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Channel V experiments with alternative slot for ‘Gumrah 4’

MUMBAI: After recently taking charge of Channel V, Ajit Thakur is now experimenting with alternative viewing slots to launch original programming in a highly cluttered genre.

The channel is set to launch the fourth season of its teen crime show ‘Gumrah’ on Sunday at 1 pm, starting 31 August.

In the past, no youth channel had aired original programming in the afternoon time band.

ajit-thakur2Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, Channel V EVP and business head as well as Life OK general manager Ajit Thakur said, “Everybody is crowding it out from 7–11 pm so we wanted to launch a new time band as exclusive viewing time for youth. It’s a trial to create an alternative slot.”

The channel’s VP of marketing Nipa Asharam believes that the Sunday 1 pm slot has more audiences on TV than the Sunday 7 pm slot. “For a clutter-breaking show like ‘Gumrah’ which is watched not only by people in the ages of 15–24 but also by their parents, we feel that the Sunday 1 pm slot can help us aggregate a greater number of viewers.”

Thakur had earlier experimented with slots on Life OK as well, when he launched a dual primetime band for two if its fiction properties to enable sample viewing.

Incidentally, Star Plus is experimenting with weekend slots through properties like ‘Satyamev Jayate’ and ‘Airlines’.

“’Satyamev Jayate’ took that lead in the Sunday 11 am slot on Star Plus. Taking our bold cue from them, we will air ‘Gumrah’ at 1 pm on Channel V. The traditional mindset is that only 8–11 is primetime. It’s not easy to break the trend. But when you are a Channel V or Life OK, you have a better chance to do that,” stated Thakur.

The fourth season of ‘Gumrah’ is a little edgy with its promos providing shock value by showcasing young children stating they want to be murderers or kidnappers when they grow up. But this only reiterates the channel’s belief attained through its annual research that ‘No One is Born a Criminal’.

“We specifically want to showcase stories about first-time criminals and teen crimes. We wanted to say something which might come as a shock but is emotionally very true,” explained Asharam.

Hence, they roped in actor Abhay Deol who himself is personally involved in a number of human rights issues. The actor brainstormed with the team about the show and took part in the whole discussion. The show will also feature other celebrities like Neha Dhupia and Tusshar Kapoor who will narrate a story of someone they have known who has been a victim.

Channel V has also developed a campaign which is highly social and digital. It is also doing an interesting online initiative which states ‘When I grow up, I want to be…’. So when someone enters ‘Engineer’ or ‘Doctor’, it automatically turns into something terrible like ‘Murderer’ or ‘Rapist’ to show that the choice of becoming something is as much ours as it is the society’s.

Although the channel has not revealed the sponsors for the show, Asharam revealed that the show over three seasons has opened doors to many clients including education and technology.

Aiming to take a larger, more serious perspective on safety with no monetary gains involved, the channel is planning to add more features to its ‘Vith U’ mobile application.

“We will figure out if we want to do some kind of collaboration with a mobile company where the app comes in-built into the device as the idea is not to make money out of it but to create awareness and it’s solely for the consumer,” she added.