Television

Crest Communications targets launch of six serials in 2001

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Mumbai-based Crest Communications, a fairly new entrant into the the television serial business, has set itself a target of having six programmes on air before the end of 2001.

Crest, which is better known for its 2-D and 3-D animation and graphics services, will be focussing its programming towards providing quality entertainment for the whole family, according to AK Madhavan, senior vice-president, international business.

At present Crest is working on the pilot of a gameshow for children which will have a high level of interactivity as well as technological innovation, Madhavan says.

An idea being explored is to use phone lines not only for calling in but also to allow a participant to play using the keys on his phone instrument as a game console, says Madhavan. For this, Crest is in contact with national telephone services provider MTNL, he adds.

Madhavan said of the six projects they were planning, two will be high quality products with the kind of production values seen in the critically acclaimed TV series Malgudi Days.

The other four would be your average bread and butter variety of soaps and sitcoms, the kind which were proliferating across the small screen at present, Madhavan said.

Queried on the costs involved, Madhavan said the top rung series would cost in the region of Rs 600,000 per half hour episode while the other four would cost between Rs 200,000 and Rs 300,000 per half hour episode.

Three Crest programmes have aired on TV till date. They are "Mere Angane Mein", a sitcom on Sony Entertainment Television; "Meri Marzi", a chat show for "tweens" (nine to 14-year-olds) on Doordarshan Metro. And "Purush Kshetra" on Zee TV which was hosted by Kiron Kher and modelled on the lines of Oprah Winfrey's celebrated talk show.

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