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General News SET to dedicate weekday 9 pm slot for non-fiction shows from June
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[Image: dkenuC0.jpg]MUMBAI: Buoyed by the response its non-fiction shows are receiving, Hindi GEC Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is dedicating its weekday 9 pm slot for non-fiction.

Currently, most Hindi GECs have reserved weekend primetime for high-impact non-fiction show in order variety. SET aired the ninth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) in weekdays. In the previous seasons, it experimented with the Amitabh Bachchan-hosted show by shuffling it between weekdays and weekends.

The broadcaster has finally decided that it will air a non-fiction show in the 9 pm slot to beef up its viewership in its core urban markets. Non-fiction shows enjoy high affinity among urban audiences and SET is identified as an urban-centric Hindi GEC.

The new strategy will come into effect from June with Salman Khan-led show ‘Dus Ka Dum’, which is making a comeback after a hiatus of nine years. The show will tentatively go on-air from 4 June. It will have a three-month run. KBC season 10 will take over the 9 pm slot once ‘Dus Ka Dum’ concludes.

After KBC 10, the channel will launch a new non-fiction property ‘Crossroads’. The show is based on UK-based CMT’s music reality show Crossroads. Under the format, music artists are paired with musicians from other music genres, frequently trading off performing one another’s songs, and also dueting on some numbers.

The non-fiction shows will complement SET’s key fiction properties including ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai’, ‘Mere Sai’, ‘Vignaharta Ganesh’ and ‘Porus’.

However, SET’s key non-fiction property with comedian Kapil Sharma will continue to air in the weekend prime-time slot. Under its new avatar, ‘Family Time with Kapil Sharma’ will air on Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm beginning 25 March.

Talking about the new strategy, SET EVP and business head Danish Khan said, “We believe that the 9 pm slot will do well with limited fiction series as well as with shows like Dus Ka Dum, KBC, and Crossroads. I think a lot of people today need variety.”

The SET head honcho is bullish that the channel’s viewership will see an uptick once the non-fiction show is introduced on weekdays at 9 pm. “The moment we get non-fiction at 9 pm then the overall line-up will be really good and we hope to grow on ratings as well,” he said.

Khan further stated that SET treats fiction as well as non-fiction shows with equal importance. “In the recent past, the shows that did well for us are KBC S9 and Super Dancer in non-fiction space and ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai’ and ‘Porus’ in the fiction space. There was a good balance between fiction and non-fiction,” he noted.

Opening up late night slot

Apart from strengthening 9 pm slot with non-fiction shows, SET is also betting big on the 11.30 pm slot buoyed by the response it got for ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat’ in the 10.30 pm slot.

From 19 March, the channel is launching a new show ‘Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai’ at 11 pm. As a result, the crime drama ‘Crime Patrol’ will be pushed to 11.30 pm slot.

Khan commented, “With the new time slot, we are looking at the urban working couples, audiences who come slightly late in the metro cities. The new show is the love story that they can watch and go to sleep.”


Offering his perspective on the late night slot, SET SVP & Head Insights and Programming Strategy Amogh Dusad said that the late night slot is an exciting opportunity for SET as urban audience sleep late unlike their rural counterparts.

“Urban audience behavioural pattern is much different than the rest of the market. They tend to sleep much later and that is why we are confident that we will hold the late night slot,” Dusad said.

The channel is bringing alive the 7 pm slot with a new fiction show. Currently, the channel airs teleshopping content in this slot. SET’s prime-time begins at 7.30 pm with ‘Mere Sai’ and ends at 12.30 pm with ‘Crime Patrol’.

“We are also launching a 7 pm slot. We have received a very good response for early prime time shows like ‘Mere Sai’, ‘Ganesh’ and ‘Porus’ as well as late night shows like ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai’ and ‘Crime Patrol’,” Dusad asserted.

Beginning June, SET will break its programming grid into three buckets. The early prime-time from 7 to 9 pm will cater to family-centric shows featuring mythos and historicals. The 9 to 10 pm slot will be dedicated to unifier content like ‘Dus Ka Dum’, ‘KBC’s and ‘Crossroads’. The late night 10-11.30 pm slot will be dedicated to urban fiction.

SET Originals

The broadcaster is planning to another show under its premium sub-brand SET Originals, which currently features Prithvi Vallabh. SET Originals will focus on premium audiences through content such as concerts, finite series, and homegrown shows. The channel aims to launch two shows under SET Originals every year.

The channel is aiming to create homegrown stories which are rich in Indian culture and has universal appeal. The channel also plans to take these shows to international markets by making them locally relevant through dubbing. Apart from creating internationally appealing shows, the sub-brand is also adopting the style of finite series and will only launch the show once it is ready.

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