Television

Zee Smile set for a revamp; Shailja Kejriwal to head

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MUMBAI: Zee Network’s dead channel, Zee Smile is all set to ‘smile’ again. After more than a decade of its launch (September 2004), the network aims to get the channel up and running again.

According to sources close to the development, Zee Smile is set for a revamp in the coming months and Zeel chief creative head - special projects Shailja Kejriwal will head the project. She can also be credited for launching general entertainment channel (GEC), Zindagi last year for the Indian diaspora. 

With the revamp, the channel is trying to move away from tear jerkers. It aims to bring the fraternity of television and theatre together. Sources from the industry say, “The channel, with the revamp, aims to grab attention of niche audience. Owing to that fact, Zee Smile will be televising plays.”

Shot like a TV series, the channel will have plays across languages dubbed in Hindi. A source within the network further confirms the development and reveals that the planning for the channel's revamp had begun in December 2014. 

Moreover, the theatre groups are also planning to travel across states like Punjab and Orissa amongst others to bring in visibility. “The artists have been rehearsing for close to three months before going on-floors. The shoot is likely to take place in the month of April. Research has also taken place parallely,” reveals a media planner. 

“It is a good initiative taken by the network. Additionally, it aims to tap into the international markets, which is a plus point for theatre artists. They will get a good platform to showcase their talent across which they otherwise fail to get,” says a senior executive from a production house.

Kejriwal was unavailable for comment when contacted.

At present, the channel has no original shows in its baskets. It only airs reruns of popular drama series of its sister channel Zee TV such as Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli, Hitler Didi, Tumhari Disha, Woh, Pavitra Rishta and Hum Paanch.

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