Wednesday 13-January-2016, 12:37
MUMBAI: Zee TV aims for a fresh approach with a much saturated fiction concept with their first fiction presentation of 2016, titled Meri Saasu Maa. Scheduled to air from 26 January onwards at 7.30 pm, this new infinite fiction show comes from the makers of hit serials like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Navya and Mahabharath. The show will be produced by Mumtaz Saba Productions -- a collaboration between Saba Mumtaz, Siddharth Tewary and Rahul Kumar Tewary of Swastik productions.
Explaining the concept behind the show Mumtaz shares, “Our protagonist is this young 22 year old girl, whose biggest aspiration in life is to find a mother in her Mother-in-Law. Pari is a Cinderella troubled by her step-mother and siblings, but the only distinction is that she is looking for a mother in her marriage rather than a prince charming. She wants a world where her mother will embrace her with open arms every time she enters the house. Pari’s positive thought and belief in finding a mother in her Mother-in-law will drive her actions. Meri Saasu Maa will be a highly relatable show and every woman out there will empathize with Pari.”
Welcoming the new show with open arms Zee TV business head Pradeep Hejmadi adds, “For years, we have seen shows on television explore the stereotypical relationship of a saas bahu where the two are placed at loggerheads, constantly scheming and plotting against each other. Times have changed and so have relationships. Meri Saasu Maa is our attempt to showcase the changed relationships in society.”
With BARC rural inclusive ratings coming in the picture, the industry seems to have a woken up to rural and tier II and Tier II India which still enjoys saas bahu sagas over modern contemporary shows. So have the advertisers and content producers about these millions of eyeballs which forms almost 50 per cent of BARC’s sample viewership. We can’t help but wonder if the need to cater to these freshly discovered eyeballs is leading broadcasters to return to their tried and tested ‘saas bahu’ formula for GECs.
“I consider that we are leaders in rural. A lot of the shows we do, we curate from the poin of view that the content should also work in LCs and smaller cities and towns, making sure that it resonates with viewers from across markets. We will continue in that direction, keeping our rural and tier II tier tier III viewers in mind. I feel that in order to achieve that there is no reason to treat a story very differently. Viewers in these pockets are very aspirational so a familiar storyline that offers a different approach and solution to an issue they relate with will resonate well with them,” Hejmadi opines on the matter.
Having said that, Mumtaz asserts that she kept viewers beyond metros in mind when curating the content for the show. “With the rural viewership ratings coming in the picture, we tried to keep small towns and rural preference and taste in mind when conceptualising the show. The show also covers the majority of the demography in those markets who are more likely see the show at 7.30 pm. We do a general survey each time before coming up with a show on who’s watching what. we carry it out in metros as well as small markets as well, and accordingly the show is crafted,” she reveals, adding that the entire process took close to six months to complete.
It is interesting to note that the show’s timeslot, 7:30 pm,too plays a vital role in targeting a mixed demography and preferred market for the show. “For us 7.30pm is an important time slot to place tent pole. With curating content we paid special heed to come up with something that resonated to the two demographies -- the younger generation, the daughter in laws and the mother in laws who form the bulk of our viewership in that time frame,” says Hejmadi.
With the show’s content carefully crafted to strike a chord with both metros and beyond, the channel is confident in keeping the advertisers happy with it. Infact it will be launching with Patanjali as their primary sponsors. “We are in conversation with several other brands to come onboard as sponsors and advertisers for the show,” Hejmadi adds.
“Since most advertisers move according to eyeballs, they are waiting for the numbers to come out as soon as the sow releases and and gains momentum. When it comes to the consumers the response to the promos has been good and we have received several letters from fans and followers who are eagerly waiting for the show.”