Things are not going to be the same at ZEE English anymore. In keeping with its commitment to serve 'Hot and Fresh', the channel plans to launch two new comedy sitcoms - Will and Grace and Mind of the Married Man. While the first episode of Will and Grace will premiere at 10:30 pm on Monday, January 20, Mind of the Married Man will follow right after that at 11.00 pm. Again, in April, the channel will launch a clutch of new programmes such as Hidden Hills, She Spies, Six Feet Under and Friends' season 9.
Will and Grace is a comedy that revolves around people's attitude towards sexuality in a rather hilarious way. It is centered at a group of friends, with absolutely different personality traits, who live in an apartment in New York. Mind of the Married Man, on the other hand, is a take on the challenges of modern-day marriage from a male perspective.
The channel has roped in three sponsors - Telco and ITC Foods for Mind of the Married Man, and Britannia for Will and Grace. The two sitcoms will be heavily promoted across all media - bulk of it being on TV - supported by ground level activities. The promo budget has been fixed at Rs 1 crore. Talking about the ground level initiatives, Rohinton Maloo, managing director, Cutting Edge Media, says, "We are focusing our promos around night clubs. Some of them will only show ZEE English instead of the regular sports channels."
With its new programming line-up, the channel hopes to triple its advertising revenue next fiscal (2003-2004). The channel brass claims to target 50 per cent of the projected Rs 110-crore English programme advertising revenue by 2004. "The new programmes, together with Friends, The Sopranos, The West Wing, the latest season of Sienfeld and Mad About You are going to give the discerning viewer unparalleled entrainment," assures Ajay Trigunayat, vice-president, ZEE English and ZEE MGM.
As is evident, ZEE English's programming strategy hinges on comedy. "About 60 per cent of our content would be comedy just as the way it is in the US. But this is not going to make the channel an alien international channel. All the programmes that are going to be showcased are well suited to the Indian tastes. They have either been nominated for awards or won prestigious awards." © 2003 agencyfaqs!