Zee 'Cinestar Ki Khoj' attempts to woo Hindi heartland?

MUMBAI: 'Back to the old world charm'. Thats the new buzzword for Zee. When Subhash Chandras flagship channel launched it mega talent hunt- Cinestar Ki Khoj, the initial responses wavered between an OK attempt to plain indifference. The response didnt ruffle them; instead the channel worked steadily towards build up its grass-root reach.

The attempt, they claim, has even helped them to inch their way into the top 100 programmes in all C&S 4+ households.In a press conference held in Mumbai, at the J W Marriott Hotel, the channel introduced the chosen 32 to the media. Decked to perfection, the chosen few strutted their asset and introduced themselves to the press. But it wasnt their designer outfits or their picture perfect faces that were memorable; instead it was the small time town charm that appealed. It is exactly the response, one would assume, that the channel wants.

While the city rounds of the talent hunt is done with, in comes the big countdown to the grand finale Indias Best. Starting 27 September, the reality shows Bollywood Dreams- The making of a Cinestar, will coincide with the change in the programming matrix. Pitted against the one of the Star Plus big gun Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, the reality show will push out the channels non-starter thriller Tamanna House. In addition to that there will be special aired in the weekend slot.

The talent hunt will be, hence forth, divided into two phases. First is the behind-the scene action and second is the contest. With this contest we are looking at building up the interactivity, said Corporate Brand Development Groups vice-president Ashish Kaul. We have for the first time utilised the instant SMS reach. The volatile popularity chart will be placed as a bug on the channel during the telecast, which will give the correct picture of the popularity of the contestants. Its going to be a complete public opinion round, he added.

In addition to that, Kaul also informed that they would be looking at building up the weekends as the reality show franchises. Close on the heels of Indias Bests finale, the channel is looking at launching its business reality show- Business Baazigar the next big entrepreneur reality show. All that in addition to the roll out of over 8-10 new shows over the next quarter.

Zee ka magic chalega kya? May be that calls for yet another reality show.

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