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Zee TV to launch two weekend prime-time slots

MUMBAI: Hindi GEC Zee TV is aiming to strengthen its weekend prime-time programming with the launch of two new slots.

The exercise will start from 22 July with the launch of non-fiction property ‘India’s Best Judwa’ at 8 pm and the new season of ‘Fear Files’ at 10.30 pm.

Zee TV is also planning to expand its daily weekday prime-time programming.

Zee TV deputy business head Deepak Rajadhyaksha said, “We are exploring on the prime-time slot front. The thought process of where we should expand and create a new slot is still on. Though we are launching a new band at the weekend at 8 pm and 10.30 pm with two new shows, we will disclose our weekday plans when we are ready, probably by October.”

Currently, ZEE TV has four and a half hours of daily prime-time programming on weekdays, featuring nine fiction shows such as ‘Bin Kuch Kahe’, ‘Aisi Deewangi’, ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, ‘Sethji’ and ‘Woh Apna Sa’, ‘Zindagi Ki Mahek’ and ‘Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani’.

For weekends, the channel has only one original show, ‘Amul Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’, which airs at 9 pm. The one-and-a-half-hour show is one of the top-rated shows of the channel. From 22 July, the channel’s programming will further strengthen with the launch of the non-fiction show ‘India’s Best Judwaa’ and horror show ‘Fear Files’.

‘India’s Best Judwaa’ is a reality show that will host a hunt for talented twins across the country. The show puts the spotlight on India’s identical twins, showcasing their connection, their talent, their striking similarities and fascinating aspects of their lives together.

The new season of ‘Fear Files’ will feature some new mysterious supernatural stories.

For the past few weeks, Zee TV has been among the top five channels on BARC’s ratings chart. Shows like ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, ‘Zindagi Ki Mahek’, ‘Piya Albela’, ‘Amul Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs’ and the recently launched ‘Aisi Deewangi’ are reportedly getting good response.

Cashing in on the popularity of ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, which is constantly ranking among the top 5 shows, the channel has launched a spin-off of the show. The spin-off entitled ‘Kundali Bhagya’ will start airing from 12 July at 9.30 pm.

Produced by Balaji Telefilms, the series will take a leaf out of Pragya’s (female lead of ‘Kumkum Bhagya’) life, narrating the story of her two sisters, Preeta and Shrishti.

The channel is using a 360-degree of marketing strategy to promote the show. Though ‘Kundali Bhagya’ is a spin-off, Zee TV will treat it like any other individual show on the channel.

Talking about advertisers, Rajadhyaksha said, “We are in the process of roping in advertisers. Because of GST (goods and services tax) there is a bit of glitch, but we will overcome it soon. We have experienced this even during demonetisation. This impact is only for the short term, with no effect on our annual target,” he added.

Regarding the launch of the new shows, he said that the aim is to cater to middleclass sensibilities and their aspirations, which are continuously changing. “With Zee, we have applied a very clean thought of going back to the basic, and whenever we have done that, viewers have responded to our shows in a positive way. This confidence and the relatable factor has always worked for the Zee TV. We are seeing it with ‘Little Champs’, ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, ‘Aise Deewangi’ and ‘Piya Albela’, which are growing. We believe that the value preposition should be intact and when this preposition is intact response will follow,” he stated.

Zee TV is also planning to bring back the new season of their popular dance reality show ‘Dance India Dance’.

Rajadhyaksha said, “Based on the sensibility of our home-grown viewers, we are selecting content like ‘India’s Best Judwaa’. It is our first home-grown format. We can’t randomly base shows on international formats. It is not the right thing to do. So, we are picking up certain shows based on our viewers’ psyche, their expectations, value prepositions and aspirations.”