DELHI: Taking a leaf from Star Plus, rival Hindi general entertainment
channel Zee TV has decided to simulcast the mythological epic
'Ramayan' on pubcaster Doordarshan.
TV will try to exploit the time zone Star Plus had created
on Sunday mornings at 11 with its Aamir Khan television debut
show Satyamev Jayate. Zee senses an opportunity
as Star Plus has just replaced 'Satyamev Jayate' with 'Lakhon
Mein EK', the debut ratings of which will be known next week.
For Doordarshan, the continuity of the Sunday morning content
with big properties from the two leading broadcasters stays.
After 'Satyamev Jayate' ended its run on 29 July, the pubcaster
will get to telecast 'Ramayan' that had created history on
its network in the late eighties with an older version from
the same producers.
gets to air the prime Sunday morning properties of Star and
Zee without playing any role in its conception. For the private
broadcasters, the obvious strategy is to aggregate audiences
and expand reach for these different kind of shows. This is
the first time the mythology will run simultaneously on a
private satellite channel and India's national broadcaster.
The airing of Ramayan will be interesting to observe in terms
of the impact it leaves behind on the pubcaster," says
a media analyst.
will start on the two channels from 12 August. The new remake
of the epic serial is being made by Sagar Arts, the same production
house which produced the series on DD and Imagine TV. Ramanand
Sagars granddaughter Meenakshi is the producer of the
this is Zee TVs second attempt to bring this mythological
series to its viewers. Earlier, the channel had aired Ramayan,
produced by BR Chopra, in 2002. Forming part of Zee TV's revamp
strategy under the then CEO of the network Sandeep Goyal,
the show bombed.
TV also launched with Ramayan as its flagship property in
2008. But after an initial strong burst, the show petered
out and went off air in 2009.
ready for its fourth run on Indian television, the 'new' Ramayan
will use social networking websites to connect with the younger
generation. Needfully so. There is a growing young population
in today's India and audiences are fragmented and segmented
with television offering plenty of entertainment choices.
the first time, we will see Ramayan tapping social media.
Earlier in 2008, this opportunity was not there to connect
with the new generation. So let's see how the younger generation
take to a mythology that is so deep rooted in our culture,"
says Subhajit Das Mohapatra, a researcher in sociology.
the first serial directed by Ramanand Sagar was telecast on
Doordarshan almost three decades ago in 1987, the common man
on the street had begun to worship the actors Arun Govil and
Deepika as Ram and Sita.
TV has, thus, kept the names of the lead actors under wraps.
Explains Ajay Bhalwankar, Head-Content, Hindi GECs at Zee
TV, "Viewers should venerate Ram and Sita and not the
BR Chopra's Ramayan, Nitish Bharadwaj and Smriti Irani played
the roles of Ram and Sita. Imagine TV, on the other hand,
had Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee play the main characters
these two versions didn't fare well, the lead actors couldn't
grow into iconic figures. Also, Arun Govil and Deepika were
Ram and Sita in a different age of Indian society," says
by Moti Sagar, the new version will have TV artiste Neil Bhatt
play Lakshman's (Ram's brother) character, while Rishabh Shukla
and Shikha Swaroop will perform the roles of King Dashrath
(father of Ram) and Kaikeyi (wife of Dashrath) respectively.
The timeless classic based on Tulsidas Ramcharitmanas
is still relevant in contemporary times and will use newer
technology and special effects to provide wholesome entertainment
and message to the entire family, right from grandparents
says there is a sea change in the kind of technology and graphics
that are used in the latest version of Ramayan. "The
scale is going to be really huge and state-of-the-art this
time. It has been shot in HD," he adds.
language has been simplified so that todays generation
is able to understand and learn from it.
story will be similar to what my grandfather had shown. Nothing
new can be included in the story, but the presentation will
definitely be different. The technology is much better today
and we have worked on a lot of details of the characters,