After Sony now it is the turn of Zee Television to announce new programming initiatives. In the press conference in Mumbai, Zee elaborated on its programming run up for the coming months. Well actually three new serials, a series on theatre once in a month and the old blockbuster Antakshri will be in a new format.
'Babul Ki Duwayen Leti Jaa' on air every Mon-Fri at 10.15 PM is a emotional and social soap which revolves around five girls who are very close to each other. The story is about their dreams and what they manage to realise. The serial is produced by Shobhana Desai and directed by Aziz Khan, Satish Rajavade and Kamal Moonga.
Another new prime time serial is 'Ittefaq' launches erstwhile superstar Rajesh Khanna on the small screen. It is a story of people who are strong-willed but at the same time vulnerable and emotional. The serial is produced by Pawan Kumar and Sanjiv Narang and directed by Indrajit.
The fantasy of Arabian nights will come to viewers in the form of 'Thief of Baghdad' on every Wednesday at 8:30 PM. It is produced by Reena Wadhwa of Karnik Communications and directed by Vijay Pandey. The outdoor shooting is being done in Jodhpur palace in Rajasthan to give the feel of Baghdad.
Considerable attention has been provided towards special effects, which is the heart of any fantasy serial. Even though the name of the serial seems to be suggestive of a children's serial it is meant for all age groups.
"From two year olds to 80 year olds are our target viewers," replied Reena Wadhwa when asked.
The real innovative programme is 'Rangshala', which covers theatre activities. On the last Saturday of every month it will show a drama on the small screen. The dramas will be selected from theatre groups all over India.
The shooting will be done on stage only, but will not be continuous. Veteran theatre and film artist A.K.Hangal said that the new initiative will definitely help theatre rather than hampering it, it will be interesting to see how theatre people adapt to television.
Answering on the expected TRPs and Advertising revenue on 'Rangshala', R.K.Singh, CEO Zee TV said that not all programming is done taking into account revenue generation. "It is our endeavour to give something unique and creative. "
Talking on the overall programming strategy he said it is our continuous efforts to give new and innovative things to viewers. In eight years of programming on Zee, utmost care has always been taken to give entertainment and information of all kind and colour to society in the most holistic and composite way. As far as the cost of programming and the expected revenue is concerned Singh replied that cost forms percentage of revenue. Initially the cost will be high but revenues will follow later.
The Good old Antakshari will be in a new format with the slogan "Come, Play and Win the big money of Rs 1,28,00,000." The aim of the new improved programme is to appeal to all segments of society, with higher amount of prizes. Anu Kapoor and Rajeshwari Sachdev will now anchor the show.