Lights, camera, action: The hunt is on again

MUMBAI: Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but when has that ever stopped anyone from dreaming big?


One look around ourselves and there are enough and more examples of people who rose above and broke the various shackles which restraints one to fly high. Take one-time rice packer from Haryana Subhash Chandra, for instance, who was written off by many but rose from the ashes like a Phoenix to prove his critics wrong.


Maybe that is why the country’s largest Media & Entertainment powerhouse he built from the scratch believes in giving people a platform to make their dreams, a reality. The country which has unlimited talent pool has suddenly discovered it all thanks to non-fictional shows. Today everyone can dance, sing or act!


From Sa Ra Ga Ma Pa years ago to recent Dance India Dance, Zee has launched numerous platforms for people to awe the world with its gift. But the ultimate goal for many who come here is to be seen not only on the small screen but the big screen as well. In a country where films are churned out every Friday, everyone wants to be a Shah Rukh Khan or a Madhuri Dixit.


So, get your act together, Zee is back with Cinestar Ki Khoj. The non-fiction show will once again see the actor in all come to life as millions will be auditioned across the country to get the big ticket.


The show which has had two seasons earlier in 2004 and 2006 (this one, not so successful) will give a break not only to the channel but people as well who have had an overdose of DID. “We wanted to bring something new to the platform which was/is homegrown and part of our DNA,” says the channel’s programming head Namit Sharma.


Agrees a media planner who says that it was a good decision by the channel as the viewers had enough of dance and singing on the small screen.


One had to go through four layers of filtration at the auditions, which took place in 18 cities across the country, only to be selected as top 16 and judged by Vijay Krishna Acharya aka Victor and Sonali Bendre. The new judges on the show will have a helping hand with a new mentor or ‘Bollywood buddy’ from the industry. The first ‘buddy’ is none other than Parineeti Chopra who will be seen in the first two episodes followed by Ayushman Khurana.


The actors revealed so far by the channel were chosen because of their non-filmy background. Interestingly, Khurana was rejected on the same platform in 2003 when he auditioned to enter the world of glamour. 


On his being rejected then, Khurana says, “Today’s Bollywood is very different from that of 10 years ago. It’s experimenting not only with scripts but star cast as well. It’s the golden era and there are a lot of opportunities for the talent.”


The winners who will have to showcase their talent in comedy, drama, dancing etc will get a chance to appear as lead actors in a film for which the channel is already in talks with various production houses.


“We want to shape the talent and give it a future,” says Sharma.


The marketing of the show is divided into three phases. The first promos reveal the judges and the two mentors. The next will be to reveal the 16 contestants.


The show is a big property for the channel and hence, is demanding a high ad rate as well. As per sources, the channel is asking for a premium rate (around Rs 2 lakh) for a 10 second ad slot whereas its other offerings have gone for a lakh or so. “Although, one would think that the long gap and Zee’s fresh approach will help it rake in the moolah but that may not be the case. Given the current slot ratings, I don’t think advertisers will be ready to shell out so much especially during mid-season,” says a planner.


Cera Sanitaryware is the title sponsor whereas the show will be powered by Glam-Up. We Chat is the technology partner while a couple of associate sponsors have also come on board. The channel aims to generate around 60-80 crore from the property.


“The format has to be interesting enough for people to watch. Even though Ankita Lokhande came into limelight with Cinestar Ki Khoj, people don’t really remember the show, but know of Ankita because of the work she did post the talent hunt. So, the channel needs to keep this in mind,” opines the media planner while stating that the show should be able to get the ratings the channel is expecting from it.


 The show which will run for 13 weeks will go on air from 5 July, every weekend at 9 pm.

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