Goodness Gracious Me
The revamped channel, which will make its debut on 5 May 2003 includes
an exclusive two hour Indian-English band every Sunday from 8-10
pm. The band consists of shows like UK's hottest comedy series,
Kumars at No. 42 that airs at 8 pm, new episodes of Rendezvous
with Simi Garewal at 8:30 pm, Goodness Gracious Me at
9 p m and Top Drive at 9:30 pm.
at No. 42 is a BBC2 comedy series that combines a chat show
with a sitcom, which centres around Mr and Mrs Kumar who have built
their son Sanjeev a TV studio at the back of their house from where
he hosts a chat show, with his parents and man-lusting granny Sushila
(played by director Meera Syal who has also directed Anita &
me and Bombay Dreams). Sanjeev's awkward encounters with
new celebrities week on week, a tour of the house and some unseen
footage have made this show the talk of the town with US network
NBC buying the format in a £6m deal, states a release.
The new episodes of Rendezvous with Simi Garewal include
a two part series on the Asian Mozart, A R Rehman, followed by heart-to-heart
chats with model and actress Bipasha Basu and supercop Kiran Bedi.
The channel will also showcase its prime catch - The Michael
Jackson Interview: The footage you were never meant to see,
a rebuttal to Martin Bashir's Living with Michael Jackson
documentary, shot by one of his employees that will vindicate him.
The other specials lined up for the month include concerts such
as Zubin Mehta in Mumbai, An audience with Ricky Martin and
Michael Jackson: 30th anniversary celebration, the solo years.
In addition , the channel will air new seasons of Angel, The
Practice, Dharma & Greg, Ally McBeal, Whose Line is it anyway, Charmed,
NYPD Blues and Buffy the Vampire slayer .
"A whole lot of rescheduling and programming has been done to give
a whole new dimension to the channel. The decision to focus on the
Indian Diaspora is based on feedback, research and internal brainstorming
sessions. Kumars at 42 a popular British comedy which got
rave reviews has been brought down especially for our viewers. The
show has also been exported to the US as well," Tarun Katial, Star
India senior V-P programming content & communication, told indiantelevision.com.
Some of the other attractions in store for the viewers is a documentary
on Prince William, which will be aired early June, informed Katial.
" We will be rolling out a whole new marketing campaign centred
around the revamp from 5 May. We have tied -up with Barista for
the on-ground promotions. We will also be advertising on radio and
the Internet. There'll be contests as well," Katial said.
Interestingly, while the afternoon strip on the revamped channel
has been programmed specifically for women with shows like Bold
& the Beautiful and Oprah Winfrey Show , the evening
strip from 5 pm to 6 pm has been tailored to cater to the youth.
It will include shows like thriller and adventure series Knight
Rider. The late evening band (6 pm to 8 pm) on the other hand
will comprise comedies like The Simpsons, Everybody loves Raymond,
Dharma & Greg and Friends. Also, not to ignore the male
population the channel will air Baywatch. On Saturday the
channel will air action packed thriller series like Mutant X,
TNA wrestling, Xena: The Warrior princess and Walker Texas
Though, what remains to be seen is if the special India specific
band gets the desired response, it is plain to see that the channel
is out to harness complete family viewership with special bands
catering to women, men and the youth. One can only wait and watch
if the rejig reaps fruitful returns for the channel.