Harsh Rohatgi has been a key member of the management team of Imagine since its inception. He earlier held the position of EVP – Revenue Management and New Ventures. Turner General Entertainment Networks India Ltd., as a part of their restructuring move, has promoted Harsh as the Head – Content and Communication of its flagship Hindi GEC, Imagine TV with immediate effect.
Here is Harsh Rohatgi in an exclusive conversation with TellyBuzz..
How is it to head the team at Imagine?
It's pretty good. I am gearing up for the challenge.
What are the plans ahead for you and your team?
There will be no radical change as such. It is just that we will have a change in the way in which we approach things. We will be working more on the daily fiction shows. We will see new and interesting plots coming. We will continue to work with the top production houses like Balaji Telefilms, Sphere Origin, BBC etc. We want to maintain an edge when it comes to innovative non reality shows, and good fiction concepts.
Can you give us few examples?
We have Desi Girl coming shortly, which is a good example of cross pollinating ideas. It is an interesting show that will bring together the urban and rural set ups. In the next five weeks, we should be launching two good fiction shows. We also have a reality show coming, which is based on the lines of a show aired in the Turner channel in Korea.
How has IPL affected the viewership of Imagine programs?
IPL has affected all channels equally. Set Max had a GRP of above 450 during IPL, and I believe that more than 250 GRPs came from the GEC viewers. I would say that, Imagine lost nearly 10-12% viewership during this time.
Imagine has always come up with innovative concepts when it comes to non fiction. What's your take on it?
Well, audience is willing to watch newer concepts, and we are ready to experiment. That's what I would say.
Do you think that the second season of Swayamvar featuring Rahul Mahajan created less buzz when compared to Rakhi Sawant?
It's not like that. The timing was also different this time when compared to the last season. Even then, there was an overall buzz about the show, and we had reactions coming in.
Are you now planning a third season of Swayamvar on Imagine?
Yes, talks are certainly on with few people.
Is it that the cricketers are being targeted this time?
I would not comment on it, as we are talking to many people as of now.
Tell us something about Desi Girl?
Desi Girl is again a good concept. We will see some great interaction between the urban and rural people. It's a fun show, and will be interesting to watch.
When is Desi Girl to launch?
Desi Girl will launch on 21st May. It is a weekend show, and will air every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The concept is for 8 weeks.
Imagine has seen a lot of item girls like Rakhi Sawant, Kashmera Shah, Sambhavna etc being offered limelight. Is this intentional to grab more eye balls?
They are TV's friendly characters, isn't it?
How is your present fiction line up doing?
We are doing really well. We have some top shows like Bandini, Jyoti, Do Hanson Ka Jodaa. We have two relatively new shows in Kashi and Jamunia which will take time to get a hold on the audience.
Which according to you is the best fiction show on your channel?
Bandini of course!!
We have heard that a sequel of Kitani Mohabbat Hai is being planned. So can you update us about the plans?
Yes, the show is being brought back, courtesy fans' demand. The show is now in its planning stage.
Your GRP's have always remained between the 90- 100 GRP mark. How do you see it progressing?
In another few weeks' time, we should get to that 120+ mark. With the introduction of new programs, we will surely want to push the mark further ahead.
There has been a trend observed wherein, the channel gets a push in GRPs only when the reality shows are on. Will you not want more consistency coming from the fiction shows when it comes to ratings?
Yes, this is one reason why we have now decided that all our reality shows will be getting weekend slots, rather than daily slots. We will not disturb the fiction line-up from now to accommodate non fiction shows. This is why we have placed Desi Girl at the weekend slot.
What is the next objective when it comes to Imagine?
We will want to reach the 200+ GRP mark first, and take things from there..
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh