ABOUT THE SHOW
George Ka Pakistan is the brash, funny, hip, new show from GEO. Part reality show, part social experiment, and part documentary, Geo follows George, a British man, as he tries to settle down in Pakistan – and become a Pakistani! And to top it all off, he only has three months to become one.
George will be exploring his adopted country and its people, trying to understand the complexities of Pakistani society and to discover what it means to be a Pakistani.
And George has to do this all on his own. GEO will give him a strict budget and very little assistance. George has to try and become a Pakistani by himself. He may ask GEO for help, and GEO may provide some aid, but it will ultimately count against him. The more he can survive on his own, the better he is doing at becoming a Pakistani.
GKP also aims to explore Pakistan and its people from a westerner’s perspective as George tries to make a life for himself in Pakistan. The show will be an exploration of Pakistan’s society, culture, and religion from an outsider’s point of view. Hopefully, this will be especially important in highlighting some basic and fundamental issues that too often escape us everyday Pakistanis.
So tune in every week to see how George copes. Will he become a Pakistani? Will he settle down and live in Pakistani? Will Pakistanis accept him as one of them? Will he ever find a bus stop?
George Ka Pakistan: Every Tuesday 7:05 pm
George Fulton was born on 10th November 1977 at 8:30pm – and immediately upset his two elder sisters “if he had been born during the day they would have been allowed to miss school”. His sisters have spent the past 27 years exacting revenge on George for his tardiness.
Despite a world economic recession, the popularity of Abba, and his sisters’ wrath, George managed to survive the tail end of the seventies and early eighties, growing up in a tiny village on the Wirral peninsular. The Wirral “http://www.thisiswirral.co.uk/” is the part of the North West of England that sticks out, dividing North Wales from Liverpool.
At the age of eight, George’s parents decided to send him away to boarding school. The entire Fulton family let out a collected sigh of relief when this was announced. George packed his trunk and went off to spend the next five years at Bilton Grange Preparatory School. http://www.biltongrange.co.uk/
After Bilton Grange, George was sent even further away from his family for his secondary education - Uppingham School, Rutland http://www.uppingham.co.uk/. George thrived at Uppingham and it was here that his passion for travel, rugby and theatre awakened.
During his time at Uppingham, he took part in several school trips. He went to Uganda, where he built wells; Bolivia where he worked for CARE International and, er, to Scotland, where he acquired frost bite in his feet. A year after the collapses of the Berlin Wall, his father also managed to pack him of to Eastern Europe in the summer of 1990 to experience this part of the world before a McDonalds appeared on every street. Sadly, he was too late, and George enjoyed a Big Mac, large fries, and coke in Budapest. By the age of 16, George was traveling alone in East Africa. He had well and truly caught the travel bug!
George’s other passions at school were theatre and rugby. Being very big, George took to rugby like a duck to water –well, except less gracefully of course – ending up playing for the school 1st XV team. Whilst scrumagging and ripping people’s ears off gave George a certain physical satisfaction, it was walking the boards in the theatre that was George’s first love at school. George acted, produced and directed several plays at Uppingham, including Noises Off, Royal Hunt of the Sun and Tom Kempinski’s Duet for One. George took Duet for One up to the Edinburgh Festival where it obtained five star reviews in both The Guardian and Scotsman newspapers, and was nominated for a Fringe First award.
Having finished his A-levels, and disinclined as ever to go straight into more studying, George decided in 1997 to travel throughout Asia for a year. It was during this period that he was first mesmerized by Pakistan, traveling to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. Leaving Lahore, on a plane bound for Delhi, George vowed to return one day to the ‘land of the pure.’
The next few years were spent toiling over books and bars at Bristol University were George read History…and drank Guinness. http://www.bris.ac.uk/. Bristol was even further away from home. George graduated with a degree in History “BA Honours”.
With his whole life and career ahead of him, George was ready to grab the world with both hands and give it a big kiss. However, there was a slight problem; he didn’t have a clue as to what he wanted to do with his life. Accountancy? Too boring. The Law? Didn’t look good in wigs. Banking? Unable to handle his own finances let alone others. BCCI perhaps? Enough!
Fortunately, George was asked to become the Campaign Manager for a candidate who was standing as an MP “Member of Parliament” in the 2001 British General Election. For a year, George spent his time devising election strategies, handling the media, and canvassing on behalf of his candidate. There was only one slight problem – his candidate was a Conservative. The Labour Party won by a “second” landslide. With his candidate losing by just 668 votes – the smallest margin in the country, George just couldn’t face another four year’s of Tony Blair’s smug grin. He decided to leave the U.K.
He went to Dubai. It was here that he found his calling – journalism. He had turned from gamekeeper to poacher. The next couple of years saw George producing current affairs programming in Dubai, Pakistan and London. He produced the first series of Question Time Pakistan and HARDtalk Pakistan both for BBC World. In addition, he worked for a year in London with the BBC on the Politics Show.
George Ka Pakistan is his first appearance in front of the camera. It may also be his last. His sisters think he has a face for radio.
George is, as far as he can remember, unmarried.
Behind the camera in GKP: WHO’s WHO By George Fulton
Quite simply, without Aliya there would be no George Ka Pakistan. She is the driving force behind the programme, constantly having to juggle so many balls to ensure a smooth transition to screen. I’m not quite sure how she does it, well, actually I am – she cajoles, fights, and encourages everyone to do their best work; and when Aliya cajoles, fights and encourages, everyone listens. Her vision and hard work created George Ka Pakistan.
What can I say about Ismail? Repeatedly he pushes everyone to do his or her best work. Ever the perfectionist, he never settles for second best. The result of which is the visual feast you see on screen. The look and feel of George Ka Pakistan is all down to Ismail’s vision. We are very lucky to have such a great director on board.
Role: Associate Producer
Tasawar is the hardest working member of the team. Despite being the first to rise and the last to bed, Tasawar always brings lots of energy and a smile to the job. The unsung hero of the team, he makes everyone’s life a lot easier. During the shoots, he often acts as the assistant director, runner, wardrobe assistant, in addition to fulfilling his duties as associate producer. He is one of a kind, and considering his sense of humour, we are very fortunate that he is.
Role: Associate Producer
Arfeen is the quietest member of the team, and the scariest. He just gets on with the job in hand. On shoots, he is a very useful person to have around, except when he antagonises passers by with his menacing looks and verbal abuse.
Role: Director of Photography
Akhter is a fantastic DOP. He cranes his body into all manner of positions to get the necessary angle for the shot, often at the risk of his own safety. As a rule cameramen tend to be grumpy, and whilst Akhter has a healthy disrespect towards any ideas Ismail suggests, he still manages to always be smiling. A true gentleman.
Names: Javaid and Rahim
Role: Sound operator/Technician
Javaid and Rahim have the two most unpleasant jobs to perform – they have to carry around all the camera equipment, and one of them will always have to stick his hand into my trousers when changing my mike. Despite this hardship, they are very professional and polite and hardworking. The best thing about Javaid and Rahim is that they never complain and never get tired or hungry on shoots.
The appetite for reality TV in Pakistan is growing with networks like Geo TV and PTV both joining the party in recent weeks, the latter with a format acquired from UK indie Zeal Television.
Zeal's Dubai office is in production on the advertiser-sponsored talent show Sunsilk 21st Century Woman (13x60'), a primetime series being coproduced with Karachi-based Nucleus Entertainment for pubcaster PTV.
The SMS-based elimination show, which airs from the 28th of this month, follows 12 women undertaking various physical and lifestyle challenges in order to test whether they can live up to the title of 21st Century Woman. A car and $25k are up for grabs.
Zeal's recently-acquired creative division, The Chatterbox Partnership, devised the format, which Zeal is now looking to roll out into at least three Asian and Lat-Am territories this year.
The deal comes hot on the heels for cable channel Geo TV's series George ka Pakistan, said to be the Asian territory's first ever reality format. The show follows the progress of a British male ex-pat who tries to assimilate into the local culture in Pakistan within three months and on a tight budget.
Pakistan's hugely popular news and entertainment service Geo TV could finally be launching next month.
According to insiders at the channel, officials at Geo TV and Sky have been meeting regularly for the imminent launch of the channel on Sky Digital.
The latest we have been told is that Geo TV could be launching as soon as Monday 28th March 2005. However, this tentative date is still be finalised by Geo TV and Sky and once confirmed, we shall notify you.
Rumours of the channel launching on Sky started last year when visual and audio tests of the channel were seen off the Sky EPG for several days. However, since then the channel has been awaited eagerly by followers of Urdu news and information.
LONDON, February 11: Pakistani terrestrial PTV is set to begin airing 21st Century Woman, a creation of Zeal's The Chatterbox Partnership that was produced for Unilever’s SUNSILK hair-care brand.
The series, produced by the Karachi-based Nucleus Entertainment, is due to commence airing in a primetime slot on PTV this month. According to Zeal Television, it follows a group of 12 girls on an adventure to become modern women.
The format was created by The Chatterbox Partnership, based on a competitive pitch tendered by Broadmind–Mindshare's advertiser-funded programming unit–and Unilever. "21st Century Woman represents a new way of delivering media to global clients," said Dominique Ullmann, the content director for the Asia Pacific at Broadmind. "By creating a show which portrays the brand attributes in an integrated and sophisticated fashion we can deliver both an improved media proposition and further enhance the brand perception and message."
Zeal Television's CEO, Peter Christiansen, added, "Advertiser-funded programming has for a while been hailed as the bright future of television funding. Only recently have we seen such major brands as Unilever step up to the plate to make commitments in this fashion. In emerging markets, ‘proprietary content marketing’ is increasingly becoming a buzz word and an effective mechanism for independent producers to secure funding and commissions."
Zeal is now in format discussions to take the format to other markets in the region.
Pakistan needs more entertainment and reality shows, not to mention greater cross-border alliances, leading private network Geo TV tells Ritesh Gupta
Buoyed by a growing television advertising pie and the leadership status of its first satellite channel, Pakistan’s Jang newspaper group is set to launch two more channels targeting the country’s estimated 25 million pay-television households. The new channels – Geo Music and Geo Entertainment – join the two-year-old Geo TV soon. Although no final date has been announced, both new channels will have about 20% English-language programming, with the remainder of the schedule in Urdu. Geo TV airs predominantly Urdu programming, with a few news bulletins in English.
The Jang group’s plans are designed to capitalise on its first-mover advantage and to keep its leadership position among Pakistan’s growing number of mostly advertising-supported multichannel programmers.
Pakistan’s television advertising revenues, which started growing only with media liberalisation in 2002, are projected to increase by 8%-10% this year to touch the US$62 million-US$66 million mark. Media analysts say family entertainment and drama take about 60% of the advertising pie. News and current affairs and sports account for 25%.
Geo TV launched in August 2002 as a 24-hour Urdu news channel with “live, fast, factual news coverage” in a market that was previously monopolised by state-owned and run media. Infotainment, kids programming and entertainment were added later, but news remains the group’s speciality, says Muhammad Ali, Geo TV’s product development head. “Geo TV launched Pakistan’s first truly interactive programmes based on issues that are dearest to the nation. It did away with taboos, and stretched boundaries,” Ali adds.
Industry estimates put Geo TV’s advertising share at US$13 million-US$14 million – the highest of all local satellite channels. Insiders say this is the reward for spending on quality content and people. Geo is known to have paid 100% more than prevailing market rates in
Pakistan for top-quality content.
The stakes now are higher than they have been since Pakistan’s TV industry was liberalised. Rival Indus TV Network is launching Channel G. Indus chief executive, Ghazzanfar Ali, says Channel G will feature “music with regional values and international outlook”. The broadcaster currently airs infotainment channel I-Plus, drama channel Indus Vision and Indus Music. “Seven to nine channels are to be launched within next two years. Five to six of these will start by the end of 2004,” says Ghazzanfar.
Jaan Hay to
Johaan, Geo TV
In addition, Momal Production is gearing up to launch drama channel Eye TV, and newspaper company, the Century Publications Group, is planning to introduce a news channel called Express TV.
Regional channels such as Star Plus Pakistan, Sony Entertainment Television Asia also claim their share of Pakistan’s multichannel audiences.
“We consider ourselves to be competing mainly with international competitors, with the likes Star Plus as an aspirational set, whereas local channels that could be comparable include ARY and Indus,” says Geo TV’s Ali.
Geo TV’s Ali says the industry needs more entertainment and reality-based shows with improved production standards, an increased talent pool and cross-border alliances. Currently, Geo TV has a production team of 625 members, who handle news content and the majority of other shows. Some entertainment content is commissioned from independent producers such as A. Bajwa and Humanyun Saeed. As Geo uplinks out of Dubai, it is able to source production from Indian studios; at the same time, the location means the company has to seek special permission to air live shows out of Pakistan.
Geo TV has launched its own slate of serials. These include daily serial Jo Baat Ghar Mein Hai and one from Humanyun Saeed Productions. Ali says The production budgets vary from US$6,000-US$10,000 per half-hour episode.
Since the advent of satellite channels, primetime has stretched from 90 minutes to almost four and a half hours. “We air entertainment shows from 8pm to 9pm and then switch over to news and current affairs,” says Ali.
The free-to-air satellite channels in Pakistan such as Geo TV, Indus and ARY Digital, depend solely upon advertising revenues. Ali says revenue expansion depends upon “increased presence, enhanced product line-up, segment development, content synergy, customised concepts, along with improved new look on-screen.”
Ali feels the launch of private channels has opened options for advertisers in terms of better use of their funds, segmentation and genres. “For advertisers, private channels help in offering rather precise strategies for reaching out to audiences in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. While state-run PTV charges US$2,630 per 60-seconds, Geo TV charges US$1,000,” says Ali.
Among Geo TV’s top advertisers are financial services companies, the photography industry, and automobiles, as well as corporate image enhancement campaigns. The broadcaster feels a new set of advertisers, such as local supermarkets and clients from the telecommunication industry, have aggressively taken to advertising on private channels.
Ali isn’t counting on Pakistan-based distribution revenue so far. Instead, he says, the next potential growth opportunity is international distribution. At the moment, Geo has distribution in the UK ,US,UAE,KSA. “We are planning to expand to other countries as well,” Ali says. Among his target markets is neighbouring India, China, Malaysia although Ali offers no timetable beyond “ultimately”.
A forum community dedicated to skyscrapers, towers, highrises, construction, and city planning enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about structures, styles, reviews, scale, transportation, skylines, architecture, and more!