At ZEE, the catchword is to excite new viewers. The channel has, in the last fortnight, launched two new shows - thriller Tamanna House at 10.00 pm from Sunday to Wednesday and reality show India's Best - Cine Star Ki Khoj on Fridays and Saturdays at 9.00 pm - which are aimed at not only adding a new dimension to its programming mix, but also getting new viewers to sample its programmes.
The channel, says Ashish Dabral, head of marketing, ZEE TV, is looking to consolidate existing viewership. "Shows such as Tamanna House came about as a result of the constant consumer research and dipsticks that we undertake to understand what viewers want."
Launched in place of Kaun, which lasted barely four months on the channel, Tamanna House has a continuous storyline, dwelling on the lives of an estranged couple - Dileep and Tamanna - who organise a party on the occasion of their separation.
Tamanna moots the idea of handing over a cash prize to Dileep, if he follows certain rules laid down by her at the party. In the event of Dileep failing to meet the set criteria, it is decided that he will give Tamanna a huge amount of money.
Dileep decides to take up the challenge, and every episode explores what is in store for the protagonists.
Now, if the storyline sounds bizarre, Dabral maintains that thrillers need to be different to attract viewers. "It is no fun, when you have the same thing all over the place."
The duration of Tamanna is different from its predecessor, Kaun, as well; the earlier programme had short thriller stories extending over two to three episodes.
India's Best, on the other hand, is the reality show based on the channel's massive on-ground talent hunt that has moved into the second stage with the on-air telecast. "It captures the emotion, drama and excitement of the participants, which makes for compelling viewing," says Dabral.
Thirty-two participants were selected from each of the 20 cities in the country in the first stage, which will now be whittled down to four in the second round. "These people will be further shortlisted, the selected candidates will then go through an intense grooming session. Following this, the aspiring actors will face a jury for the final round of selection," says Dabral.
Alongside, the channel is also readying itself for the relaunch of the afternoon band titled ZEE Woman on July 12. Stretching from 12.30 pm to 3.00 pm from Monday to Thursday, the band has a mix of half-hour daily shows and 2-minute information capsules for the discerning homemaker, says Dabral.
Three new shows Reth, Tera Mera Saath Rahe and Dil Hi Dil Mein will simultaneously premiere in the afternoon band on July 12, which, along with reruns of popular prime time shows Astitva and Piya Ka Ghar, will provide the female viewer with a strong line-up of programmes, he adds.
"The existing afternoon fare on television may command a high viewership, but the fact remains that there is no band that a female viewer can call her own. There is nothing that caters to her needs and wants. We have attempted to address this issue with a mix of information and entertainment in the afternoon band," adds Dabral.
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