnight," Segal adds, "At present, we have taken off Khichdi, a huge property for STAR Plus. But the shootings are on and we would bring it back again on a different day and slot, " he adds.

On the strategy of bringing in 'Dekho Magar Pyar Se' as a daily soap, Segal explains, "It was a strategic move as we thought a daily soap would work better in this slot. This could also help us expand our prime time slot from 8 pm to 11.30 pm."

Watch this space, as the ball now moves to Sony's court. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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