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Colors to replace ‘Naagin 2’ with ‘Chandrakanta’ from 24 June

MUMBAI: Hindi GEC Colors has found a replacement for its top-rated show ‘Naagin 2’, which is set to go off air this week. Continuing its association with Balaji Productions, the channel will replace ‘Naagin 2’ with a revived version of Doordarshan’s fantasy series ‘Chandrakanta’.

Premiering on 24 June, the fantasy series will air on Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm.

‘Naagin 2’ had been consistently ruling the BARC rating charts and remains one of the most-viewed shows on Hindi GECs. ‘Chandrakanta’, therefore, has big shoes to fill and has its work cut out to attract viewers.

Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak hopes that ‘Chandrakanta’ would uphold the slot position of ‘Naagin 2’. “It is a risk whenever we replace our highly rated show, but it is also because we believe in our new show. At the end of the day, the ultimate decision-maker will be the viewer. We truly believe that ‘Chandrakanta’ will be as engaging and interesting as ‘Naagin 2’. Somehow it can also be tagged with the same genre as ‘Naagin 2’,” he said.

With ‘Chandrakanta’, Colors will be competing with Life OK’s ‘Prem Ya Paheli… Chandrakanta’, which is also an adaptation of the Doordarshan series. The original series, an adaptation of a novel entitled ‘Chandrakanta’, was aired on Doordarshan between 1994 and 1996.

Speaking about the Colors version of ‘Chandrakanta’, Nayak said, “Though ‘Chandrakanta’ has been done before on TV, we have added something new to the story. Ekta [Kapoor] has a way of telling a story, so our version of the story is completely unique. This show will cater to viewers from the urban HSM.”

‘Chandrakanta’ narrates the tale of a princess who lost her family and kingdom to a power war waged by an evil queen. While many believe the family to be wiped out, an infant Chandrakanta is found in a river by a simple fishing couple. Her true identity lost in the war, Chandrakanta grows up to be a strong warrior-like woman, whose focus and strong determination are unparalleled. However, her real journey starts when she crosses paths with the evil queen’s son, Prince Veerendra Singh, who finds himself enamoured by Chandrakanta’s entrancing beauty and falls hopelessly in love with her.

For ‘Chandrakanta’, Balaji Telefilms has upped the production scale and has enrolled top-class VFX team to enhance the magical and mystical story. The set is spread across 32,000 square feet and is designed by National Award-winning art director Chandravan More. The set will have three distinct zones—Queen Iravati’s ‘darbar’ in Vijaygarh, Prince Shivdutt’s ‘darbar’ in Suryagarh and Chandrakanta’s foster parents’ fisherman’s shack.

The ad rate for the show is being initially priced at Rs 1.5–1.80 lakh for the 10-second spot.

Nayak stated that the response from advertisers has been good. The channel has already got some regular advertisers on board for the show.

“’Chandrakanta’ is a new show so we are making a cautious decision with ad rates. We don’t want to under-rate or over-rate, so we have tried to keep it balanced. The rest will depend on how the show does,” Nayak said while declining to reveal the commercial terms.

Besides, Colors has devised an integrated 360-degree marketing campaign encapsulating different mediums including print, television, radio, OOH, ATL and BTL activations. The channel has also designed an extensive digital campaign including #ChandrakantaKiDuniya—a video showcasing Chandrakanta’s magical world, #MyMagicalLoveStory—a viewer engagement initiative, a fan e-book and Facebook canvas, and a mix of 3D GIF images, video bytes and behind-the-scenes sneak peek posts.

Currently, the channel has four new shows lined up for launch, but the time slots for these shows have not been fixed yet. Time slot was also the reason why the launch of ‘Chandrakanta’ took a while.

Commenting on the time slot, Nayak added that the plan is to reinvent the programming in the future. “We won’t change our positioning, but we will be reinventing our programming by introducing new genres. For instance, we recently launched a daily comic strip with ‘Bhag Bakul Bhag’; we never had daily comedy on the channel before.”