On January 1, almost every leading Hindi general entertainment channel stated it was ready with fiction and non-fiction content for the first six months of the year. They even claimed that they would take the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) head on with their programming line-up. But now, only three shows across 10 leading channels are scheduled to launch alongside the tournament —Dance India Dance, Li’l Masters Season Two and Phir Subah Hogi on Zee TV, and Kairi on Colors.
Most channels plan to hold on to their big-ticket shows until the televised cricketing extravaganza ends on May 27. A few have already launched or plan to begin their new prime soaps and reality shows before the tournament flags off on April 4 at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium. For instance, Chhal will go on air on Monday, March 19, on Colors, and Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar will be aired from March 31 onwards on Star Plus.
However, there are more than a dozen films ready to release between April 4 and May 27. Among the leading titles are the Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 2, John Abraham’s first production, Vicky Donor, and Karisma Kapoor’s comeback vehicle Dangerous Ishq.
TV channels afraid of cricket?
For the first time, Zee TV is launching a show, Dance India Dance Li’l Masters 2, during the tournament. “We’ve also launched other big serials recently. There will be high points in the storyline to see us through,” says Akash Chawla of Zee TV.
Prashant Bhatt of Colors adds, “We launch shows depending on the requirement. So, why the ruckus around IPL?”