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Doordarshan building non-fiction with five launches

MUMBAI: With a view to building its non-fiction slot and revamping its image, public service broadcaster Doordarshan has unveiled a slate of environment-focused programmes as well as shows in other genres.

The revamp of the channel has been long due, and the team has been looking to change the rundown image of the channel for over a year now.

DD has been known to broadcast programmes of various genres and catering to people of different social strata. So, while the channel cannot go completely urban, it is thus launching a slate of new shows to build its non-fiction repertoire.

Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, DD National channel advisor Tanuja Shankar said, “DD caters to farmers, people from literature backgrounds and all kind of target viewers unlike the Hindi general entertainment channels which focus mostly on metro audiences. When all these channels launched, it pushed back DD and gave it stiff competition, so now we are going in for intelligent programming.”

The first show to be launched is ‘Earth Matters’ which will debut on 8 June. It will air at 10:30 am, every Sunday on DD National.

The show aims to take a hard look at the state of the environment, the diminishing natural resources, the fast disappearing forest cover, the endangered wildlife, urban pollution and the pressures on rural India.

The 26-episode series will travel across India and take stock of India’s rich biodiversity and ecological heritage. Each 30-minute episode will contain two to three segments and stories. Some episodes will be specials that will cover only one issue, supported by interviews with experts, scientists and the affected citizens.

It will be directed and anchored by three-time Green Oscar winner Mike Pandey, internationally renowned for his film on conservation and environment.

Besides, it will also launch ‘Nadiyaan Gaati Hain’, a series on the rivers of India from 6 June. The show will air at 7 pm every Friday.

The travelogue documentary series on rivers will explore the historical, cultural and social journey of rivers in India. Produced by Anupama Productions, ‘Nadiyaan Gaati Hain’ is a 13-part series, delving into history, mythology and culture to tell stories about the six significant rivers of Madhya Pradesh—Narmada, Betwa, Shipra, Tapti, Chambal and Sone.

This will be followed by the launch of writer and Content Project founder Neelesh Misra’s TV show ‘Gaon Connection’. Showcasing rural India, the show will premiere on 9 June and air at 8 pm on Monday and Tuesday. It will be presented in a video magazine format, showcasing people in villages creating small jobs for themselves.

All these shows aim to provide information along with entertainment. However, DD is not looking at finite series and thus each of the new shows have been conceptualised keeping in mind a certain number of episodes.

But seasonal properties are still the flavour, and the pubcaster will also launch the second season of its religious tourism show ‘Yatra’ on 11 June. Hosted by Deepti Bhatnagar, it will feature a spiritual journey to various Indian temples. The show will air at 8 pm every Wednesday.

Moving a bit away from serious programmes, DD National will also air the sixth season of its dance reality show ‘Bharat Ki Shaan: Let’s Dance’ from 7 June. Airing at 8:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday, it will focus on classical and folk dance forms, and will be judged by two choreographers Pony Verma and Sandip Soparrkar.

The channel recently launched an array of six low-budget, women-oriented shows for its afternoon slot ‘DD Dopahar’ from 12 to 3 pm. It will also restructure its fiction programming and launch a number of shows within the next month.

While DD has original fiction shows in its primetime band, it is presently airing popular shows from its archive including ‘Buniyaad’, ‘Malgudi Days’ and ‘Chanakya’ in the 8 and 8:30 pm slots.

“We have an amazing archive from where we suddenly take out classics and put them on air. These old shows attract the audiences and in turn the advertisers as they are very popular,” Shankar stated.