If Colors has Balika Vadhu, Zee to have Choti Bahu

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 16, 2008
Zee to revamp its programming in coming months


intense competition amongst general entertainment channels demands that these channels constantly beef up their programming line up.

Zee TV, for one, appears to be ready to offer its viewers some exciting fare in the coming months, going by shows that are being readied for launch. At present, the channel is known to be working on three shows: Choti Bahu, Maa and Rang.

Talking to afaqs!, Ajay Bhalwankar, head, programming, Zee TV, says, "As a channel, we are constantly involved in research, looking for new concepts and fresh ideas. Reality music-dance show, Tata Indicom Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka and fiction-based show, Ranbir Rano went on air some time back. The next big show to debut by November end will be Choti Bahu by DJ Creations."

Ajay BhalwankarBhalwankar was of the opinion that sharing details of new offerings other than Choti Bahu would be premature, considering that work is always in progress on new projects. However, he stated that of all the possible shows, Choti Bahu will be the first to be rolled out.

Has the influx of new channels and the resultant fierce competition influenced Zee TV's programming strategy? Bhalwankar refuses to be drawn into the debate. Instead, he asserts that Zee has always made an effort to come up with issue-based programmes. He cites shows like Tara, Astitva, Saat Phere...Saloni Ka Safar, which have been different in content and presentation. According to him, the idea has always been to entertain viewers through interesting storylines. Following any particular prevalent or well accepted genre has never been Zee's call.

The productions houses for the other two shows in the pipeline, Maa and Rang, are Shakuntalam Telefilms and Magic Works respectively.

Zee TV has also reshuffled some of its existing shows and made changes in time slots to ensure that viewers stay on the channel.

The channel recently shifted its popular show, Jhoomein Jiya Re from Zee Next to Zee TV. The show, Teen Bahuraaniyan was shifted to the afternoon slot, paving the way for the recently launched show, Ranbir Rano, airing from Monday to Thursday at 10:30 pm. Similarly, the show, Naaginn has been moved from its earlier slot of 8:30 pm to the 9 pm slot. Another programme, Maayka, earlier airing four days a week, is now being aired five days a week.

Bhalwankar points out that all the changes in programming are done with the aim of heightening the viewing experience. Intelligent juggling of shows ensures that the audience stays with the channel, hopping from one programme to another.

He concludes, "Concepts different in style and presentation has always been the intrinsic in the DNA of the channel and it takes precedence over any other detail."

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