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Early birds

Bhaagonwali and Geeta, daily soaps set in UP and Bihar, will flag off Zee TV’s early prime time band soon..

tv Updated: Nov 13, 2010 02:31 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times

Bhaagonwali and Geeta, daily soaps set in UP and Bihar, will flag off Zee TV’s early prime time band, tentatively towards the end of the month. It’s a first of sorts for a channel to start fresh programming in the band. Competing channels like Star Plus and Colors had bracketed their prime time shows like Bebo and Jaane Kya Baat Hui in the 6.30 pm slot earlier.

Until now, Zee TV had been running repeat runs of shows in the 6 -7 pm band, which had ratings below one. Star Plus was more successful in this time slot, with ratings that range between 1.2 and 2.2.

When brought to his notice, Sukesh Motwani, chief of fiction programming, Zee TV, argues, “Competing channels have tried airing various shows in the 6.30 pm space but not every show has been a success for various reasons. In our case, we’re starting two fresh shows to test waters. It’s taken for granted that no one switches the TV on before 7 pm. We wanted to know if given a chance, would the female audience like to watch new shows early in the evening at 6 and 6.30 pm.”

Bhaagonwali toplines Nivedita Tiwari, one of the three girls considered for portraying the 18-year-old Anandi in Balika Vadhu and is based in small town UP. It’s about a girl called Rhunjhun who always has luck on her side. Sargun Mehta, last seen as the second lead in 12/24 Karol Bagh, returns as the leading lady in the other show, Geeta. It’s based in Patna and is supposedly a love story based on revenge.

“The decision to base them in North India was story-driven. We also wanted to capture the attention of an emerging mini-metro woman. They can relate easily to the stories of both the shows,” reasons Motwani. “Nivedita Tiwari fitted the bill because she was bang on with her accent, presentation and her acting skills. That’s half the battle won already. Sargun was popular on her show and we wanted to retain talent and help it grow.”

First Published: Nov 12, 2010 17:29 IST