India and Indians are going to be in Discovery's focus like never before.
The channel, in its arguably biggest investment in India so far, will be shooting an episode on India and Lord Krishna's Dwarka, the submerged city in the western coast of India. The shoot will involve underwater filming which will take viewers to the remains of the once-great city. The cost will easily run into millions of dollars.
Discovery had received great reviews and wow ratings when it had telecast the unearthing of Egypt's queen Cleopatra's palace off the coast of modern-day Alexandria. The episode on Dwarka is expected to do even better. Krishna's Dwarka will no doubt see the coming together of religion and history.
The episode, according to Discovery's programming director, Pankaj Saxena, will be a part of the channel's special programming plan, dubbed as Atlas, a multi-million dollar project. "The episode on India will be a part of the 26 episodes that Atlas is going to chronicle across 26 countries," Saxena said.
Indian viewers need to be patient for the Dwarka episode since the telecast will take place only in 2005.
Apart from India's old history, in its time band Discover India, telecast on Sunday mornings, the channel is also focussing on Indians who have made it big worldwide.
Country singer Bobby Cash is shortly going to be one such Indian celeb. The programme - The Indian Cowboy, One in a Billion will be premiered on Discovery on Saturday, June 26 from 9-10 pm with repeats on Sunday, June 27 from 9-10 am. .
Saxena says, "This is the story of Bobby Cash's acceptance in Australia." The film captures the story of a rather unknown country music singer Cash, his struggle, his journey to Australia and his phenomenal rise to star status in Down Under.
Cash has become the first Indian to enter the top ten in the Australian Country music charts and today he performs at all sellout concerts at Melbourne, Bendigo, Canberra, Sydney, Tamworth ( Woodstock of Australia) and Shell Harbour.
Some of the other Indians about to be featured in the show include script writer Shama Zaidi (assistant to the famous film director Shyam Benegal) and painter Amrita Shergil. While the Shama Zaidi show will be a 30 minutes episode, the one on Amrita Shergil will have a running time of 60 minutes duration.
The renowned Indians who have already been featured is sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and perhaps less-famous but supremely gifted Dr Ramachandran, the neurosurgeon who is researching on unleashing the power of the "untapped" brain in the US.
Discovery executives reiterated that India is high on the priority list of the channel as far as programming is considered.
Talking about the strategy behind this initiative, Saxena says, " Our target group is 14-34 and we felt that we can excite our modern Indian viewers with programmes on modern India."
So, it's going to be a mix of the modern with the ancient in Discovery. © 2004 agencyfaqs!