Zee TV’s Dance India Dance is already nearing its finale. Buzz is that the show is expected to come out with a kiddie version very soon, titled Dance India Dance Little Masters.
When asked, Akash Chawla from the Zee TV marketing team confirms and says, “Yes, the channel is going ahead with a junior dance contest. The format and the judges for the show are still being finalised.”
According industry insiders, the channel decided to extend the show into a children’s version because there were several kiddie contestants who came to the auditions this season, but weren’t selected because of their age. One has to be over 18 years to participate in any reality show.
Another viewpoint that analysts have is that the new show is being launched to compete with Chak Dhoom Dhoom, a kids’ dance contest on their rival channel, Colors, which will be judged by Ahmed Khan, Saroj Khan and Vindu Dara Singh.
Ajay Golwalkar, programming head, non-fiction content for Zee TV, he says, “I think it is a natural progression for us. We had Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, for many years. We thought kids needed some space of their own. Hence, we created Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs.
Did we copy anyone? Did we try to compete with any rival channel? No. I agree Colors is formidable competition for every channel in the Hindi general entertainment space, but I cannot comment on what their show, Chak Dhoom Dhoom, will be like.
The audience can and will decide whether they like that show or not. I am confident that the way my show is progressing, the audience will give it thumbs up.”
Would Masters, Terence Lewis, Geeta Kapoor and Remo and, grandmaster Mithun Chakraborthy be part of the kiddie show too? Golwalkar and Chawla say that the channel is still looking for the right judges for the show meant for the knee-high dancers.
Golwalkar adds, “Our mentors sacrifice everything to accommodate our show. They often end up not taking on other assignments, because they are shooting with us. So, on Little Masters, we’ll just have our senior judges for the initial episodes. The rest of the show will be judged by another set and probably a new grandmaster.”
The show is expected to be on air by the week after Dance India Dance Season Two ends, in the last few weeks of March. The channel also plans to go all the way with the auditions, which will be conducted across 18 cities.
Wonder whether Zee has considered the chances of the Indian Premier League matches bringing down the ratings of their new show. Chawla believes that the channel is not afraid of the IPL. “In March and April, it will be IPL.
A month later, there will be another series. A few months later, another tournament would start. At this rate, no channel will ever be able to launch a new show fearing that the cricket matches will take away their audience.
The IPL is here to stay. So, we can’t not have new shows because of a certain cricket series. We are brave and we’re sure we’ll sail through with our new shows,” states S Chawla.