Zee plans to brand Sundays as fundays

MUMBAI: It's time for some action packed Sundays at Zee.

Zee TV has two new launches, XYZ and Khel Khel Mein, that will debut on 13 July. Zee Television president Apurva Purohit also hints that the channel will soon be launching a 'high voltage emotional drama' Awaaz in August.

Bond anyone: Shekhar Suman as X in XYZ

The original Mr. Television Shekhar Suman will be juicing up the programming line up as a crime buster in a detective serial XYZ at 11 am. Close on its heels is another launch,Khel Khel Mein, a family game show hosted by actor Rajeshwari and directed by Antakshari's Gajendra Singh that will be aired at 11:30 am.

While XYZ is a mega budget bonanza that is extensively shot in India as well as foriegn locales like Thailand and Singapore, KKM is shot at participants' homes.

A joint venture by entertainment company Wizcraft and the Harish Ghai promoted Ghai Films, XYZ was launched on 9 July at a media conference at Mumbai discotheque Velocity. Speaking to on the occasion, Purohit said: " We plan to make Zee a complete entertainer. While we are already catering to women, men, youth to a certain extent, children's programming was something that we needed to build on. XYZ is a step in that direction. Khel Khel Mein is a simple game show; no gizmos, just pure family fun."

The X Y and Z of the show

While Shekhar Suman, the star of the show said: "Of late, I have been rejecting offers but XYZ really caught my eye. Right from the name, there was nothing stereotypical about it plus it made me look great."

As for producers Wizcraft, barring the dance show Razzmatazz that aired on Zee in 2001, XYZ is a sort of debut venture to provide television content. According to Wizcraft director Viraf Sarkari: "The target audience for this show is 6-60. We have Z aka Zorro the dog for children, beautiful detective Y alias Yamini for the daddies and X played by Shekhar... well, he is for everybody. It is a debut venture of sorts, I am positive that it will catch on in a big way as it is a complete entertainer." When queried about the budgets for the show, Sarkari said: " We had a tight budget. Despite the show being shot at overseas locales along with extensive gadgetry, we never went overboard. The budget is definitely high but not unnecessary."

The champ with his fans

Though XYZ as an inclusion in the programming line up is big, Zee hasn't really gone in for a publicity blitz. According to Purohit: "We thought we would rather let our content speak for itself. While we went for extensive media coverage for our Thursday Premiere or Friday blockbuster slot, XYZ is one show that we believe will catch up with the audience in due time. You have to see it to like it." Sarkari added: " The show is designed to be popular with kids and looking at the pester power, it is bound to change the Sunday morning viewership".

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