ETV Marathi, the Marathi general entertainment channel from the TV18 stable, will launch a reality property titled 'Zhunj Marathmoli'.
Produced by Ramesh Deo Production and Logical Thinkers, this is a new format being tried by the genre. To be hosted by Shreyas Talpade, the show will be aired every Monday and Tuesday at 9 pm, starting May 26.
According to Anuj Poddar, EVP, Viacom18 and business head, ETV Marathi, the channel has been working on this for six months. "This is something that has never been done in the Marathi entertainment genre. We wanted to do something different and aggressive with which the youth could relate to. At the same time, keeping in mind that it is a family oriented show, we looked at many changes before we narrowed on this format."
The channel did extensive research in the cities to understand what tasks could be done to capture the local ethos. For instance, in Ramtek (near Nagpur), people ride cycle rickshaws. So the task there was to ride the rickshaw with people sitting on it and cover a particular distance.
The contestants of the show include actor-comedians Pandaharinath Kamble and Arti Solanki, choreographer Megha Sampat, actors Swapnil Rajshekhar Bhutkar and Vikram Gaikwad, performers Hemlata Bane and Satish Shivaji Dede, celebrity chef Parag Kanhere and singer-actor Tyagraj Khandilkar. Adding further drama, action and entertainment to the show will be Deepti Devi, Megha Dhade, Ruchi Savaran, Manisha Kelka and stylist-dancer Abhijit Thakur.
Poddar says that the tasks were divided into many parts such as individual, group and time-based.
The channel has roped in Lunar footwear as one of its associate sponsors and plans to get another six-seven sponsors on board.
"The show is an ideal mix of action and drama; we are sure it will help establish brand ETV Marathi as a channel that caters to all age groups. We are sure that the viewers as well as our advertisers will appreciate the novelty and scale of this show," Poddar adds.
Abinay Deo of RDB Productions says, "Zhunj Marathmoli will set new benchmarks of scale and grandeur on Marathi television. Apart from the fact that such a format has never before been explored on Marathi television, the show will also see a high decibel entertainment along with a fresh perspective of Maharashtra which the viewers are sure to love. My objective while creatively supervising the show will be to ensure that it has an attitude and style that is at par with the Hindi GECs and is a visual extravagance for its viewers."
The show will be promoted on digital media like a flagship property of the channel. A few weeks ago, ETV Marathi had launched a music video for the show that went online. The channel has planned live chats with Talpade.
There will be below-the-line activations, both at the pre-launch phase and later. People will be given tasks to perform and will be handed over prizes if they succeed/win. These activities will be driven by key markets. The OOH plan of the show is primarily driven by Mumbai and will be expanded to cities like Pune in the later stages.