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&TV gears up to fight the GEC game; stocks up content arsenal

MUMBAI: With an aim to strengthen its
content offering and increase
viewership, &TV, the seven-month-
old Hindi GEC from Zee Entertainment
Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), is set to give
a push to its fiction line-up with four
new shows.
The channel, which has seen decent
growth in its viewership but is yet to
enter the big league of the GECs, is
now looking at aggressively building
on programming and the channel
business head Rajesh Iyer is the man
with the mission.
Iyer is ready to take the hard
decisions, whether it is to pull the
plug on a non-performing show, or to
rope in a new fiction head (Vikas
Gupta) from a youth channel.
Incidentally, all the four shows that
the channel has lined up are from
completely different genres—
fantasy, horror, socio-mythological,
as well as a young romantic drama
from soap queen Ekta Kapoor.
“These four shows are our immediate
launches and the idea was to bring
variety and differentiated content.
Providing variety remains to be key
for &TV. Our aim is to offer
differentiated content as it helps to
increase sampling,” Iyer told
First up from the channel is ‘Ye Kahan
Aa Gaye Hum’, produced by Balaji
Telefilms. This is also Ekta Kapoor’s
first show for the channel. It will
occupy the weekday (Monday–Friday)
primetime slot of 9.30 pm from 26
October, replacing historical show
‘Razia Sultan’.
“’Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’ is our
first Balaji show and the idea was to
get Ekta, a big name with a big show
and popular stars. We feel that this
romantic story will resonate well with
the young audiences,” explains Iyer.
‘Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum’ is a tale of
friendship, love, trust, betrayal and
more. It revolves around Rahul
Sabharwal, who is a successful singer
and one of the many reasons behind
the success of his father’s music
empire. A simple homebody, Rahul has
an image of being arrogant and
uncaring, whereas in real life he is
the complete opposite. A strong-
willed girl, Maanvi is a simple girl and
the pride of her parents. Singing is in
her genes and she has been trained
under her father’s watchful eyes in
classical music. Maanvi loves her
family and unlike other girls her age,
she does not consider Rahul a great
singer. The show explores what
happens when their paths cross.
The channel has already roped in
Chings and Multani Chavanprash as
the co-powered by sponsors for the
For the second show, ‘Darr… Sabko
Lagta Hai’, &TV will create a new
weekend slot. The channel has roped
in Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu as
the narrator.
Launching on 31 October, the show
will air every Saturday and Sunday at
10 pm, strengthening channel’s
weekends programming. The channel
airs game show ‘Deal or No Deal’ at 8
pm, followed by the investigative
series ‘Agent Raghav: Crime Branch’
at 9 pm.
Produced by Reel Life Entertainment,
‘Darr… Sabko Lagta Hai’ is an episodic
horror series featuring stories about
the paranormal, supernatural, spirits,
ghosts and the unseen. Helmed by Raj
and DK of ‘Go Goa Gone’ fame, the
show with a contemporary approach
will mark the TV debut of Basu, who
will host each story presented as
short films.
Iyer stated, “In terms of
consumption, horror as a genre has
mass appeal. While we have roped in
Bipasha Basu as the host of the show,
‘Darr Sabko Lagta Hai’ will also see
various popular actors and directors.
We feel we have all the right
ingredients to enhance our weekend
band with the show.”
Aiming to bring in more variety and
differentiated programming to its
line-up, the channel will launch a
fantasy saga titled ‘Adhuri Kahani
Humari’ produced by Four Lions Films.
A story of reincarnation and love, the
show will launch on 16 November,
airing at 7.30 pm from Monday to
Friday. It will replace the ongoing
‘Badii Devrani’ in the early primetime
“While we are opening a new slot on
weekends with ‘Darr Sabko Lagta
Hai’, we are replacing two of our
current weekday shows ‘Razia Sultan’
and ‘Badii Devrani’ with ‘Yeh Kahaan
Aa Gaye Hum’ and ‘Adhuri Kahaani
Hamari’ respectively. The intent is to
increase original programming on the
channel,” he added.
The fourth show from the channel will
be a socio-mytho show titled
‘Santoshi Maa’. Produced by Rashmi
Sharma Productions, the show will
focus on the belief of a devotee in
Maa Santoshi and how the goddess
helps her overcome obstacles in life.
The launch date and time slot of the
show have not been finalised yet.
Iyer stated that they have positioned
the show as a ‘socio-mytho’, a new
genre, as they did not want to bring
the show as a full-blown mythology.
The aim, he says, is to connect with
the youth viewers.
Two months ago, &TV had roped in
Gupta as the new weekday
programming head to drive the
programming on the channel. With
several new fiction launches on the
anvil, the channel will gradually focus
on the non-fiction weekend line-up as
well, as ‘Deal or No Deal’ culminates
in December.
Presently, the channel’s viewers
comprise 45 per cent males and 55 per
cent females, stated Iyer. While
there is no particular skew, the
channel is also working on
establishing its positioning in the
crowded Hindi GEC market.
“As a brand, we are progressive,
contemporary and we will continue
with this philosophy going forward,”
Iyer asserted.

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