Zee TV to defend turf with 'Cinestar ki Khoj', 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge'

MUMBAI: Zee TV is planning to launch the second season of its reality talent hunt show Zee Cinestar Ki Khoj in September-October 2006. The channel also has plans to bring back the 2006-2007 edition of its landmark property, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge, this year itself.

"Zee TV will be launching the second edition of its reality talent hunt Cine Star Ki Khoj. The channel is targeting September-October for the launch of the new season. Zee will be taking the property to the market very soon. Also, inspired by the success of the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series, the channel will be bringing back the flagship property Challenge this year," says a source close to Zee.

When contacted for confirmation of the developments, Zee TV marketing head Tarun Mehra agreed that plans were on to bring back Cine Star Ki Khoj and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge. However, he was quick to add that no time frame had been fixed as yet on the launch.

"We have plans to launch Cine Star Ki Khoj's second season this year. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge may also come back in 2006. But, we are yet to finalise the details," says Mehra.

According to reliable sources, Zee has awarded the production duties of Cinestar Ki Khoj 2 to Optimystix Entertainment. The production house has earlier produced the Manoj Bajpai-anchored gameshow Kam Ya Zyaada for Zee TV. The winning couple of the contest will be awarded title roles in a movie.

Race, the movie which stars the winners of the first season, is presently nearing completion, according to a Zee TV executive. Zee has associated with Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts for the film. Zee owns the world rights for the film while Mukta owns the India theatrical rights.

Why would Zee TV exhaust all its key properties in the last quarter of the calendar year? Though settled comfortably in the second spot behind Star Plus in the Hindi General Entertainment Channel (GEC) space, the channel is in no mood to rest on its laurels. Reason? Competitors are gearing up to launch some key prime time properties in order to set off a fight-back.

Sony Entertainment Television will be launching the Indian version of the popular international reality show Big Brother in November this year. The upcoming Champions Trophy, to be telecast on Max and Sab, will also be there in the running for the prime time stakes as the matches will be played Day/Night.

Star One, on the other hand, has already announced its intention to launch the second seasons of two of its most successful properties Naach Baliye and Remix. However, the immediate priority for Zee TV would be to beef up its 8 pm slot, which is presently occupied by the long running soap Tumhari Disha. The channel will wind up Tumhari Disha in the first half of August with a new prime time property Dulhan.

The latest Tam data for C&S 4+, HSM, shows that, the rest of the Zee TV properties have already established in their respective time bands. As per the Tam figures provided by the channel for the period of 3 July to 10 July, Saath Phere has recorded a rating of 6.54 TVR in the Zee TV charts, followed by Kasamh Se at 6.11 TVR. In the 8:30 pm slot, the soap Jab Love Hua has recorded a rating of 2.4 TVR. Shabaash India, at 10:30 pm, has delivered a rating of 2.7 TVR, while the 10 pm show Johny Aala Re scored 2.4 TVR. The Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'iL Champs is averaging at 2.7 TVR.

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