Exclusive: Airlines will offer something never seen before: Miditech's Nikhil Alva
Television audiences are always on the lookout for differentiated programming across genres; right from GEC’s to film channels and from lifestyle & entertainment to kids; ‘something new’ is always the key word. However, the Hindi GEC space is usually the most complex place to be as far as content is concerned. While saas-bahu sagas are taking the back-seat as audience choice, more real, concept driven stories are now being welcomed by viewers.
Taking cue from here is Miditech, which launched their new show Airlines, over the weekend on Star Plus. The television production house has numerous shows to its credit and a legacy of over 20 years of existence. Today, Miditech is recognized for its work across a wide spectrum of genres including fiction, factual programming, documentaries, reality, drama, sports, lifestyle and children’s entertainment and has produced over 9000 hours of programming and has won over 90 national and international awards.
Touted to be the differentiator in weekend programming, Airlines comes across as a challenging drama series that aims to set new Indian benchmarks for storytelling, character development, special effects, set building and production values. It has also collaborated with Pixion to give the viewer’s unmatched graphics and visual effects. The show will mark the bravery and the daring attitude of a woman pilot, where each episode will pose a fresh challenge and promises to take viewers into the protagonist’s new world of adventure, action, intrigue and drama, making it a fast paced thriller.
In an exclusive conversation with Adgully, Nikhil Alva, Co-Founder and CEO, Miditech shared insights about their newly launched show Airlines.
Speaking about the thought behind the conceptualization of Airlines, Alva said, “The Airline industry is an exciting backdrop against which to set a work place drama given it has interesting characters , a constantly changing cast of passengers and as much action on the ground as in the air. Besides, it’s seen as glamorous and aspirational. Thousands of young people from across the country are employed in the Airline industry today. Besides, low cost airlines have attracted millions of new flyers. So it's no longer an elite service, but pretty much accessible to middle class India. Besides, the story of Ananya, is the story of a woman in a predominantly man's world and her fight against discrimination and stereo types. This central idea resonates with women across the country and consequently makes our show accessible and mass”.
Almost 7 years back, the production house had offered - Choona Hai Aasmaan on Star One (channel from Star Network). Sharing his thoughts on drawing comparisons to the between the two shows, Alva said, “There is no comparison between both the shows. Choona Hai Aasmaan was a daily soap, set against the backdrop of life in the Airforce. Airlines, is the story of a female commercial pilot, in a man's world and her fight against discrimination and stereo types. Also, Airline is a finite series as oppose to the other one”.
Airlines is set to have a finite shelf-life of 26 episodes in the first season, while Alva firmly states more season in store. Speaking about the characters and the story-line of the show, he said, “Airline is the first television drama finite series of this scale being produced entirely in Delhi. As mentioned above the central character in this show is Ananya (Tulip Joshi) and the show will portray her journey from the world of gender discrimination to the modern and glamorous aviation industry. Each episode will pose a fresh challenge and promises to take viewers into the protagonist’s new world of adventure, action, intrigue and drama, making it a fast paced thriller”.
While we believe that a Sunday 9.00 pm is already a competitive slot to launch a new show of this kind, Alva believes that all slots across Hindi GEC's at prime time are highly competitive. “We believe, Airline will hold its own against any competition and prove to be a winner. Also, we are looking at targeting family audiences in general and Male and Female viewers in the 15 to 35 age group, more specifically, across all Hindi speaking markets”, he added.
The look and feel of the show indicates an attempt to approach the show like an International property and would be treated also the same way. Sharing his thoughts on the same Alva said, “No expense has been spared to pitch this show at a scale not seen before on Indian television. The aircraft set and Special FX are truly world class. The show has a look and feel unlike anything else on television. By producing it in Delhi as opposed to Mumbai, we have managed to give the show a very distinct and well differentiated look”.
Airlines has roped in Fortune as its title sponsor along with Ariel and Havells as the co-powered sponsors. Sofy Body Fit, Parachute Advanced, Colgate Visible White, Maybelline, askmebazaar.com, Exterior Main and Maggi are the associate sponsors. [By Ranjana Gupta| Twitter: @RGrightsreserve]