Hungama TV aims for August-September launch

MUMBAI: Hungama TV, the bilingual (Hindi and Tamil) kids' channel floated by UTV, is now looking at an August-September launch. UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala had earlier stated that the channel would begin airing by 'a Sunday in August 2004'.

Hungama TV Captain Hunt to select the 20 kids who will eventually run the channel will culminate with a gala event in Mumbai on 14 August. Post-production work for the 21 shows selected by kids from the 60 projects, which had been commissioned for pilots, is underway. The channel will air shows on the 6 am - 12 midnight cycle with the remaining six hours having repeat telecasts.

At the venue of the channel's TV Captain Hunt, Hungama TV COO Purnendu Bose spoke to explaining the ideation and execution of the upcoming channel:

Programming strategy:

There will be adventure shows, puppet shows, movies, science fiction, comedy, and fantasy shows - all kinds of shows that appeal to our kids. The 60 pilot projects we had made was shown to around 7,000 kids across the country and they short listed 21 programmes. I won't be able to give you the exact number of episodes completed, but I can say two or three episodes of each show have been canned till now. It is an ongoing process. There will be 18 hours of new programming and the remaining six hours will have these shows repeated.

Progress on the production front:

Post-production work of the episodes completed are going on now. Balaji Telefilms, Cinevistaa, Contiloe and UTV are some of the production houses involved.

Why have you decided to outsource some of your production?

We wanted to make use of a variety of sources. This gives us an opportunity to tap different domain expertise.

What is the remuneration you are offering to the 20 selected kids who will take charge as Hungama TV captains?

There won't be any remuneration in terms of money. The whole exercise will give kids exposure and that much-needed confidence to face life. This will help them to be decisive, empowering them to build an overall character. This will be like an extra-curricular activity that makes them celebrities. This won't distract them from their studies because we have latest technologies to communicate with them. Sitting in his house, the kid will decide what to go on Hungama TV.

About the recent exits UTV/Hungama witnessed. Who is replacing Shalini Rawla who quit as Hungama TV programming head?

At present, I am handling the additional responsibility. We have a 55 member-strong team and we are looking forward to more appointments. Irrespective of these resignations, we are very much on track.

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