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Imagine TV has now brought in a re-packaged re run of its flagship historical show Ramayan at the 7-8 pm slot from May 16th.
At the outset, Saurabh Tewary,Head of Programming – Fiction, Imagine TV, talks about this new introduction of programming to kick start their daily prime time band. Also he addresses certain queries on the existing programming lineup of Imagine TV.
How did the novel idea of getting back Ramayan happen?
We were having a discussion on the strengths of Imagine three weeks back, and this is when we decided to get our flagship show Ramayan back. However, we did not want to present it to viewers in the same way. We wanted it to be pacier, and have an overall packaging done with the addition of new songs. Ramayan as a brand has been strong whenever made, and this prompted us to go ahead.
We hear the series has been repackaged, can you explain.
As I said earlier, the show has been re-edited and made pacier so that it is presented to the viewers in a better manner. We have added around 15-20 songs, the series has been divided into various kandhs now unlike the earlier version. This is an attempt to bring in a change in the narrative. The Bal Kandh for example will have 10 episodes while the Ayodhya Kandh will have 50 odd episodes and so forth. This classification has been made as per the importance of every kandh.
Is this a decision taken to bring in more viewership?
Exactly, we are starting our prime time slot of 7 pm with Ramayan and we feel it will bring in viewers.
Ramayan is not your baby, so how easy or difficult was it for you to arrive at this decision?
Whether its my baby or not, the universal fact is that Ramayan had a loyal audience. Personally I liked watching it. Same is the case with Jhansi Ki Rani, which has been accepted by one and all.
With another historical Chandragupta Maurya doing well and Ramayan relaunched, does it mean that Imagine relies on mythological and historical shows more?
Historical and mythological shows have been one of the important factors in our programming strategy and will remain the same. But we will strike a balance with the normal fiction shows too. Having said this, it is true that shows like Ramayan, Mahima Shani Dev Ki, Meera, Chandragupta Maurya etc have played important roles.
So what are the other factors according to you that will make viewers fall back on Ramayan?
See, the editing and repackaging are technical aspects. But apart from that, I strongly believe that the show will work irrespective of the additions due to the emotional, religious and cultural connect with viewers. The repackaging will give way for a 5-10 percent improvement while the new songs will definitely add to the devotional element of the show. I would want to give credit to the music and bhakti feel which leaves an unbelievable attachment on viewers.
What's in store for Imagine in the next few months?
We are now concentrating on Swayamvar Season 3 - Ratan Ka Rishta which will launch on 30th May at the 8 pm slot. We have two fiction shows lined up once Ratan ends.
How is Ratan Ka Rishta shaping up? Don't you think a slot of 8 pm is a bit early?
Ratan Ka Rishta is shaping up well, and we sincerely hope viewers like it. As far as the slot goes, the 8pm slot is equally strong. And we have seen that shows do not work on the basis of slots these days. That debate is over now.
We hear Sagar Pictures is working on a historical Dhwarkadhish for Imagine.
Well. It is too early to comment on that.
Except for Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo, most of the new launches have not worked. What do you incur?
Yes, Pardes Mein Mila Koi Apna did not work for us. We divulged in content when it comes to Armanon Ka Balidaan and Pardes, and wanted to do something new. All is part and parcel of the game. Our recent launches Beendh Banunga Ghodi Chadhunga and Looteri Dulhan were launched during IPL. Beend has been comparatively doing well; we have not reached the main phase of the story line and believe that the numbers will go up. Looteri Dulhan was an experiment and it will take time to bring in results. We will henceforth maintain a good balance between experimental and massy programming.
There has been a furore of late because of the news of Kitani Mohabbat Hai - 2 and Gunahon Ka Devta ending? What have you to say?
It is a good feeling that viewers want more of these shows. However the shows had reached a stagnation point where the basic story was getting over. We felt it was better to give a respectable ending rather than stretching it too much.
There is already a buzz about a Season 3 of Kitani Mohabbat Hai being planned?
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh
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