Zee TV forays into peep-show TV with Connected Hum Tum

Zee TV forays into peep-show TV with Connected Hum Tum

MUMBAI: It?s a women?s peep show if there was any. Six ordinary women, talking about their most intimate and private moments, their hopes, worst fears, insecurities, mistakes, triumphs, joys, sorrows - all on national television. To top it all, they have filmed all of it themselves.

We are talking about ?Connected Hum Tum?, a show which is slated to premiere on Hindi GEC Zee TV, from 2 June and will air five days a week (Monday to Friday) at 10 pm. It will be replacing ?Badalte Rishton ki Dastaan?.

The six women participating in the show are Red FM RJ Malishka Mendonca, Preeti Kochar (dentist and belly dance instructor), Pallavi Barman (brand manager at Diesel), Mahima Chaudhary (aspiring actress), Sonal Gyani (LGBT activist with Humsafar Trust) and Madhavi Mauskar (a language expert and corporate trainer).

Produced by Disney UTV?s TV content division, it is directed by documentary film maker and writer Paromita Vohra. Connected Hum Tum is slated to run for 65 episodes and has been under production for almost two years, including casting, researching, filming and post-production.

The channel has roped in actor Abhay Deol to anchor the show. He will regale TV viewers with his sparkling wit, spot on observations and tongue in cheek commentary on all that?s brewing in the women?s lives.

The show is based on a Israeli TV non-fiction format ?Connected?- created by Ram Landes and Doron Tsabari - has been produced in seven countries - Israel, Holland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, Romania. And it has achieved reasonable success wherever it has been licensed by Armoza Formats - which has the show in its catalogue.

"It is very exciting to see ?Connected? travel to India. In a country so culturally rich and with the terrific cast that Zee has brought in we are sure this will make a fascinating show. In the process of taking ?Connected? worldwide we have met TV channels and production companies in over 10 countries and I am extremely impressed with the ability and creativity of the professional staff of the production in India," states Ram Landes.


"What makes Connected Hum Tum different is that other reality shows function on capturing people from the outside - there is a crew that shoots them and it?s the crew?s perspective that is captured on camera. In this case, there is no crew with the women here," says Zee TV content head Ajay Balwankar.

Deol says he had no plans to do anything with TV but the format of the show floored him and he had no option but to sign on.

Abhay Deol & Zee TV?s Ajay Balwankar: Will Zee TV?s audiences take to the new experiment?

"Television is a powerful medium," he says. "As far as the women who are showcasing themselves on TV through this show are concerned, it was their choice and they chose to take the camera home. The producers and directors have given them dignity and they can show whatever they wish to. We hope it will help men understand women?s point of view better."

Media observers expressed some caution about whether Zee TV?s core audience will take a shining to Connected Hum Tum. "Zee TV is treading on ground that Colors has with Bigg Boss which has created a buzz," says a media observer. "So far Zee TV has been known for its talent hunts like DID, India?s Best Dramebaaz, Saregama, and derivatives of these shows and its strong fictional content. We will have to see how its core audience reacts to this show which could be titillating as compared to the fare they have been used to."

But Balwankar says audiences will take to it well. He points out: "The core idea at the heart of the show is to bring families together by helping them understand women better. In studying the mind space of six women at different crossroads in life, Zee TV gives audiences a chance to understand the psyche of today?s women thereby understanding the women in our own lives better."

It?s over to the TV viewer to decide.

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