The COVID imposed lockdown has witnessed tremendous increase in TV and online VOD consumption. As summer vacations arrived much earlier for kids and has been quite a lengthy one, the younger audience also contributed largely to the percentage and numbers of TV viewership as per reports. Sony YAY!, a popular kids channel, has also seen a significant surge in viewership through its flagship animated IP, Honey Bunny Ka Jholmaal followed by the now revamped Paap-O-Meter. Sony YAY! business head Leena Lele Dutta told AnimationXpress, “Our Key show – Honey Bunny ka Jholmaal has seen a significant jump in GRPs during the summer months. The show occupies close to 50 to 70 per cent of our programming grid. We have also recently added a significant bank of fresh episodes of Paap-O-Meter which has received a phenomenal response too. We are also planning the release of the first Paap-O-Meter movie in the coming months.” Sony YAY! has added brand new episodes on both the shows and is now pushing Paap-O-Meter with more engaging and entertaining episodes and tele movies. Dutta also added that this ghost comedy would be their next focused property and they are working extensively on it. “With Paap-O-Meter, we have introduced this unique concept of friendly ghosts which was loved by young fans across the country. With kids’ demand for more, we are very excited to launch the new episodes and first time tele movies. Movies are a very different format from the episodes as similar story plots are created for two very different time durations – 45 minutes and 11 minutes,” she added. Paap-O-Meter is first of its kind in the genre of local animated horror comedies, and to entice kids, with one of their favourite genres which is somewhat non existent on Indian television, is the primary reason behind the launch of the show. Many sectors are either being disrupted or shut completely for the time being, due to the lockdown. Fortunately, animation was still kicking unlike others, and hence it was not much of a challenge to get new episodes for Sony YAY! Dutta also revealed that they had planned for the summer quite early, and their on-ground activations and new episodes were planned for late March and early April. Dutta further noted, “We did not anticipate anything like the current scenario and have been dealing with every challenge as it comes. With the changed environment, we changed the approach entirely to serving entertainment and engagement to kids at home. With all the time that kids’ have on their hands, the screen times has increased and hence we took upon ourselves to create various avenues to keep them engaged, entertained and educated.” The animators and artists worked from home and made sure that their output was sent to the channel. Even the dubbing artists worked respectively from their homes during the lockdown to meet the needs. So the YAY! team was in a position to put their pipeline in place and make necessary arrangements with the management to make sure that episode bank is available on time. Dutta informed, “While on the screen, the show went on, Super Cyclone Amphan posed another huge challenge in our endeavour to serve seamless entertainment to our audience, since most of our content is sourced from production houses in Kolkata. In this time of need, all of us got together where animators and artists actually worked from home and helped us deliver. With this joint effort, we had our pipeline in place to keep the content bank coming in. Nevertheless, in the entire category we were the only channel which had new episodes of Honey Bunny on air from the time we actually had scheduled, coinciding with summer vacations.” The channel also has additional plans for the animated characters and IPs, and we’ll be back with more information and details soon! So, stay tuned!