Television

Zee English to kick back with 'Best Comedy and Drama' tag

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MUMBAI: May be it doesn't always pay to innovate. And Zee English seems to have learnt it the hard way. Despite Star World having a better brand recall, Zee English had ruffled up some tough competition owing to its sitcoms and dramas.

In recent times the channel had digressed and tried to experiment by introducing a variety of genres. But the channel will soon reiterating its brand positioning 'Best Comedy and Best Drama'.

So out go the likes of hastily brought in action series Kung Fu and the like. The channel will be ushering in new seasons of its 'stellar shows' like Friends (season 10), Sopranos, West Wing, and La Femme Nikita.

While the majority of shows (about 80-90 per cent) are still sourced from Warner brothers, the channel is also currently in talks with variety of producers to for an interesting show mix.

"Although Star World is perceived as channel, we have built up a loyal following owing to our content. People talk about our shows like Full House, Friends, Sopranos, even our earlier shows like Seinfeld and Mad about you are still talked about," says Zee English, ZMZ, MX and Trendz business head Ajay Trigunayat.

Speaking exclusively to indiantelevision.com, Trigunayat says, "While we can create a buzz by putting up hordes of banners over night in each of the six metros that we are strong, if we don't have content to back it up we would be in a big soup. So we have decided to concentrate on building up our niche 'comedies and drama''.

"The best example is our sitcom Will and Grace, which despite not much of a promotional push rakes in better TRPs almost 0.7 per cent," Trigunayat says to emphasis his point.

While Trigunayat claims that there has been a jump in the viewer base number from 25 per cent to 30 per cent in recent times, he would ideally like to talk about numbers after the systems that he has set up, help gain momentum. Zee English, he claims, is still strong in SEC AB in 15 to 45 years age bracket.

"We are looking at overhauling the 7 to 11:30 pm band and offer best comedies and drama's back to back. But we will be in a position to talk about time lines once we freeze on the shows," Trigunayat adds.

The timing for damage control seems quite interesting since Star World is also geared to make a splash with new shows. But better late than never.

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