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General News Zindagi to expand original programming hours
MUMBAI: Zindagi, the premium entertainment channel from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), is expanding its original programming hours and planning to source content from countries other than just Turkey.

Zindagi will have five-and-a-half hours of original content daily from Monday to Saturday and its primetime will extend to 11.30 pm. There will be four Turkish shows of one hour each and three half-hour Hindi shows.

Zindagi’s primetime currently ends at 10.30 pm with ‘Khwaabon Ki Zamin Par’, which narrates the story of Arya, a young middle-class guy who is chasing his dreams and his love life.

The expansion of primetime by one hour will take effect on 19 December. Zindagi will launch Turkish drama ‘Kuzey Guney’ at 10 pm, moving the Hindi series ‘Khwaabon Ki Zamin Par’ to a later time band at 11 pm.

The channel’s primetime will, thus, run between 6 and 11.30 pm. ‘Kuzey Guney’, the story of two competitive brothers, will be the fourth Turkish show on the channel vis-à-vis the three Hindi programmes.

“We are expanding our primetime by an hour. This will come into effect on 19 December when we launch ‘Kuzey Guney’,” said ZEEL chief business officer Sunil Buch.

Buch is impressed by the storyline of ‘Kuzey Guney’. While Kuzey is bold, fearless, spontaneous and aggressive, Guney is calm, patient, level-headed and academically bright. The only thing common between the two is their love for Cemre, a beautiful girl who lives in the neighbourhood. An unfortunate mishap changes the lives of the two brothers. Kuzey goes to jail for no fault of his own and returns home after four years to find that life has changed.

Zindagi will not just end its hunt for international content with Turkish drama. The channel is planning to bring hand-picked stories from other countries including Spain, Italy, Latin America, Portugal, Germany and Korea sometime next year.

Zindagi has initiated talks with content producers. “We are identifying content from other countries that will fit Zindagi’s brand proposition. We have also started talks with some content owners. We expect to acquire telecast rights by next year,” said Buch.

After the network’s decision to ban Pakistani shows, Zindagi introduced a new content line-up comprising a mix of Turkish and Indian shows in October.

“Zindagi’s uniqueness lies in the quality of its content and the increasing global sensibility among its evolved audiences. This is reflected in the new primetime slate that we launched last month, which includes three shows from India—two love stories ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ and ‘Khwaabon Ke Zamin Par’ and humorous parody ‘TV Ke Uss Paar’. We also ran two shows from Turkey—the blockbuster ‘Fatmagul’ and a light-hearted drama ‘Little Lord’,” said Buch.

‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ is the story of love transcending class differences. Neema, the daughter of an affluent father, falls in love with a simple middle-class boy named Ravi. She marries against her father’s wishes. Will class difference destroy the relationship?

‘TV Ke Uss Paar’, on the other hand, is a thrilling ride of a mother–son duo. Vivek works for an MNC while the mother spends her time watching television. His mother’s craze for daily soaps leads her into the reel world, and soon, Vivek follows her there, too.

In November, Zindagi also brought back a new season of ‘Feriha’. The earlier season had got a positive response, particularly in the urban Hindi-speaking markets (HSM).

The main criterion to acquire or create shows is their realism or uniqueness. “Each story is not only beautifully crafted but also delivered with impeccable direction and utmost sensitivity in terms of treatment and portrayal of characters. Audiences relate to these endearing and powerful characters and index it to their own life journey savouring every moment. Zindagi presents finite world stories with bold and differentiated narratives that unveil universal emotions,” he added.

When Zindagi entered the market two years ago, there was a clear gap in terms of premium content. “Zindagi has been a category creator in the Indian entertainment space. We are the only channel that curates and provides content for the well-educated and well-heeled audiences,” summed up Buch.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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