In a first-of-its-kind move for Hindi general entertainment channels, genre leader Star Plus is upping the ante further by taking its original programming as early as 5 pm.
The channel already boasts the maximum hours of original programming from 6 pm till 11 pm, from Monday to Saturday. At 11 pm, it now airs the repeat episode of ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’.
Starting 26 January, the channel will add one more hour of original programming to its weekday line-up. It is shifting the 10.30 pm soap ‘Veera’ to the new 5 pm slot while the 6 pm show ‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon’ moves up to 5:30 pm.
The cooking reality show ‘Masterchef India’, which the channel is launching on 26 January at 10.30 pm, will also have its repeat at 6 pm. The series will run for about 10 weeks.
‘Ek Suhani Si Ladki’, which made it to the 10 most-viewed fiction shows in the week ended 10 January, will continue at its original 6:30 pm slot. The show is currently clocking an average TVR of 2.9–3.1 every week, another first for the early primetime.
The timings of the 7–10 pm shows will remain unchanged—’Saathiya Saath Nibhana’ at 7 pm, followed by ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ at 7:30 pm, ‘Tu Mera Hero’ at 8 pm, ‘Nisha Aur Uske Cousins’ at 8:30 pm, flagship show ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ at 9 pm, ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ at 9.30 pm and ‘Everest’ at 10 pm.
According to a media analyst, the move can work well for Star Plus as its weekday programming is already six days a week. “If Star Plus’ shows are working well at slots as early as 6 and 6:30 pm, then they must have thought why not experiment with original shows at 5 pm as audience sampling is going to increase further. This is also a sure-shot way for the channel to increase its real estate,” he said.
But that is not all. Star Plus is set to witness more action soon. Its fiction property ‘Everest’ will culminate in six weeks and be replaced by ‘Tere Shehar Main’, a show by Rajan Shahi’s Directors Kut Productions which also produces ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ for the channel.
Considering its success with ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ at 11 pm, the channel is expected to once again slot an original show at 11 pm, after the winter is gone, that is.
Additionally, the success of ‘Mahabharat’ has encouraged the channel to launch another mythological—‘Maryada Purushottam: Siya Ke Ram’, for which it has already started running promos.