It was exactly six months ago that Hindi general entertainment channel ZEE turned programming norms upside down and switched its timeline from the prevailing Monday to Thursday to the radical Sunday to Wednesday. Then, the channel moved away from the conventional practice of screening movies, especially blockbusters, over the weekend by creating an exclusive time band on weekdays called Thursday Premieres. Side by side, the channel launched a slew of new shows - especially during primetime - to try and woo fickle audiences back to its fold. Sundays were earmarked as crucial days since the primetime evening line-up began on the first day of the week.
Into the New Year, ZEE has unveiled the second part of its strategy focusing on Sunday mornings, which according to Apurva Purohit, president, ZEE TV, has "enormous potential". "Our aim has been to open up gateways - be it on Thursdays, Sunday evenings, or Friday evenings. Our Friday evening line-up has strong properties such as Antakshari, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hain and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. We are now looking at Sunday mornings," she adds.
As part of this strategy, the channel plans to launch a one-hour family drama titled Kanhaiya on March 9 at 9.30 am. Unlike most other family dramas on television, this one has a child protagonist with the storyline revolving around the impish Kanhaiya played by Shriya. "Sunday mornings has traditionally been a time for family viewing," claims Purohit, "And this show fits the bill perfectly," she adds. The only other shows with a child artiste in the lead are Shakalaka Boom Boom, Sonpari and Karishmaa Ka Karishmaa on STAR Plus during weekdays. However, what sets Kanhaiya apart is the fact that it has elements of a regular soap with a child (and not a female) in the lead. "Innovation is critical," claims Purohit. "One definitely can't do without it," she adds.
The second programme to premiere on a Sunday is the half-hour Good Health Show on March 16 at 1.00 pm. Billed as a "complete health show" it aims at providing practical tips and suggestions keeping in mind the entire family. Thrown in for good measure are five-minute workouts, celebrity health insights and segments featuring expert advice on ailments. "ZEE is directed at the family," asserts Purohit, "And Sundays mornings are a time for family viewing. Going by that logic, all our shows during this time band will be family-oriented," she adds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!