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Kapil Sharma, an asset or a bet for Sony?

‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ is set to appear on the GEC on April 23 on weekend primetime slots

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | March 2, 2016


Kapil Sharma looks like the Sony’s next big bet for revival of the viewership numbers and the stand-up comedy genre which was built by the channel in the initial years. ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ (TKSS) is definitely one of the most anticipated properties on television and is bound to take a sizable audience out of Colors’ Comedy Nights Live, though the consistency in viewership depends on the stickiness of the show format and content. To premiere on April 23 at 9 pm, the show will be a weekend property for the channel, right before the direct competition Comedy Nights Live on Colors at 10 PM weekends.

Sharma almost became an overnight star with Comedy Nights with Kapil (CNWK) on Colors, which garnered huge monies and eyeballs for the channel too. The advertising rates increased from mere Rs 60,000 to 70,000 at the start of the show in 2013, to a whopping Rs 2-2.5 lakh within a year and remained so till the end of the show in January 2016.

The consistency of the show’s performance is yet to be seen because comedy and stand-up comedy both have a saturation point as far as viewers’ appetite is concerned. Sony, however, seems to have great confidence in the show. “It is more about taking the show closer to the audience, for expectation of eyeballs. We are doing that through the on-ground pre-launch events and the huge scale first episode which will be a live performance in Delhi. We are sure that the long term association of Kapil and Sony will bear sweet fruits, just as it did in seven years relationship during Comedy Circus,” affirmed Sony Pictures Networks CEO NP Singh.

Whether Sony is expecting a similar success, yes, but will the magic be recreated, it still needs to be seen. The format and characters of the show are completely new, though the star cast is exactly the same as that of CNWK which had a ripple effect in the Hindi GEC genre.

TKSS is the most sought after show within the audience and advertisers both, considering that the social media went abuzz with when will Sharma be back, after the finale of CNWK was announced on Colors. The advertisers have also left no stone unturned to get associated with the Comedy Knight again. “We are getting amazing response from the advertisers with over eight sponsors interested in associate and powered by sponsorships. We are still analysing things and even two month before the launch, the race among advertisers is on, to get onto the show,” said Danish Khan, EVP and business head of Sony Entertainment Television. Lava Mobiles has already signed the presenting sponsorship deal for the entire series.

The new show has the same star cast including Kapil Sharma, Ali Asgar, Sunil Grover, Kiku Sharda, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, Sumona Chakraborthy and Chandan Prabhakar, albiet in different characters due to the copyright issues.

It must be noted that Sharma had a huge fallout with its earlier network Colors and the actor was accused of throwing tantrums at the production and creative teams. However, will Sony have to bear a similar behaviour, Singh is confident that it will not happen. “Kapil and Sony share a very warm relation as this platform was the start of his career. He is a great asset to us and we have never had sour relations with any of our stars.”

Before the premiere of the show, the cast will go on a multi-city tour, starting at Amritsar on March 5 and will move to Bhopal (March 11), Lucknow (March 16) and Delhi in April. Produced by K9 and Frames Production, the Kapil Sharma show will be a Sony Entertainment Television property. The channel will market the show just as any other non-fiction proprty but IPL will have a huge base for TKSS marketing. Khan explains, “Kapil doesn’t need marketing, people follow him irrespective of when. We need to build a recall for the slot (weekend 9pm) and the word of mouth will do the rest of the job for us.”

The audience interactions will continue throughout the life of the show with an online integration on Sony Liv. The viewers can get to meet comedian Kapil Sharma through a contest ‘Kapil Se Mil’ by uploading a funny video of their family on Sony LiV. The funniest family will a chance to meet Kapil on the sets of the show.

Singh also said that the channel is sure that Sony has a section of its audience who were loyal to the channel’s stand-up comedy. “We have had a loyal audience base for the comedy genre and we are expecting those to return to the channel with this show. Sony has a history of longest running shows and we are confident that TKSS will be another feather in the hat,” Singh added.

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