Zee takes 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' to regional markets; Marathi version set to launch

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms is taking its successful music talent hunt property Sa Re Ga Ma Pa to the regional markets. To start with, Zee Marathi will launch Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on 18 September, while plans are getting formalised to launch the format in Zee Bangla later this year.

"The original Sa Re Ga Ma Pa format will be re-launched in Marathi with some slight variations. The hunt, participated by 32 contestants, will run 39 episodes and the finals will be held on 26 January 2007. Zee Marathi will telecast the two-hour final episode live," states Zee Marathi, Bangla & Gujarati business head Nitin Vaidya.

The programme will run on Monday and Tuesday at 10 pm as half-hour episodes. The Monday episode will be a performance episode, while on Tuesdays it will deal with the elimination process.

SMS interactivity will be introduced in the format from the 32nd episode. The popular vote will be clubbed with the jurys' decision to decide the episode winners. The final winner will be decided entirely on the basis of viewer opinion.

Out of 5000 applicants, 32 contestants have been shortlisted from auditions held in Mumbai, Pune, Nasik and Kolhapur.

Popular television personality Pallavi Joshi will anchor the music show for Zee Marathi. The channel has opted for Marathi music director, an ex-Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winner Avdoot Gupte and the popular Marathi playback singer Devki Pandit to be the permanent judges in the contest.

The show will have celebrity guest appearances as special jury in its advanced stages. "For example, the 16th and 17th episodes will have artists from popular Zee Marathi soaps entering the show as special jury members," offers Vaidya.

Zee has roped in Idea Cellular as the main sponsor of the property. According to Vaidya, the winner will not only get a chance to perform in the 2007 Zee Gaurav Puraskaar but will also get a flat in Talegaon from the associate sponsor, the real estate firm Disha Direct.

Zee has already kicked off the on-air promotions of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on its network channels. "The outdoors and other marketing activities will begin in a week's time," Vaidya says.

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