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Zee Anmol to add a Hindi-dubbed Marathi show to line-up

MUMBAI: Following its success with the Tamil show ‘Naagkanya’, Hindi free-to-air general entertainment channel (GEC) Zee Anmol is introducing more regional content into its programming.

Accordingly, the channel is adding a Marathi mythological series entitled ‘Jai Malhar’ on 24 July. Considering that ‘Jai Malhar’ is one of the most popular shows on Zee Marathi (ZEEL’s Marathi GEC), the channel has decided to add the Hindi-dubbed version of the show to its line-up.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) premium and FTA GEC business cluster head Aparna Bhosle said, “Earlier, we have done ‘Naagkanya’ from the Southern market and it has done exceptionally well for us. Therefore, we are attempting a show from Zee Marathi and are dubbing it for the viewers.”

Since ZEE Anmol caters to the rural market, it tends to select shows that emphasises the rural viewers’ sensibilities.

“Zee Network already has a huge amount of content as we have a lot of channels. But what is important is to select the right content because sometimes one can get blinded by a lot of choice. One may get tempted to get newer programmes, but it is important to understand the mind-set of the market and the ability of that content for the rural market. Rural market tends to like more positive shows. We use that filter as a strategy for Zee Anmol,” Bhosle explained.

With ‘Jai Malhar’, Zee Anmol has also created a new 4-pm prime-time slot running from Monday to Friday. Currently, the channel’s prime time starts at 6 pm and ends at 11 pm. From 24 July, the channel will air ‘Jai Malhar’ at 4 pm, whereas the 5–6-pm slot will feature repeats of its popular shows. Whether the channel will introduce new shows in the vacant 5–6-pm slot is yet to be known.

On the strategy of airing the series in a new time slot, Bhosle said, “If we study the numbers, different states have different levels of PUT (people using television), and Maharashtra’s PUT is extremely high at 4 pm. Considering that this show has been made keeping in mind Maharashtrian sensibilities, we are slotting it in a Maharashtra high-PUT time band.”

‘Jai Malhar’ is based on the legends of courage, magnanimity and prowess of Khandoba (fondly known as Malhar), the warrior deity of Maharashtra. The show brings alive the story of Khandoba (Lord Shiva’s reincarnation) and touches on his determination to protect others.

Produced and directed by Mahesh Kothare, the show stars Devdatta Nage in the lead role of Lord Khandoba while Isha Keskar essays the role of Banu and Surabhi Hande is portraying the character of Mhalsa, the first wife of Lord Khandoba.

The channel has earmarked a significant amount of marketing and promotional budget for the show and will be treating the show as a core property. To promote the show in its big market, which is Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Zee Anmol is creating initiatives that will highlight the fact that Malhar is a form of Shiv.

Bhosle commented, “Every year in UP a yatra is organised by Shiv devotees. We will promote the show and educate them as some of the terms used in the show might be new to them. We have a significant promotional budget because it’s regional content. It is easier to communicate with Hindi shows, but this one needs slightly more communication.”

Zee Anmol has been one of the top channels on the BARC charts. According to Bhosle, almost all the shows are doing well, most notably ‘Jamai Raja’, ‘Tashan-e-ishq’ and ‘Ganga’, which are doing exceptionally well.