Sangeeta Tanwar

Zee Kannada puts its weight behind format shows

The channel is bracing up for the launch of three format shows, namely, Yariguntu Yarigilla, Gunagaana and Gramophone, in July and the first half of August

The regional general entertainment channel, Zee Kannada is bracing up for the launch of as many as three format shows in July.

The new shows to be rolled out this month are Yariguntu Yarigilla, Gunagaana and Gramophone. Besides these, the channel has a host of similar properties, ready for their second and third season runs.

Going by the long list of format shows planned by Zee Kannada, it appears that the channel has a soft spot for this genre.

Zee Kannada puts its weight behind format shows
Sharing some insights on the programming mix and programming strategy followed by the channel, Shekar J, business head, Zee Kannada, says, "We believe in being proactive in experimenting with new formats for a regional audience. There is a constant feedback mechanism that helps us track the reactions of the viewers to each of these formats. And for us, their insights form a critical base for our decisions on the ideal programming mix."

For instance, Shekar points out that several feedback results suggested the need for a show that addressed serious issues within the personal space of the viewers. "And thus our show Baduku Jatakaabandi was rolled out," he adds.

The soon to be launched three shows represent different formats. Gunagaana, in its third season, will present an overview of the musical hits delivered by yesteryears' film stars, who, by their presence on the screen, immortalized several memorable songs. In its first season, the show paid similar tribute to music composers.

Zee Kannada puts its weight behind format shows
Yariguntu Yarigilla is a game show targeted at women. The channel is confident that the show will be a roller-coaster ride for audiences, as it integrates four different formats. It is being hosted by the popular television anchor and budding Kannada actress, Varsha.

Talking about another format show, Nimmurnage Gramophone Hachtivi, Vaishnavi H S, non-fiction programming head, Zee Kannada, says, "The show is one of the channel's earliest initiatives to reach out to its viewers across Karnataka. It is a series of mini-events organised across the state, where professional playback singers sing popular tracks from a particular era in Kannada cinema. They are supported by a couple of actors from that era. Together, they recreate the magic and nostalgia of the golden years of Kannada cinema."

The channel has decided to launch Yariguntu on July 8 and it will air on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 pm. Gunagaana is set to debut on July 19 at 11 am. The third format show has been tentatively scheduled for early August.

Explaining the popularity of these format shows, Vaishnavi says, "Constant novelty is one of the key contributors to the popularity of these format shows. A conscious effort is made towards a change in theme and presentation of each of these format shows every season, which lasts for three to four months. Thus, viewers feel pampered and constantly look forward to changing scenarios in entertainment."

Every format show on the channel comes with a predetermined span of episodes, as the idea is to place the climax of a series when the show is at its peak. The break between seasons gives much-needed relief to the viewers, since they move on to format shows that have been introduced in the meanwhile. At the same time, there is renewed expectation when the show is back for another season.

Varsha Gowda, senior manager, marketing and channel promotions, adds that Zee Kannada, on a constant basis, promotes these key properties across Karnataka. Alongside ATL and BTL, the focus is also on print, radio, outdoor and events to promote these properties.

Gowda concludes, "The promotional activities for all the shows are planned, based on the specific objectives and target groups of a given show."