TV stars give their take on prime time vs early schedule slots


With the trend of television viewing changing and viewers becoming more receptive towards original programming outside the traditional primetime slots, brings a special report on the launch of afternoon and early evening slots.

Content trumps timing
When we asked Sshashank Vyas about whether he had any apprehensions doing ‘Jana Na Dil Se Door’, which is pitted in the 17:30 slot on Star Plus, he said, “For me, it’s always about good content and story. I never believed in time slots. In the past, we have seen a number of shows like Shanti, Yug, Swabhimaan, Itihaas, etc. which used to air in the afternoon which had artists working on them because of the content and not just because of the time slot. Mostly we see women at home at that time as they are the majority of the audience. The new trend is nice and experimenting is required now. Touching new subjects and trying to maintain some theme is the need of the hour. More creativity is needed on TV, and it should not be about just high TRPs.”

Sapna Malhotra whose show ‘Love Ka Intezaar Hai’ is in the afternoon slot, is all about having good content. She says, “It’s not about the slot or the time , it’s about good content and a good story, and we have both. That’s why I am very confident about our show , and I know for sure and I am very positive it is going to do very well.”

Sara Arfeen Khan who plays one of the leads in ‘Love Ka Intezar Hai’ says, “Content is the king. Actor’s job is to act. What time slot wil lgain eyeballs is unpredictable but every time slot gets certain audiences”

Target audience matters
Producer Saba Mumtaz, who is producing the show ‘Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’ which airs at 19:00 on Sony Entertainment Television, too, feels that the timing of the show meets that of her target audience. She says, “While it is a new time slot on Sony, it’s actually quite nice. Because Sony never had a 19:00 slot; a time when people in big towns are still traveling back from office. Since our target audience are young and old women from small towns, it is working for us. Besides, our show is critically acclaimed and the audience is speaking highly about it.”

Prime time grabs more eyeballs
Actor Eijaz Khan says that as an actor, he cannot go about being choosy with the time slot. Still, he agrees that the slot is alluring. He reveals, “There is a marked difference between a normal and a prime time slot. There are fewer eyeballs at 19:00, but as an actor, we can’t even think of these things, we have to give our best whether it’s 19:00, 21:00 or 02:00. So I don’t think this bothers me. Sometimes, numbers don’t count as expected. You feel good when everyone who is seeing the show is praising it and is in love with it. But yes, it does take a little more time for a 19:00 slot to be more successful.

According to Producer Yash Patnaik, who has the popular show ‘Jana Na Dil Se Door’ at 17:30 says he was initially apprehensive about how the show would rate. But things worked out for him and his show quite well. He shares, “I will be wrong if I say I wasn’t apprehensive. Having said that, I was confident that good content will stand out from any slot. 17:30 used to be the prime time for youth shows in Channel V and MTV. My earlier show Veera which was on Star Plus had one year run at 19:00. Sadda Haq was also an early prime time show. I am glad we found audience for Jana Na Dil Se Door at 17:30. For a long time our 22:30 repeat used to garner good numbers as well.”

Patnaik says that, while there is that issue of missing out on a larger audience, he feels it’s important to focus on good content and your target group. He says, “The target audience of Jana is both young as well as middle age groups as the show has ingredients for both TGs. And yes, I agree that, jad Jana been on a latter slot, we could have got more audience as the audience base of prime time is much larger. There is a lot of floating audience at that time which we don’t get. Our audience have to switch on TV to watch our show as there aren’t any other show on other channels at that time. I am happy that we managed to create our organic audience at 5.30.” Still, he remains confident that good content always finds an audience.”

Actor Mohammad Nazim, hero of ‘Saathiya’, echoes a similar sentiment. He says, “Nowadays, any time is the prime time if the content is good and audiences will see the show. My show has been doing well since few years and the kind of fan following and response I have seen is quite fantastic. Where ever I go people recognize me.”

Need to get audience hooked to evening slot
Producer Nikhil Sinha of Chandrakanta has an interesting point to make. He says, “Prime time shows have a loyal base but new early time slots needs to gain audiences. It was a big challenge and we took the challenge, and its up to us to cultivate an audience. We are successful because we are getting good feedback for the content, and people continue to watch the show.”

Producer Rahul Kumar Tewary, whose latest show ‘Yeh Moh Moh Ke Dhaage’ is popular despite not being on a prime time slot says, “Our show played out really well in India. At the end of the day, love stories and India go hand in hand. I think ours is a different love story and that’s why the audience would want to know what happens between the leading couple. Any time is prime time and we are fortunate we have got a window to showcase. I am a firm believer in the saying that any time is prime time. We always have an audience in India to watch if the show content is good. We have got a wide target segment from the age of 20 years to 45 years who love Aru and Mukhi.”

Producer Ravindra Gautam says, “Meri Durga has got a loyal audience base. If the content is good audiences will watch the show. Every time slot has an audience.

So in the end, while prime time does matter, content is king overall. Also, shows telecast in the afternoon or evening slot give audiences more choice to watch on TV, which is good for all parties concerned.

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