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Big Magic to launch India’s first mytho-comedy show based on Naarad

The name of the show and the time band is yet to be finalised, but it is slated to premiere on March 30 as a weekday property

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | March 13, 2015

narad smile

Big Magic has announced the launch of its new show, which is pegged around the intriguing mythology character of ‘Naarad Muni’. It is said to be India’s first mythological comedy and comes on the back of the success of another show on the channel, ‘Har Mushkil ka Hal Akbar Birbal’. The name of the new show and the time band is yet to be finalised, but it is slated to premiere on March 30 as a weekday property.

The show promises to be a light-hearted comedy based on Naarad Muni and his exploits across the universe. In general, Naarad Muni is viewed as a very clever and cunning person, but the storyline will highlight the bitter-sweet relationship between Vishnu and him. It will maintain the inherent light-heartedness of the character of Naarad, while giving him his due respect as a Dev Rishi, a saint who has been given the status of a God. Vishnu also plays a very important role of a mentor or guru to Naarad. There will always be a lesson at the end of each story which Vishnu gives Naarad.

Lavneesh Gupta Lavneesh Gupta

Commenting on the backdrop of its new show, Lavneesh Gupta, COO, Reliance Broadcast Network, said, “The way it started was that in 2014, we went national with ‘Akbar Birbal’, which was a historical comedy. Indepth research was conducted to find if it will work or not and thankfully it did. It helped us to create a primetime and also gave a brand to Big Magic. On the same lines, we had built some pillars to Big Magic and we saw that apart from family and fun, the subject which works well is faith, and that is the reason you will find a lot of mythological shows working very well. Thus, we decided to do a mythological comedy with the comic God ‘Naarad’.” The show launch will be supported by a multi-media marketing campaign spread across radio, television, outdoor, print and digital.

For every show which is launched on the channel, there is always an in-depth analysis conducted in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM). “We conduct research which is done by our agency and focus on key home visits in markets like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Delhi. Based on this and on the feedback which comes, we do changes in terms of the look and feel or the name of the show,” Gupta added.

In 2015, the plan of Big Magic is to focus more on shows based on humour and comedy and be the number one comedy destination across platforms. It also has plans to translate some of its ‘Akbar Birbal’ shows on the radio to engage more and more consumers. It has also recently signed up with a digital agency to be connected with the tech savvy generation of today through small snippets and other formats. Attempt would be to first promote the new property and then monetise on it.

Highlighting on the content, Gupta elaborated. “Our programming content and also our distribution are changing, and launching our channel on Tata Sky has enabled us good reach in the metro markets. The good part is that since we are a comedy channel, we are away from the clutter of the GECs and our aim is to provide good comedy content by refreshing it. It doesn’t work in a linear manner and comedy depletes with time. So, it should be refreshed and rejuvenated with time. We are definitely looking at products, evaluating in the comedy space with good writers and looking at some good comedy shows.”

According to Gupta, their regional channel, Big Magic Ganga, has been doing exceptionally well after the name change and it is next in competition to Mahuaa. “Where others believe that it is media dark, we would like to believe that there is a relatively good opportunity and thus, from No. 2, we have become the No. 1 channel in the market. The challenge in the market is that none of the channels are focussed on local insights and we, being the leader, should take the plunge. Because if people are consuming other forms of media, then it means that it is doing well,” he added.

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