A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature
By Tanmay Shukla
The general standards of the current Indian Television shows, specially fiction, is not very high. Unlike Bollywood, where there is a gradual shift in trend, the silver screen is slowly descending into oblivion with its obsolete thinking. Reality shows are more favourable. With the rise in OTT (Over-the-top) applications and services like Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime, Netflix and obviously the pervasive YouTube, not just the current but also the techno-friendly older generations looking for better content are also switching from the stale cable TV to something fresh and in accord with their tastes.
Sony Pictures Networks (SPN, India) and BBC Worldwide have joined hands to launch a new channel Sony BBC Earth which has arrived at the scene just in time, like a saviour. In Grand Hyatt Mumbai, SPN CEO NP Singh and BBC Worldwide President of Global Markets, Paul Dempsey were present among other important people for the formal launch of the channel which will be on-air from 6th March onwards, staring at 20:00 Hrs. Singer Anushka Manchanda started off the evening with a couple of songs, an original by Ram Sampath and Celine Dion’s I’m alive, complimenting the theme and channel tag line ‘Feel Alive’.
The face of the launch campaign and channel’s brand ambassador, Kareena Kapoor Khan soon arrived and shared her thoughts. About being the face of the channel, she was glad for being given the opportunity; she didn’t need to think twice when she saw the content. She is also a huge fan of Sir David Attenborough and his presentation style, with whom she had grown up admiring. On Saif’s question as to why wasn’t he chosen, she quickly retorted saying he lacks the ‘glamour’. When asked about her role as the face of Sony BBC Earth, she replied that it is our responsibility to spread happiness and positive stories. Factual Entertainment genre need not be restricted to pretty pictures and general information, rather it needed to be narrated in stories, stories which are humane, relatable and inspire hope. The story which she liked in particular was Snow Chick--A Penguin’s tale which is narrated by Kate Winslet in which we witness the battling journey of a penguin in the Antarctic from birth to adolescence. She said that the struggle and hardships were relatable, metaphorically speaking, and she could connect with the adventure. She is also looking forward to see Planet Earth Season II. She revealed that she craves wildlife adventure and is an ardent lover of natural history. She recalled one such encounter in Ranthambore, where she described her experience of staring at a tiger up close as ‘surreal’. It was her ‘Feel Alive’ moment. While shooting the channel promo, she felt at ease.
NP Singh was confident that Sony BBC Earth will be ‘a major player in its category’. Saurabh Yagnik, EVP and Business Head, SPN called Kareena Kapoor Khan ‘full of life’ and her demeanour ‘blends with what the channel and its content stands for’. For him, the ‘Feel Alive’ theme captures the emotion of ‘subliminal happiness’ which viewers experiences when they consume their content. Paul Dempsey stressed the long relationship between the two media giants and concluded after a deep research to serve the high quality BBC Earth programmes to new audience of India hungry for factual entertainment.
The shows which will be on-air from 6th of March are Why, How & What on Earth which is a sci-tech show, Wild Wild Earth which is dedicated to wildlife, and Earth Explores which showcases adventurous human journeys airing at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm respectively.
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