General entertainment channel (GEC) 9X prepares to resume fresh programming by launching a new show called Black on March 2. For the past four months, the channel was surviving on re-runs of its old shows in the absence of any fresh programming.
It is learnt that 9X will roll out the new shows in phases. The first show to be aired will be Sunil Agnihotri's paranormal horror offering, Black. Agnihotri, director-producer, Sunil Agnihotri Productions, says, "Black is an emotional story of a boy with paranormal experiences. The daily show will be aired at 10 pm from Monday to Thursday. I will do another show for the channel, called Betaal Pachissi, which will go on air around March 19."
For the record, the strike between the Federation of Western Cine Employees (FWICE) and the producers' association had initially led to disruption in new content on all the GECs, including 9X, in November. While all the GECs resumed fresh programming following the agreement between the disputing parties in December, 9X decided not to get back on track with new content and relook at its content strategy.
9X's fight for the viewership in the 10 pm slot appears far from easy, given that the slot on other GECs such as STAR Plus, Colors, Zee and NDTV Imagine is dominated by family oriented daily soaps. In the same slot, Colors airs Uttaran, the story of an orphan girl and her struggle for the good things in life, while NDTV Imagine airs Bandini, the serial depicting the journey of a small town girl as a young bride in a rich, urban household.
In the past few months, 9X has engaged viewers with filler shows such as Mauja Hi Mauja and a music segment called Chandni Raatein. In the absence of fresh content, the channel plans to air movies such as Om Shanti Om, Sunday, Welcome and Hey Babby in March.