CHURCHILL SHOW: In the broadcast industry where success is measured through viewership, bragging rights are often acquired through popular programmes. These are shows that attract as many eyeballs and keep audiences glued to their screens during prime segment between 7pm and 10pm.
This is the most competitive stretch of TV viewership with most people in their homes and every station puts its best foot forward. In this battle field you will find Mexican soaps, abrasive talk-shows and locally produced comedies dominating. It’s a ferocious jungle where survival is for the boldest and richest TV station in terms of programming.
In what reads like a David verses Goliath duel, NTV, one of the big four TV stations in Kenya has lost the battle for Churchill Show, arguably the most popular stand-up comedy in Kenya, to TV47, a new entrant in the TV market. It is understood that TV47, which is associated with MKU chairman Prof Simon Gicharu, is on the verge of signing a deal with Laugh Industries to have the Churchill Show on its side.
Someone familiar with the talks informs BT that the two parties have agreed in principle and what remains is “a bit of paper work” to formalize the agreement. Already, the launch has been tentatively been slated for 19th March 2022. Churchill Show will start preparations in early March at Mount Kenya University (MKU), a sister institution to Cape Media, which owns TV47.
For Churchill Show, the TV47 deal is a new lease of life from the arm-twisting by NTV’s parent company, Nation Media Group, over revenue sharing and the cost of producing the show. NMG is known for penny-pinching and very particular when it comes to footing costs without a decent return.
Churchill Show is headlined by comedian Daniel Ndambuki aka ‘Churchill’ who thrives on a montage of jokes and satirical stunts from various comedians. In fact, the show has a new director, Mr Leonard Kitili, after the exit of celebrated music producer and videographer, J. Blessing.
Churchill Show is certainly a big catch for TV47, considered the fastest growing TV station in Kenya. First it will likely bring in a youthful audience to the station which will hopefully be converted into the young station’s permanent fans. Secondly, wresting the show from NTV makes TV47 look big and a force to reckon with.
As it transitions to a new home, Churchill Show managers will content with the changing tastes of audiences. Before it was terminated on NTV there was a feeling of monotony about the show rendered in a near similar fashion without significant freshness and creativity.
Besides, getting comedians may prove hard as social media (YouTube and Tiktok) has provided easy forums for comedians to showcase their talent and earn from it. Talking of pay, Churchill had come into sharp focus for underpaying comedians and that too will be an area that should be ironed out to give the show a longer stay and more relevance at a time when comedy has been liberalised by social media.