MUMBAI: After establishing its second position in the Hindi general
entertainment (GEC) space, Subhash Chandra's Zee TV is now trying
to replace a weak link in its scheme of things - the Monday to Wednesday
10 pm slot earlier occupied by Kam Ya Zyaada.
The Manoj Bajpai-hosted game show, which has been taken off
air due to its failure on the ratings front, is being replaced by
a comedy programme, driven by none other than the much sought after
Bollywood comedian Johny Lever.
To be aired three days a week from Monday to Wednesday at 10 pm,
the half an hour show Johny Aala Re is packaged with segments
such as stand up comedy, spoofs and mimicry performed by Lever,
as well as celebrity guests and outside talent making brief appearances.
tough fight is awaiting Johny Lever in the 10 pm slot, as Johny
Aala Re will be locking horns with Star Plus' seasoned player
Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and also two new shows from the Sony
stable. Aroona Irani's Vaidehi, which will air on Mondays at
10 pm will launch on 5 June and Man Main Hai Vishwas, which
is reportedly being launched on 13 June, will be telecast on Tuesdays
at 10 pm.
"We will introduce new one hour weeklies in the 10 to 11 pm
band in June. That will culminate our initiative of providing new
and fresh programming for our viewers," SET India COO NP Singh
had told Indiantelevision.com some time back.
Commenting on the launch of the new family entertainment show,
Zee TV programming head Ashvini Yardi said, "Johny Aala
Re is laughter personified. Johny Lever is a comedian par excellence.
We have also lined up some lively celebrities that go with the flavour
of the show. Johny will meet them in his own comical manner, ensuring
that the audiences are in splits, rolling in the aisles."
Zee TV will be putting big efforts to promote the big ticket show,
says Zee TV marketing head Tarun Mehra. The channel has made a programming
association with MTV, apart from banking on its news channel Zee
News to promote the property on air.
"As part of the promotions, we have tied up with MTV Networks
to invite Johny Lever as the first star on their newly launched
show TV Star of the Month. Apart from this, Zee News will
also do an extensive interview with the star," says Mehra.
In tune with the show, another marketing strategy adopted by the
channel is the distribution of joke books. The books will be distributed
through on-ground activities starting 3 June.
On the lines of a drive-in movie, the sets
have an on-street ambience with a live audience casually sitting on the tops of
cars. Besides the stand up comedy segment, Johny most often takes the guise of
popular personalities, from politicians to film stars. In a separate segment titled,
Main Bhi Johny, the common man is selected to showcase his talent in booths
set up on the streets. Besides, fixed segments such as these, there are a few
floating segments such as a parody of songs
and topical spoofs.
On completion of 25 years in the film industry and currently, taking
a break from films, this is Johny Lever's first TV show and several
inputs for the script come directly from him, to add his own personal
touch, states an official release. Produced by Akashdeep and Sheeba's
Cinetek Telefilms Private Limited, this is King-Com's first ever
series on television.
When queried about the number of episodes shot, Akashdeep stated
that only a few had been shot, in order to keep to more contemporary