Television

Zee denies scrapping 16 serials

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Zee Telefilms on Friday denied press reports that it planned to drop 16 serials currently airing on the channel. 





Sainath Aiyar, Head Corporate Communications, said there was no substance in the reports that said Zee was dropping the serials in an effort to get the punch back in its programme selection. 





Falling ratings and the bad press and legal headaches surrounding the suspension of its failed game show Sawaal Dus Crore Ka (SDCK) have pushed Zee on the defensive and Aiyar was quite outraged by the number of 'uncorroborated' reports about the beleaguered channel which were circulating.

Indiatelevision.com put it to Aiyar that the lead time the channel had given itself to correct the inherent flaws in SDCK was way too short. It was pointed out to him that Jeeto Chappar Phaad Ke, Sony's answer to Star TV's Kaun Banega Crorepati gameshow, had been in gestation since August for a planned January release. According to press reports, the new avatar of SDCK is scheduled to go on air in the first week of January. Aiyar clarified that the new show would only be aired when the Zee team felt confident of its having the strength to sustain itself and that could be anytime in January, not necessarily in the first week.

Mumbai's Mid-Day newspaper reported on Friday that the show was likely to finally reappear with a new name attached - Aao Chakkar Chalayen. As for who will host the show, the names doing the rounds other than Ashutosh Rana are: Dilip Kumar, Feroz Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Madhuri Dixit.

Will the new improved SDCK really see the light of day in January? Or will Zee cut its losses and give the show a quiet burial? That is the real 'sawaal dus crore kA (Rs10 crore question).

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