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Zee bullish on films. To air made-for-television movies

17-December-2002
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Zee bullish on films. To air made-for-television movies

Three months since ZEE TV revamped its programming strategy, it is now all set to air telefilms, exclusively made for the channel. Though, in the initial phase, channel plans to air these movies on the last Saturday of the month, plan is to air telefilms every Saturday, once various themes have been identified.

Say Apurva Purohit, President, Zee TV, "We have been consciously making efforts to have different kinds of programming. Not only is the programming on ZEE different from other channels, but also the tenure and scheduling. Original and exclusive films are a step in the same direction. These are high gloss films with a different story-line".

Independent producers and production houses have been assigned the job of producing these movies. None-the-less, the channel will be involved in the selection of themes.

ZEE is launching the first series of original telefilms under the brand name of Kambahakt Ishq. These movies are, to quote channel sources, "Emotional and spine-chilling stories of passionate relationships that have incited crime. Elements of fear, intrigue, horror, love, and suspense all present themselves in the right blend in one slot." Is the channel, then, experimenting with 'bold' movies? Says Purohit, "Bold has a very different connotation. These movies show heightened emotions, but you can definitely watch them with your family."

Is the introduction of these movies, once again, result of research? Smiles Purohit, "Our research has shown us that audience want to watch something different. However, their experience is limited to what they have already seen on television in India. This is our endeavour to provide them something apart from the usual stuff".

Media watchers sound positive on this initiative. Says Divya Rajadhyaksha, Associate VP - Media Services, Optimedia India, Publicis, "They are getting good numbers for their Thursday blockbusters. Media planners don't mind spending a part of their media budget there. Telefilms, is again, a new experiment. And it just might work."

Though Thursday Blockbusters have good TRPs, other programmes have not been able to gain much. This, perhaps, has led the channel to flirt a little more with movie genre.

But, is the channel not stretching its neck too far by experimenting so much? Rajadhyaksha doesn't think so. Says she, "It is not such a big risk, as a minimum thirteen episode slot. Besides, Saturday is a good slot, there is not much competition. However, it would, to a great extent depend on how good the movies are." She adds, "The channel is getting far more dynamic than they have been in a long time. It is a second beginning for ZEE, and it appears that they are eyeing number two slot".

To begin with Paras, Dominos and Dabur would be the sponsors for Kambahakt Ishq series.

The channel plans to air their first movie in this series by the name Chura Ke Dil mera, directed by Diya & Tony Singh, on 28th December at 8:30p.m.

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