Television

Zee English looking to innovate through unusual programming

MUMBAI: A darkly funny drama involving death! A gay man and a straight woman whose relationship constantly blows hot and cold! Sex and married life from the male perspective! These are a few of the unusual programme initiatives that Zee English will unveil over the next few months.

Addressing a press briefing this afternoon, business head Zee English Ajay Trigunayat said that the channel would be launching two new shows on 20 January. Will & Grace will air at 10:30 pm followed by The Mind of the Married Man at 11 pm every Monday. In April the channel will start airing HBO's Six Feet Under and MGM's She Spies.

Trigunayat said: "The channel was conceived with the aim of being the ideal window to the west. We are constantly looking to balance mass and superlative programmes. Of course a programme like Friends crosses that line. We are aiming to reinforce the platform through finest comedy in the form of Will & Grace and finest drama in the form of Six Feet Under.

The Mind of the Married Man is in keeping with our oven fresh approach. In America it has completed just 20 episodes. She Spies and Hidden Hills, which we will kick off in May are still in their first season in the US. We are also aiming to reduce the gestation period between the telecast dates in the US and India."

What gives a new spin to Will & Grace from the NBC stable is that Will played by Eric McCormack is a gay lawyer who came out of the closet in 1985. He is having an emotional relationship with Debra Messing who plays Grace an interior designer who is straight as an arrow. "It deals with imperfect companionship which is valid in this day and age. It gives audiences a break from the relentless fare of women oriented sitcoms and soaps," Trigunayat says. The sitcom has been recognised as a powerful antidote to homophobia. This year the show earned 13 Emmy nominations. It combines the perkiness of Friends with the urbane wit of Seinfeld.

The Mind of the Married Man takes a funny look at the challenges of a modern day marriage from a male perspective. How three married men survive in marriage forms the core of the story. The show stars Mike Binder, M Emmet Walsh, Brigitte Bako.

As for the other programme initiatives are concerned Trigunayat said, "Six Feet Under has plenty of dark situational humour. We had booked the property a while back but were initially hesitant about bringing it into the Indian market. However we are confident that while some people will be turned off others will gradually get hooked into it. It fits in with our aim to offer viewers superlative programmes and not just shows that appeal to a general audience. The show will air once a week and we will have a trial period of six-seven episodes. This will give us an idea as to the kind of feedback the show is receiving."



The show has been written by Alan Ball who won an Oscar three years ago for writing the screenplay of American Beauty. It takes a look at a dysfunctional family who own and operate an independent funeral home. The patriarch Nathaniel Fisher passes away as the show opens. Much like the Oscar winning film what emerges in the show which stars Australian actress Rachel Griffiths is a quirky and at times even disturbing portrait of a resilient American family.

Also present at the briefing was Cutting Edge Media's Rohinton Malloo who said that the channel had managed to pull off a coup. He hinted that HBO (India) may not be aware that Zee English would air its show Six Feet Under. He also said that the channel was using the Internet as a way to spread awareness. Sponsors roped in for the two shows in January include Telco and ITC Foods.

Trigunayat continued elaborating on the programming strategy thus, "She Spies is a blend of masala and action. Since it comes from MGM the company responsible for James Bond one can expect a lot of dry martini wit. It is a spoof on the spy genre and is therefore not merely run of the mill action fare. It stars Natasha Hensridge of Species fame." At the start of the show the three women are criminals. They then work for the FBI which had put them behind bars. 'Bad girls gone good' is theme of this babelicious fare.

" We will continue to build on our existing fare. Seinfeld is currently in its last season. Next month as a tribute we will air The Best of Seinfeld which will be a collection of the most memorable episodes. The third season of The Soprano's and the second season of The West Wing will air from April." Trigunayat said.

On the viewership front Trigunayat said that the channel reaches 45 million people. Besides SEC A A lot of SEC B has started tuning in. Cadbury's had run a campaign for 'Temptations' of unique content channels and the good offtake received would not have been possible without SEC B tuning in.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/fox.jpg?itok=qeI4K472
Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets, cedes prize to Disney

The fierce bidding war between Comcast and Disney has finally ended with the former dropping out of the race to gobble up the prized 21st Century Fox assets. Comcast will now shift its focus towards sealing the Sky deal.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/manish.jpg?itok=C8nj-8lv
ZEEL elevates Manish Aggarwal as business head of Zee5 India

In a recent development, Manish Aggarwal has been elevated as business head of Zee5 India, the OTT platform of Zee Entertainment Enterprise (ZEEL).

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/sun.jpg?itok=WiSZrCfI
Sun Life enters Tamil market in BARC week 28

Sun Life, the movie channel by Sun TV Network came as a new entrant this week after Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) released its ratings for week 28.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/colors.jpg?itok=MxJ0xDqt
Colors Gujarati to launch a dance reality show ‘Naach Maari Saathe’

Colors Gujarati is all set to bring a dance show named Naach Maari Saathe. The show which will hit the small screen from 23 July will have Hitu Kanodia, Vyoma Nandi and Neerav Bavlecha as the judges.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/zee.jpg?itok=EWutot3J
Brahmagantu’s Gundamma to emerge on Zee Kannada’s DKD

Zee Kannada, creating the best entertainment programmes, has become a household name for quality entertainment.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/aaj-tak.jpg?itok=HpO81NsY
BARC Week 28 : Aaj Tak leads Hindi news genre

The Broadcast Audience Research Council data for week 28 showed Republic TV continuing to dominate the English news genre, whereas Aaj Tak led in Hindi genre. Meanwhile, News Nation stepped down to fourth position in Hindi news genre.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/kum.jpg?itok=LjXpL4vc
Zee Anmol maintains lead in Hindi GEC (U+R) in BARC week 28

Zee Anmol retained its leadership position in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for week 28 of 2018 in the Hindi GEC (U+R) market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/19/naysar.jpg?itok=qMIf9dJC
B4U motion pictures welcomes Naysar Shah as Vice president - marketing & distribution (film division)

B4U Motion Pictures is thrilled to welcome on board Naysar Shah to the UK head office who has been appointed as Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for the Film Division.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/07/18/star-vijay.jpg?itok=I5oEbVCf
Star Vijay launches new game show 'Divided'

MUMBAI: Star Vijay, a Tamil general entertainment channel by Star TV, is all set to launch a game show named Divided on 21 July. This show will be hosted by Neeya Naana debate show fame, Gobinath and will be on air every weekend at 8 pm.

Television TV Channels Regional

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories