Earlier this month, Indian kids broadcaster Sony YAY! announced a fresh content line-up for its would-be-next flagship show after Honey Bunny ka Jholmaal, Paap-O-Meter. According to the channel, the horror comedy has received great response from the younger audience and thus Sony YAY! decided to ramp up this animated property.
Sony YAY! business head Leena Lele Dutta told AnimationXpress, “We have recently added a significant bank of fresh episodes of Paap-O-Meter which has received a phenomenal response. We are also planning the release of the first Paap-O-Meter movie in the coming months.”
Paap-O-Meter had been active on Sony YAY!’s content slate but had limited bridge space in the last three years, unlike Honey Bunny Ka Jholmaal and other shows on the channel, as Sony YAY! Programming head Ronojoy Chakraborty mentioned in a recent interaction.
Said Chakraborty, “Paap-O-Meter always had an audience, a loyal one in fact, but it had very limited bridge space compared to the other programmes because of its subject which was very unique and one-of-a-kind in this genre in the Indian kids space. With it, we wanted to create a paradigm shift in the minds of kids that ghosts are always not horrific creatures, but friendly at times. For the past three years Paap-O-Meter has done so well that we wanted to ramp up the production and provide more of it to our young viewers.”
Sony YAY! also carried out a research, through direct interaction with kids and found that the characters that Paap-O-Meter – Bhoot-boss and Thakela-Pakela are very popular amongst kids and so the channel decided to expand the IP.
Speaking about the ideation of the show and characters, Chakraborty noted, “We always initiate from the point of an insight that we have gathered from focused groups. So, the insights coming from the kids from our IPs, we gather them and try to channelise in our content and that’s usually the beginning of any conceptualisation. For Paap-O-Meter, we wanted a funny, entertaining horror comedy show full of values, but without being preachy. So, the characters had to be friendly looking even if they’re ghosts and not unpleasant to kids. We didn’t want the three characters to look inhuman from any perspective so that was the initial starting point. Then we started designing those characters and consciously gave them human characteristics so that kids could relate to Thakela-Pakela’s fun banters or the Bhoot-boss strong principles. We also wanted to come up with other-worldly yet funny and relatable names for the character which would instantly connect with out target audience. So everything was designed in such a way that kids will experience a new world altogether. We kept all of these things in mind when we decided to bring new episodes. The show has a lot of underlined morality along with entertainment so we had to be calculated in that sense.”
Sony YAY! has maximum of its projects commissioned to animation studios in Kolkata. Ssoftoons was initially working on Paap-O-Meter, but since the kids channel owns the IPs, while ramping up the production of the show, they commissioned work to different studios as well.
Wackytoon Animation studio, also based out of Kolkata, work on Honey Bunny Ka Jholmaal and they too continued to provide fresh episodes and tele-movies even during COVID imposed lockdown. As animation as a medium doesn’t ask for live shooting, the content pipeline kept flowing. Hi-Tech is another animation studio that does service work for the channel.
For the Paap-O-Meter, new half an hour episodes will have two stories of the 11 minute format, and the channel is also producing a longer version of 45 minutes as a telemovie. The Sony YAY! team will extend its stories in order to engage kids in a better way with new adventures and fun.
COVID couldn’t disrupt Sony YAY!’s summer plans of new episodes or content and campaign line-up as they had planned much earlier. Added Chakraborty, “We generally keep a bank of episodes for our incoming months and we plan early. So for summer 2020, we had started planning around October 2019 because animation takes time to be created, produced and aired so a nine to 10 month cycle is always followed for animation. But I appreciate the studios who have been our partners for a long time now and have been managing to produce episodes, despite the challenges, including the super cyclone Amphan.”
Sony YAY! is also experimenting with new pilots, ideas and plots gathered through research and observations, a couple of which are ready and will probably see the light of the day soon. Details are still kept under wraps and the channel said that they’ll get back to us soon. So, till then stay tuned and stay safe!