Hindi GECs ace programming game as festive season descends

MUMBAI: The Indian festival season is fast approaching and all major Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) are pulling out new programming rabbits from their hats to lure in viewers.


What’s more, with brands loosening their purses considerably for advertising purposes during the festival season, fresh programming is the best way for broadcasters to offer them a big bang for their buck.


From Colors' Bigg Boss Season 9 to Sony's Power Couple, from Star Plus' Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi to Zee TV's I Can Do That, broadcasters are adding muscle to their programming with star power because in a country like India, nothing works its charm better on the general public than Bollywood celebrities. So major A-list stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Farhan Akhtar are prepping up to weave their magic on the small screen soon. 


Be it in the fiction or non-fiction space, channels are trying hard to give exceptional shows to boost viewership. Firmly putting the saas-bahu sagas behind them, channels are now experimenting with content to stay ahead of the competition.


Hindi GECs like Star Plus, Colors, Zee TV, Life OK, Sab, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) as well as &TV have multiple new shows up their sleeves, which are slated to launch in the coming months.  


Here's a look at the programming fireworks in store for the festive season across major Hindi GECs.


Star Plus


The leader in Hindi GECs, Star Plus has a few aces up its sleeves this festive season. And the one making the most amount of buzz as of now is the show with Amitabh Bachchan as host titled Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi. Two teaser promos of the show with Big B have already managed to pique viewer interest. The show will also see Star Plus and Bachchan coming together again after a span of 15 years. Their association started back in 2000 with the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati, which also marked Bachchan's television debut. 


In recent fiction launches, Star Plus began airing Balaji Telefilms’ new show Kuch Toh Hai Tere Mere Darmiyaan from 28 September. Apart from this, the channel has a few other shows lined up. Produced by Triangle Film Company's Nikhil Sinha for the channel, is the mythological series titled Siya Ke Ram, which is slated to launch soon. The series will depict Sita’s story while narrating her journey with Ram.


The second new fiction show on Star Plus is titled Saajan, which is produced by Rashmi Sharma Telefilms. While the show is currently under production, it is likely to launch by October end.




Since its prime time shows Sasural Simar Ka, Udaan and Swaragini have been rating rakers, Colors is eyeing only one new fiction show launch in the coming months called Naagin. The channel has not yet revealed the launch date of the show, which is produced by SOL Productions. That said, in the non-fiction space, Colors will be bringing back its hugely popular reality show Bigg Boss with double the vigour as host Salman Khan promises 'Double Trouble' this season. Not wanting to mess with its current programming line-up, Colors has slotted season nine of Bigg Boss in the new time slot of 10.30 pm on weekdays from 11 October.


Zee TV


While last month the channel launched a couple of new shows like Laajwanti and Yeh Vaada Raha, in October too Zee TV will continue its spree of new programming. A new fiction show called Kaala Teeka, which revolves around superstition and its impact on our society, will be launched soon. The first teaser of the show is already on air. The second new fiction show is titled Radha Krishna – Ek Aalokik Prem Gaatha, which is a romantic series that explores the love of Radha for Lord Krishna.


In the non-fiction space, Zee is bringing the international non-fiction format show I Can Do That to India, which will go on air from 17 October. The show will have 12 celebrities who will perform never seen before tasks on stage. I Can Do That will be hosted by Farhan Akhtar. Another show in the non-fiction category is the second season of talent search reality show India’s Best Dramebaaz. The show will see children between the age group of 5-12 years as participants and is produced by Essel Productions.


Life OK


Star India’s second Hindi GEC Life OK is getting ready to herald in a couple of new shows by the end of October. The first fiction show is titled Jaane Kya Hoga Rama Re and is produced by Shobhana Desai Production. The show, which will also mark Supriya Pathak's comeback on the small screen, was earlier titled Ram Ki Leela Rang Layegi.


Two others fiction shows that are being readied for launch in the month of October are Pati Patni or Woh by Edit II Productions and Naagarjuna produced by Beyond Dream Productions.


Sab TV


The comedy destination on Indian television - Sab is known for quirky shows. While the channel launched a new show late last month called Police Factory, which is produced by DJs A Creative Unit, another show is slated to launch by the end of October. The new show - Chalti Ka Naam Gadi is based on a car and a family and is produced by Deepti Bhatnagar Productions.


Sony Entertainment Television


With an aim to reboot its programming story, Sony Entertainment Television too has a host of new shows lined up. The first in line is the fiction titled Pyar Ko Ho Jane Do starring Iqbal Khan and Mona Singh in the lead. The show will replace Reporter from 20 October in the 9 pm slot. 


On the non-fiction front, the channel will be bringing the popular Israeli reality show Power Couple to India, which will be hosted by Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan. Produced by Colosceum, the show will see 10 celebrity couples living under one roof being tested as they face extreme challenges to prove how well they know each other. The launch date of the show has not yet been announced.




Zee Entertainment Enterprises' &TV will be churning out as many as three new shows across different genres. Foraying in the horror genre, the channel will be launching a mini-series called Dar Sabko Lagta Hai, which will be anchored by Bipasha Basu. Exploring other genres, &TV is soon also planning to launch its first mythological series called Santoshi Maa. The show's teaser promo is already on air. On the other hand, a fiction titled Yeh Kaha Gaye Hum, produced by Balaji Telefilms, will be going on air from 26 October.


With genres ranging from horror to mythology, reality to drama, comedy to romance, there's a liberal dose of everything for everyone on Hindi GECs this festive season.

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