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STAR India adds new shows to its regional offerings - Mr.Bhat - 07-23-2009

In a bid to strengthen their programming, the regional fare of STAR -- Vijay TV, STAR Pravah and STAR Jalsha -- are introducing new shows.

Vijay TV has lined up three reality shows for the weekend slot (Friday and Saturday) and two fiction shows for weekdays, in the upcoming months. Another regional channel of the group, STAR Jalsha, is launching two shows. And STAR Pravah is coming up with three fiction shows.

The Tamil GEC, Vijay TV is launching two new reality shows, UniverCell - Paatu Paadavaa and Tata Docomo - Anu Alavum Bayamillai for the primetime weekend slot. Apart from these, the GEC launched the second season of Aachi - Boys vs Girls, the gender-based dance competition on July 17. The one-hourshow is aired every Friday and Saturday at 8 pm.

In its first season, each episode of the 20-episode show was 90 minutes long. Since it was difficult to sustain the elements for that long, the channel decided to reduce the duration of the show.

Paatu Paadavaa is similar to Bol Baby Bol. However, in this show, instead of common people, popular singers of the Tamil music industry, such as Krrish, Prasanna, Ranjith, Prashanthini and Naresh Iyer, will participate. The show will be launched on July 24 at 10 pm, and will be telecast on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tata Docomo Anu Alavum Bayamillai, which is similar to Fear Factor, will be launched in the last week of July. In this show, eight celebrities face their fears. This 26-episode show will be aired on Fridays and Saturdays at 9 pm. This show will replace Koffee with Anu, a talk show on the channel.

On why the channel decided to focus on reality shows during the weekend slot, K Sriram, channel head, Vijay TV, says, "During weekdays, we focus on fiction. So, we decided that on weekends, let's give our audiences something different. Also, the weekend is a good time to showcase concept programmes."

For the weekday programming, the channel recently launched two fiction shows: Anbe Vaa -- a love story and Rojakoottam -- a story of five friends who stay in the same locality. The channel also has two family dramas in the pipeline.

Apart from this, Vijay TV will also conduct an event on Kamal Hassan's 50 years in cinema. This on-ground activity will be conducted in five cities -- Coimbatore, Madurai, Tanjore, Trichi and the final event will be organized in Chennai. This on-ground activity will be adapted for television as well, and will result in a six-week long property on the channel.

To promote the new offerings on the channel, Vijay TV has chalked out an aggressive marketing plan. For this, the channel is running promos across Tamil Nadu. Advertisements will be visible on bus shelters, roadside posters and print media (vernacular and English), apart from on-air promotion on the channel. Also, during the later stages of its reality shows, Vijay TV will organise road shows across the state.

Another regional channel of the STAR bouquet, STAR Jalsha, is launching two new shows, Ogo Bodhu Sundari and Dancing Stars.

Ogo Bodhu Sundari, which will go on air on Monday, July 27, has been made by the team behind Bou Kotha Kao, the bestseller on the Bengali GEC. This daily show will be aired at 9 pm from Monday to Friday and will replace Neer Bhanga Jhor, another fiction show on the channel.

Gaurav Banerjee, vice-president, programming, Star Entertainment Media, says, "With Ogo Bodhu Sundari, we aim to bring in warmth to the shows. As a channel, we have made a conscious decision to stay away from being intriguing and indulging in kitchen politics. Rather, we aim to bring human values and warmth through our shows."

Dancing Stars will be launched in August. This dance reality show will have eight dancers competing to win a role in a film directed by Jishu, an acclaimed Bengali director. This show will replace Swayamwar, a matchmaking show.

Apart from this, the channel will also air Star Jalsha Entertainment Awards on Sunday, July 26.

Banerjee adds, "The young viewers in the region were neglected till we came on board. Though Jalsha is a young channel, we are not ignoring the older audience. That's why we are coming up with shows that will interest all age groups."

STAR Pravah, the Marathi GEC, is all set to launch fiction shows. Man Udhan Variyche is an attempt by the channel to launch an iconic Marathi love story. Aired from Monday to Saturday, this is the first time the channel is trying its hand at a story around a love triangle. The theme of this show is how youngsters treat love.

Banerjee shares that apart from this show, most of the other shows on STAR Pravah are family dramas. This love story is replacing Ase Kaghalda, which was launched in November.

Apart from this, the seven-month-old channel has two more daily fiction shows in the pipeline.