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Nach Baliye 6 begins on 9 Nov; Star Plus ropes in four sponsors

MUMBAI: For a channel that has consistently maintained its numero uno position, the weekend prime-time slot has been a headache of sorts for Star Plus, the flagship Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) and cash cow of Star India.

With the launch of the season 6 of dance reality show ‘Nach Baliye’, Star Plus’ weekend programming woes will take a backseat, at least temporarily. After a remarkable performance last year with an average of 3.1 TVR, the show is set to kick off on 9 November with a new set of celebrity couples as contestants.

This time, the channel has advanced the show to November, unlike the last season when it commenced towards the end of December. However, it will continue to occupy the Saturday–Sunday 9 pm slot as last year.

The show will compete with other big-ticket reality shows such as ‘Bigg Boss 7’ on Colors and ‘DID 4’ on Zee TV in the 9-pm slot.

Star has so far roped in four sponsors for the show. Sanitary ware brand CERA has come on board as co-sponsor while computer technology major Dell, Japanese messaging app Line and French auto major Renault have joined as associate sponsors.

The hosts and judges of Nach Baliye 6

The hosts and judges of Nach Baliye 6

In the previous season, the channel had eight sponsors which included Vaseline as presenting sponsor and LR Active Oil as powered-by sponsor.

According to Star Plus non-fiction head Ashish Golwalkar, ‘Nach Baliye’ is a unique format and much more than just a dance reality show. It is about the unique stories of these couples expressed through the medium of dance.

“We cast these contestants not because of their dancing abilities but because of the unique stories of their life. We all have stories but their stories get noticed faster because they are celebrities. People relate to their stories,” says Golwalkar. While admitting that Star Plus has been weak in the weekend prime-time slot, Golwalkar revealed that the channel is in the midst of chalking out its long-term strategy to strengthen the weekend slot.

“While we have been doing well with our weekdays programming, our weekend has not been doing well compared to our competitors. We are working on new shows for the weekend prime-time slot in both fiction and non-fiction,” says a frank Golwalkar.

Talking about the season 5 of ‘Nach Baliye’, Golwalkar says, “Last year, this show had average ratings of 3.1 TVR. It did really well in the Female 15–24 category. The show attracts younger audiences and as a Hindi GEC, we also want to attract younger audiences.”

The show will be produced by Frames Productions, which, in the past had produced shows like Zee TV’s ‘Dance India Dance’ and ‘DID Lil Masters’.

‘Nach Baliye 6’ will see 11 celebrity couples showcase their chemistry to emerge victorious in the dance reality show.

The 11 couples include stand-up comedian Raju Shrivastava and his wife Shikha, Raqesh Vashisht and Vidhi Dogra, Kanika Maheshwari Ghai and Ankur Ghai, Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee, Ripu Daman Handa and Shivangi Verma, Yash Sinha and Aprapali Gupta, Kiku and Priyanka Sharda, Bruna Abdalah and Omar Farooque, Sanjeev and Lataa Seth, Rithvik Dhanjani and Asha Negi, and Vinod and Raksha Thakur.

Without tinkering with the format, Star Plus has re-packaged the show with a bigger and brighter set, enhanced graphics and better presentation, adds Golwalkar.

The judge’s panel will be the same as last year comprising Shilpa Shetty, choreographer Terrence Lewis and director Sajid Khan. Gautam Rode and Karan Wahi will continue to be the hosts, adding their brand of humour and banter to the drama-filled dance show.

The show will have a focus on digital medium with mobile apps and extensive social media engagement. Star Plus has decided to integrate tweets with the telecast of the show. Social media, says Golwalkar, also helps the channel to reach out to a wider audience across the world.