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Reality will continue to dominate ZEE's weekend line-up in 2005

By , agencyfaqs! | In | December 23, 2004
Business Baazigar will be the next reality series on the channel, which is slated to be launched around early February next year


The Reality TV genre literally went places this year. Viewers have been treated to a surfeit of reality shows, whether in the form of a talent hunts or gameshows across mass and niche channels. & #BANNER1 & # Such has been its popularity, the process is continuing unabated even at the fag end of the year.

Tune into ZEE, for instance, and chances are that a promo of Shahrukh Khan's World Tour Temptations 2004 may meet the eye. Packaged in a reality format, the show is telecast on weekends. Sony, on the other hand, has a reality gameshow Indian Idol, while CHannel [v] has Super Singer, SaharaOne has Mr and Miss Bollywood, and ESPN has Harsha Ki Khoj currently on-air.

Despite the current glut of reality programming on television, some channels have tasted success with these shows. ZEE TV has its popular talent hunt India's Best " Cinestars Ki Khoj, which mopped up an average TVR of 4.76 in Hindi-speaking markets during its grand finale on December 3. This was incidentally the highest for the show, which would otherwise deliver ratings between 2 and 3.

Lucknow, the hometown of the female winner Aditi Sharma, delivered ratings between 9 and 10 for India's Best, which has buoyed the sentiment of channel executives to continue with their strategy of slotting reality shows on weekends.

"9.00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays is our reality slot and we will stick to it,” says Abhijit Saxena, business head, ZEE TV.

The next big reality show after India's Best is Business Baazigar, whose promos featuring the chairman of ZEE Telefilms Subhash Chandra, have been on air since Diwali.

The show is slated to be launched around early February 2005 with a simple concept " people who have a workable business idea can write in to the channel, have their entries screened and see their projects being funded.

Of course, there will be a stiff competition for those bucks, and unlike India's Best, which was a longish television series (it was on for about six months), Business Baazigar will stretch for four months, with the show divided into four segments. At the end of each segment, there will be a finalist, who will move in to the last round where the winner will be decided.

ZEE has plans to kick-off the second stage of promotions for Business Baazigar in January next year when the "noise levels will go up”. Parallely, the channel also has its eye on other slots, notably the 8.00 pm movie slot on Sundays, which will be rebranded as ZEE Premiere from Sunday Premiere in the New Year.

Beginning February-March next year, the channel will launch telefilms during the 8.00 pm Sunday slot. For this initiative, 30-odd films are on the production floor as of now; another 22 films will be commissioned over the course of next year.

Bollywood directors such as Vipul Shah, Kundan Shah, Nagesh Kukunoor and Saurabh Shukla have been signed on for the telefilms project, and according to Saxena, the big differentiator will be the scripts. "These movies are not for commercial release. So the filmmakers do have a free-hand in story-telling,” he adds.

© 2004 agencyfaqs!

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