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Comedy Central sees late primetime as its real primetime

The channel is launching 9 shows in the new primetime slot of post 10 PM

Sarmistha Neogy | Mumbai | May 2, 2014

comedy-central

This May, Comedy Central India has decided to infuse new content as part of the channel’s strategy to provide freshness to its viewers. The channel’s philosophy of ‘Laugh it off’ is brought to the fore once again with an all-new primetime.

Maintaining its lineage of providing unlimited humour in the form of popular sitcoms, exclusive show launches and standup comedy acts, Comedy Central will see the launch of nine new shows this month.

Ferzad Palia Ferzad Palia

“We realised that the usual primetime slot of 9-10 PM doesn’t really apply to us as there is in general good viewership throughout the day. However, having said that, we have also noticed a surge in viewing from 10 PM onwards. So while planning our content strategy, we kept this in mind to strengthen the slot,” said Ferzad Palia, SVP & GM, English Entertainment, Viacom18 Media.

The popular shows lined up in this slot are Golden Globe Award Winner ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, which is an American cop sitcom that airs on Fox. The channel will also be airing the final six episodes of the third season of Suites, Season 2 of The ‘Mindy Project’ and ‘Citizen Khan’. Comedy Central India will be premiering the reboot of the classic ‘The Kumar’s at No.42’ and ‘Whose line is it Anyway?’ an improvisational comedy game show will also have its comeback.

‘The Daily Show with John Stewart’, a popular American late-night satirical television series which talks from politics to entertainment in the most amusing manner, will return to Comedy Central with brand new episodes. The hilarious series of ‘Sean Saves The World’ will also be having its Indian premiere this month. Two new game shows to be launched and aired in the 9PM slot are ‘Wipe Out’ and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’?

On being asked if the channel is following any particular plan this summer to entice the young audience, Palia commented, “Our audience range is very wide; an ideal demographic to define our target group would be people in the age bracket of 15-45 years. We don’t plan our programmes as per seasons; however, we have localised our content lately. In April, we came back with a spoof show, ‘Frankly Not Speaking with Rajbeep & Ornob’, where the current socio-political situation is discussed on a lighter note. Riding on the election wave, a new show, ‘Cam PAIN’ 2014, has been launched. To cater to the channel’s weekend audience, which is specifically more mature, many British comedy shows are also being aired.”

“Our shows are not only doing well in the metros, but LCI and LC2 towns are also catching up. Being an Indo-English entertainment channel, I would consider Zee Cafe and Star World as our competitors. Having launched in 2012 and within a very short span of time, we have managed to capture that ‘unique audience’ which comes to only Comedy Central to get his/her daily dose of entertainment.,” added Ferzad.

From the time of the channel’s launch in India, it has broadly witnessed two phases. The ‘first phase’ brought back content which was already familiar, arranging ad sales and looking at the distribution. The’ second phase’ saw the channel introducing many on-ground activities like the Chuckle Fest and has also expanded the brand into the consumer products segment areas like DVDs and T-shirts.

The channel boasts of 2 million Facebook fans and 68,000 Twitter followers which it claims to have built organically. Regular research and interaction in these forums are conducted to gauge the mood of the audience.

Sarmistha@bestmediainfo.com

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