The formula seems to be working for Zee TV! As the fourth season of its flagship dance reality show Dance India Dance culminates on February 22, the channel is ready to serve the third season of DID's sub-brand, DID Li'l Masters.
Launching with a new positioning, 'Bachchagiri', this season will see a comeback of Geeta Kapoor as one of the judges on the show, accompanied by Ahmad Khan. Besides, Sanam Johar, Raghav Crockroaz Juyal and DID 4 contestant Swarali Karulkar will also be a part of the show as 'skippers'.
DID has always been a property that has not just fetched good numbers for the ZEEL flagship channel, but also attracted good ad revenue. According to Ashish Sehgal, chief sales officer of ZEEL, the property is expected to earn Rs 80- 90 crore this season.
Talking about the novelty in the content of DID L'il Masters this season, Ajay Bhalwankar, content head (Hindi GECs), ZEEL, says, "This year, we have added another layer to our earlier positioning Dance Ke Baap. Dancing isn't just about the steps. It is also about the attitude. Looking at the effortless moves and the unperturbed disposition of the contestants this season, we have coined the term Bachchagiri to define the attitude of these kids. Also, I believe dance is education to the body. It's a very vital thing, and not just an art."
Bhalwankar has been a part of the property since its inception in 2009; he tells afaqs! that the production cost of the property has grown by about 20-25 per cent vis-a-vis the first season.
Namit Sharma, newly appointed programming head of Zee TV, says, "Bachchagiri is an attitude that we are adopting which is largely about the spirit of learning and their relationship with the skipper, with each other and with the masters, along with the judges and guests on the show. We have consistently provided entertainment through non-fiction over the weekends. Generally, reality and non-fiction genres are used by the broadcasters as boosters and they play it and pull it back. Zee TV however keeps the commitment of continuous telecast of non-fiction. Since I am walking into a pre-created format, I don't want to turn it around. I will try to use my ideas in this, while the key thing is to keep the spirit of L'il masters."
For the upcoming season of DID L'il Masters, the channel has conducted auditions in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Vadodara, Indore, Raipur, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Patna, Jammu and Lucknow. According to the channel, over one lakh children participated and it has arrived at the final Top 16 kids who exactly fit into the concept of Bachchagiri.
Nitin Keni, producer, Essel Vision Productions, says, "These are genuinely gifted children and little powerhouses of talent who astonished us with their unimaginable talent. Along with entertainment, Zee and Essel Vision have always endeavoured to become the most coveted platform for aspiring youth and women in the country and with the third season of DID L'il Masters, we only hope to strengthen that conviction of ours."
While Jay Bhanushali will continue to anchor the show, grandmaster Mithun Da will extend support to the young talent to bring out the best in each contestant in his own "charismatic" manner.
Talking about the marketing of the show, while the final plan is still being charted, Sapangeet Rajwant, VP, brand management and PR, Zee TV, reveals, "Fortunately for us, DID L'il Masters is a popular property and before we launch a campaign, the name of the show does the job! But there will be a regular traditional media marketing campaign across OOH, radio, TV and print. But having said that, we thought that since this is around kids, we can make it much more fun and interesting. We have Holi around the corner and will take the 'Dhatingnach Tolis' to the societies in around four cities including Delhi and Mumbai. The other activations will be launched across 15-16 cities as the show progresses."