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&TV brings ‘The Voice’ to India

MUMBAI: As Zee TV continues to enjoy its home-grown formats in the song and dance space, its more contemporary sibling &TV is all geared up to launch one of the top-rated international formats ‘The Voice’ for Indian viewers.

Earlier in March, &TV had launched another big-ticket reality quiz show, ‘India Poochega Sabse Shaana Kaun’, to give a boost to its weekday programming.

Said &TV business head Rajesh Iyer, “ With ‘India Poochega’ we launched a brand and it met the objective of driving sampling of the channel. We have had a good launch which is half the job done. Now after weekday, we wanted to strengthen our weekends as well. We are confident about ‘The Voice’ and it will help take us to the next growth trajectory.

Hence, from 6 June, viewers will see a new music reality format making its debut in India. The show will occupy the 9 pm slot on weekends, replacing the channel’s other song-based reality show ‘Killer Karaoke’.

From the house of Talpa Media and produced by Endemol, ‘The Voice’ will feature contestants chosen through ‘blind auditions’, with the focus being laid on the voice rather than the contestant. Therefore, judges will only be able to hear the voice of the contestant during the first round of selection.

The Voice India

Rajesh Iyer (Business Head &TV), Mika Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Himesh Reshamiya, Deepak Dhar, (MD and CEO Endemol) and Karan Tacker at the launch of ‘The Voice India’

Bollywood singers Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mika Singh and Himesh Reshammiya will coach and build their own teams and mentor talents to reach the finale.

Running for 13 weeks, the 26-episode property will unfold in three phases—blinds, battles, and live.

As mentioned earlier, the celebrity coaches will pick their team only by listening to the voice and not the person. The coaches will stake their claim on the voice that strikes a chord with them by hitting the buzzer and turning around to face the contestant.

In the ‘battles’ phase, the coaches will pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song.

In the ‘live’ leg of the competition, the final candidates will be coached by the mentors and a team of professionals. The top contestants from each team will vie with each other and the viewers will vote for their favourite voice.

Talking about this new addition to the overcrowded music reality genre, Endemol India MD and CEO Deepak Dhar said that he would ideally have liked to bring ‘The Voice’ down to India three years ago. “Everybody first goes and grabs a singing or dance show, but now that this has come in, I am sure it will work wonders as the format is quite different. Content has a cyclical pattern every 4–5 years and this is the right time to bring in ‘The Voice’.”

The channel along with the production team held extensive auditions in 48 cities across India to select 110 competent singers.

“Positioned as a weekend driver, the show will encourage cohesive viewing that will take viewers on an absorbing and entertaining emotional roller coaster from start to finish. The format enjoys immense popularity worldwide and we are certain that it will find favour with the Indian audience as they are passionate music lovers,” Iyer added.

Developing the show took about 4–5 months, and given its glitzy set-up and high-profile judges, the show does look like a high-budget property.

&TV has roped in Maruti Alto K10 as presenting sponsor and Chings as the powered-by sponsor. It will announce the names of other sponsors soon.

The show’s core TG will be people in the 15–24 age group as it is a more contemporary show with energy and a spirit of youth.

Regarding his association with ‘The Voice’, Shaan said, “’The Voice’ is an extremely popular format globally. It’s the most sought-after show for any singer-musician. What clicked for me is that every round is exciting, very different, and innovative.”