Zee’s new reality show to bring celebs out of comfort zone; Farhan Akhtar to host


MUMBAI: The popularity and success of reality shows showcasing various skills and talent on Indian television was a harbinger of sorts for Zee TV to bring the international non-fiction format show I Can Do That to India. What's more, throw in a few celebrities as contestants and the show's appeal increases manifold. 

Developed by Israel’s Armoza Formats, Zee TV will launch the Indian version of the show on 17 October. What’s more, the channel has also roped in Farhan Akhtar as the host of I Can Do ThatThe weekend show will be aired on Saturdays and Sundays in the 9 pm primetime slot and has a run time of only six weeks. 

I Can Do That will have 12 celebrities from different walks of life, who will be seen performing jaw dropping acts. The show will challenge them to outdo each other in a wide range of tasks, from intricate dance choreography to magic and illusion, from flair bar tending to daredevil stunts and more.

The 12 celebrities that the channel has roped in for the show are Dino Morea, Gauahar Khan, Gurmeet Choudhary, Rithvik Dhanjani, Madhurima Tuli, Mandira Bedi, VJs Bani and Andy, Shibani Dandekar, Meiyang Chang, Ranveer Brar and Bharti Singh.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com on the reasons for investing in an established worldwide format, Zee TV business head Pradeep Hejmadi says, “It’s a format, which is very close to what Zee TV stands for. Zee has always celebrated formats, which identifies the talent in people. The show at its core matches with what we have done so far with our other shows like Dance India Dance (DID) and Saregamapa, which focus on talent. In this show, we aim to pull out the hidden talent from celebrities and take out them of their comfort zone. I Can Do That is a format, which is very close to our DNA in the non-fiction space.”

Throwing light on the reason for choosing Zee’s platform for the international format, Armoza senior creative director - development department Elwin Vizetelly De Groot says, “We are very excited to work with the biggest entertainment channel in India that is Zee Television. India is such an important market for us. I travelled across India and spent a few days working with the team. The basic format of the show is that it’s a story of your favourite celebrities, who will perform amazing acts on stage. We are working very closely with the team of Zee to launch this show here in India.”

Groot further adds, “People will see celebrities doing something different.  They will watch them dancing, singing, sometimes cooking and other things. Our aim was to combine all that we wanted in a show. I Can Do That is a platform where we can showcase amazing talent and something that Indian audiences has never seen before. Zee and Armoza are very excited with the prospects of the show and we believe that it can do really well. It has done very well in other territories and we believe that India is next.”

While there are multiple reality shows on television today, which showcase, celebrate as well as hone various talents, I Can Do That will be different. Talking about the USP of the show, Hejmadi says, “The difference comes in the show from the contestants because automatically the players are people, who come with certain talent. On this platform, people will be seen performing certain kind of things that they have never before done in their lives. It is not just a show, which has celebrities. Usually other shows focus on the strengths of celebrities but in this show, the audience will see them performing unbelievable tasks. And therein lies the difference.”

With the multi-talented Akhtar as the show’s host, Zee TV is banking on his popularity to take the show a notch higher than the rest. “Farhan is a great embodiment of the format. He is multi-talented and has always pushed boundaries to do multiple things. He is great guy, who can stand up with the format and can say I Can Do That,” Hejmadi says.

To push the show at multiple levels, Zee TV will be adopting a 360 degree marketing approach. Hejmadi informs, “There is always an on-air television based campaign and along with that we will go with off-air marketing as well. There is huge digital campaign that we are mounting. The format is such that everyone from kids to very elderly people can enjoy the show, so the campaign is designed to appeal to the masses.”

With Vaseline as the presenting sponsor for I Can Do That, Hejmadi says that advertisers’ response to the new show has been encouraging so far. “We have received an excellent response from them. While we have almost closed all the positions of sponsorship, we are still in discussion with a few advertisers,” he adds.

Speaking on the research carried out for the show, Hejmadi says,  said, “Even as we met the contestants, we were parallelly evaluating the stunts done in the international format. We also looked at different kinds of talent that we should evaluate for each of the players, who were coming on board. So a series of evaluations were done in terms of the kind of acts that people would like to see.”

The reality show format I Can Do That has been popular in countries like the US, Italy and Israel amongst others.

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