'YRF TV driven by content, not TRPs'

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) A year ago it promised to paint the television red with its unique bouquet of shows, but Yash Raj Films (YRF) TV's offerings faded in no time. Now it is back with a vengeance on Sony Entertainment Television with a belief that different content strikes the right chords with the viewers, if not with the ratings' race.

The production company is taking a second shot with a thriller show "Khotey Sikkey" - about a bunch of five rich, spoilt, urban youngsters with special yet twisted talents, who fight modern-day social crimes like drunken driving, drug abuse and street fights, among others, with the help of an honest cop.

" 'Khotey Sikkey' is a continuation of our past season in the sense that it is different. It is differentiated content because it's not a family drama or anything. It is edgy and contemporary and we hope that it cuts across a lot of audiences because it is a thriller. Thriller as we have seen with 'C.I.D.', it has a wide appeal," Ravina Raj Kohli, creative head of YRF TV, told IANS.

With "Khotey Sikkey", YRF TV is digressing into bi-weeklies, and is also planning to experiment in the daily space with an upcoming show "Kismat", following which it will launch the second season of "Mahi Way".

"One always knew that its not going to be an easy task for us. Where dailies are the norm on Indian television, we were doing weeklies. Then we were attempting a different type of television with the subjects we were getting into, the kind of audiences we were hoping to tap...But we choose to hang in there with our style," said Kohli.

YRF TV, the television arm of entertainment conglomerate Yash Raj Films, made a roaring start with five shows - "Mahi Way", "Rishta.Com", "Powder", "Seven" and non-fiction show "Lift Kara De", Jan 1, 2009.

For an audience which was fed heavily with saas-bahu soaps, slapstick comedies, mythological sagas and rural tales, these shows seemed different - not just in their stories, but their execution, scheduling and cinematography too.

"Mahi Way" was about a fat but spirited young girl Mahi and her aspirations, "Rishta.Com" was a sweet, romantic story, while "Powder" was on a completely different tangent as it narrated a story with the backdrop of narcotic trade.

"Seven", inspired by mythology, was about seven individuals with extraordinary powers who fight a battle of good and evil, to fulfil an ancient prophecy, and "Lift Kara De" was a search for the biggest fan of 19 Bollywood stars.

The shows didn't garner record-breaking Television Rating Points (TRPs) but were appreciated by people from many quarters. In fact, according to data from Television Audience Measurement (TAM), around 25 percent of its viewership came from 15-25-year-old; so the production company is sticking to its original plan of being different.

"We didn't have the numbers but we got a huge response through other platforms like internet, e-mails and social networking sites. People used to discuss the shows on various forums. So, the plans are still the same - we still want to continue making the kind of shows we made in our first season. Perhaps it was a little too different, but a lot of it was actually very approachable and connectable," explained Kohli.

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