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Zee TV extends five fiction shows to Saturday

MUMBAI: After extending two of its fiction shows in the 7–8 pm primetime band in January, Zee TV has extended three more shows from Monday to Saturday. Hence, the channel now airs five shows from its original line-up six days a week.

Earlier, genre leader Star Plus and Colors took their weekday fiction programming six days a week. Now Zee TV wants to keep its weekday and weekend programming differentiated.

The channel made the first move towards the extension on 26 January. Its 7 pm show ‘Bandhan’ was then extended till Saturday. On 27 January, Zee TV launched a new show entitled ‘Hello Pratibha’ at 7:30 pm slotted for Monday–Saturday.

(L-R) Rakesh Paswan, Kratika Sengar,Abhishek Rawat and Programming Head Namit Sharma at the launch of Zee TV's new show Service Wali Bahu

From 14 February, the channel has further extended two other shows till Saturday—‘Satrangi Sasural’ at 10 pm and ‘Doli Armaano Ki’ at 10:30 pm. It will launch a new show ‘Service Wali Bahu’ on 23 February to revive its early primetime slot at 6:30 pm, again from Monday to Saturday.

Therefore, besides the four shows in the 8–10 pm band on weekdays, all the other shows from the channel have gone six days a week. This is because Zee TV already has ‘Neeli Chhatri Wale’ from 8 to 9 pm and ‘Saregamapa Li’l Champs’ from 9 to 10 pm on weekends.

Going ahead, the channel has aggressive plans and has “some very exciting shows in development, the promos of some are breaking over the weekend. We are very excited about our line-up for the year which we will unveil as the year progresses,” Zee TV programming head Namit Sharma said.

‘Service Wali Bahu’ is a voice against new-age dowry

Zee TV is launching ‘Service Wali Bahu’, a story of hope and inspiration, a voice against new-age dowry. In a city like Mumbai where a working woman thinks of herself as a financially independent individual, somebody else in another part of the country is looking at her as an exploitation opportunity.

(L-R) Akshara Singh,Ekroop Bedi, Pratichi Mishra, Atul Shrivastava, Vineet Kumar and Abhishek Rawat at the launch of Zee TV's new show Service Wali Bahu

Sharma said, “We were constantly developing subjects for the 6:30 pm slot. Earlier we had ‘Pavitra Rishta’ and we needed an exciting drama to replace its position to catch the viewers’ attention. It is a very relevant story and offers wholesome family entertainment.”

The show was developed in 4–5 months by Rakesh Paswan of Village Boy Productions.

Adding 30 minutes to its original programming hours, Zee TV has already got a good response from the advertisers, and managed to attain a title sponsor ‘Wagh Bakri’ within four days of putting the promo on air.

“Clearly numbers also prove that there is a strong audience base available at 6, 6:30 and 7 pm, which was considered a weak time band. With this, we are strengthening that time band as well. If the story delivers, the slot will deliver on its own,” Sharma mentioned.

The show will also star Abhishek Rawat who will play the layered character of Dev, the male protagonist opposite Kratika; Bhojpuri actor Akshara Singh will be seen as Payals’ sister-in-law Gulkand; playing the role of her manipulative husband Ayodhya is Vineet Kumar; Atul Shrivastava and Pratichee Mishra will be playing Dev’s parents Jogeshwar and Santoshi Prasad; and Ramakanth Daayama and Meena Mir will play Payals’ parents Bhubneshwar and Indu Rai.