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SAB TV steps into non-fiction with ‘Comedy Superstar’

The show premieres on August 22 at 10 pm. SAB TV Business Head Anooj Kapoor hints at more content for weekend programming

Mayur Lookhar | Mumbai | August 11, 2015

Shekhar-Suman,-Susuhmita-Sen-and-Sonu-Sood

SAB TV has finally opened up its vacant weekend slots by announcing the launch of a talent hunt show, ‘Comedy Superstar’. The show aims to look for not just a stand-up comedian, but a complete entertainer. ‘Comedy Superstar premieres on August 22 and will air every Saturday and Sunday at the 10.00 pm slot.

‘Comedy Superstar’ has an impressive jury line-up comprising former Miss Universe and actor Sushmita Sen, Sonu Sood and Shekhar Suman. Sushmita Sen returns to television after adjudicating the Colors’ cricketer and celebrity dance reality show, ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena’ in 2008. As opposed to the usual formats, there’ll be no audience polling or votes for ‘Comedy Superstar’, and the judges themselves will decide on the winner. TV actors Sudeepa Singh and Jay Soni are the show’s hosts.

Anooj Kapoor Anooj Kapoor

Speaking on the new launch, Anooj Kapoor, Senior EVP & Business Head, SAB TV, said, “‘Comedy Superstar’ is our latest offering to our viewers and we have kept up with our promise of always delivering entertainment that is unadulterated and yet unique in terms of concept and treatment. We have explored with the format of the show and it is different from what we have done before and we believing in providing a platform to budding talent, so that they can exhibit their flair. We are hoping that our viewers will like our latest offering and will sit back and enjoy ‘Comedy Superstar’.”

SAB TV has roped in Asian Paints (Tractor Emulsions) and Bru Coffee as sponsors for ‘Comedy Superstar’.

SAB TV has mostly shied away from non-fiction programming, save for the awards shows. For a comedy-centric channel, the genres are limited in non-fiction, a fact acknowledged by Anooj Kapoor.

SAB TV has enjoyed a good run at the BARC ratings in Week 29 and Week 30. The Hindi GEC was tied with Life OK for the fifth spot in Week 30. When asked whether the channel expected to break the ceiling and make it to the fourth spot their own, Kapoor noted, “SAB TV was tied with Life OK on all-day rating, but we were much ahead on prime time. As far as breaking the ceiling is concerned, that would be very difficult to say because BARC as a system is still settling in. Besides, last week the spike was due to the ‘Nokia Sab Ke Anokhey Awards’. This week we do not have that. So, it remains to be seen what happens.”

Commenting on the competition for the fourth spot, he said, “As far as the No. 4 spot is concerned, last year most of the time we managed to stay at that position, particularly in prime time, as our competitors were declining through the years, while we kept growing and stabilising.”

Speaking on the content line-up for the channel, Kapoor informed, “We have launched a new show, ‘Hum Aapke Ghar Mein Rehte Hain, on August 10. After that we will be launching two new shows, one of which is ‘Comedy Superstar’, while the other show will be a weekend fiction show. So, because of all that we should be robust during the year.”

The stand-up comedy genre did wonders for Star Plus with ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’ series. Then there was ‘Comedy Circus’ on Sony, which thrived on character-driven dual acts that eventually led to the fading out of stand-up comedy.

When asked whether ‘Comedy Superstar’ would help revive the stand-up comedy genre, Kapoor replied, “‘Comedy Superstar’ is not purely stand-up comedy. This format is completely different from that (‘Laughter Challenge’). As the judges rightly said, they’ll be judging the contestants on stand-up comedy, dancing ability, singing ability and the ‘Yo’-factor. That’s because you’re not looking at stand-up comedy, but you’re looking at the next comedy superstar.”

The leader in the comedy non-fiction genre is Colors’ ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’, but that only airs on Sundays at 10.00 pm. With other big networks not having a powerful property in the 10.00 pm slot, it seems to be a clear field for ‘Comedy Superstar’, at least on Saturdays.

“I’ll keep my fingers crossed. However, I wouldn’t want to comment on other shows. All I’ll say is that we have a fresh concept, excellent talent, and the show has fallen together well and so we’re sure it will do well,” he affirmed.

 Along with SAB TV, Kapoor is also the Business Head of Sony Pal, one of the three Hindi GECs from the Multi Screen Media (MSM) stable. Sony Pal is about to complete a year, but for the last five months since its launch, the channel has been airing re-runs of Sony TV and SAB TV shows. Come August 15, it will re-run ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, promos of which already on-air.

Kapoor refrained from commenting on plans to revive Sony Pal.

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