Zee TV professionals speak on the 20 years completion of the channel

India’s first satellite Zee TV completed 20 years recently. We interviewed behind the camera personalities associated with Zee TV on their experience with the channel.

Thursday, October 04, 2012 | 8:47:51 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
 18 Comments | By

Raghuvir Shekhawat

Writer of Zee TV's shows Phir Subah Hogi, Saath Phere, Kareena Kareena, Gudgudi, Yeh Hai Mere Apne and Ramayan

I am very happy that Zee TV has completed 20 years. As I have been in the TV industry for 18 years; I have witnessed the growth and evolution of the channel. Zee TV was the pioneer of private channels in India. Initially it was the only alternative to Door Darshan. Zee TV in my opinion is the only channel which has experimented with so many varieties of shows. Zee TV's experiments have sometimes worked out beautifully.


Rajesh Ranshinge

Currently the director of Fear Files. Previously has directed Monica Mogre Case Files, Aandhi Jasbat Ki, Kudrat- 2 Hr X-zone, Dehek-2 Hr.X-zone, Fear-2 Hr.X-zone, Aghosh 1 Hr. Rishtey and Mano Ya Na Mano

I have been with Zee TV ever since it started. Zee TV has its roots very deep into the Indian audience. It is a very Indian channel. It started with very grass root shows and has inculcated Indian values in the viewers. I don't think Zee TV has lost its erstwhile glory because it's not the top channel anymore TRP wise, every channel has its own time to be on top. When Colors came up it did very well. Now Star Plus is generally on top. It is just that the audience of Zee TV has changed. The channel still has quality programmes.


Ajai Sinha

Directed the Zee TV show's Hasratein, Astitva Ek Prem Kahani, Justajoo and Gudgudi

I have worked with Zee TV for 12 years. Directing shows for Zee TV has been a wonderful, pleasant, exciting and air-conditioned journey. Zee TV has experimented with a wide variety of shows- comedy, thriller, social drama and bold shows. Initially Zee TV had a wide variety of shows. However a year or two ago all Zee TV shows started to look similar. Recently Zee TV has however started to experiment again.


Mrinal Jha

Writer of shows like Mano Ya Na Mano, Tum Bin Jaaon Kahan, Banoo Main Teri Dulhann, Maayka - Saath Zindagi Bhar Ka, Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo, Commander, Sanjog Se Bani Sangini etc and is the creative consultant of Phir Subah Hogi


Me and my husband Abhigyan Jha were there from almost the inception of Zee TV, almost for 20 years. I feel Subhash Chandra should get back into the running of the channel. He was after all the visionary who set up Zee TV. The kind of programming he did for Zee TV was way ahead of the times. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa was very original, nothing like that was there anywhere else in the world.  As far as the channel's reach is concerned, it has tremendous reach and enters far more homes than any channel all over the world. As far as content is concerned Zee TV as of now doesn't really have an USP. Its content is quite like what goes on on the other channels, there is hardly any difference.  However Zee TV even now sometimes still comes up with ideas earlier than other channels- it is the first Hindi GEC with came up with an online platform- Ditto TV.


Kamlesh Pandey

Veteran TV writer who designed and defined Zee TV, he was one of the founder members of Zee TV and India's first Head of Programming

Zee TV started off with a small but highly hardworking and enthusiastic team. At that time we would sign a contract with a producer almost every day. We would brainstorm for the whole day and generate new concepts. The team included myself, Vivek Bahl, Lakshmi Aroia, Aparna Rakesh and Supriya Shastri.

Door Darshan was an established channel at that time. To effectively compete with Door Darshan I branded Zee TV as a channel with a youthful image, look and attitude.

I was a highly reputed person in the advertising world. I left films to join TV. My friends Alyque Padamsee and Shekhar Kapoor had warned me against going to TV. They felt that as Door Darshan was ruling and was freely available, nobody would fix a dish antennae and pay to get satellite TV. I however took it up as a challenge. I felt that TV was far more powerful than cinema. Cinema was entertainment whereas TV could change mindsets. Moreover it was addictive.

Zee TV was so popular that we would get a truck full of fan mail every day. We would get lakhs of fan mail every week. Zee TV emerged as the fastest growing TV network in history. After working with Zee TV for four years I left as I am after all a writer who wished to concentrate on writing.

At the time when I had left nine out of ten shows in the Philips Top Ten were of Zee TV. It was just Ramanand Sagar's Sree Krishna from Door Darshan that was also in the top ten.


Raakesh Paswan

He is currently the writer and producer of Afsar Bitiya. He previously wrote Zee TV's Mamta.

My heartiest congratulations to Zee TV for completing twenty years. I think Zee TV's marketing policy is great. In fact Zee TV is the most profitable channel. Unlike other channels they don't spend money on things like getting a super star on the shows. This method generally ultimately leads to losses. Rather Zee TV makes its unique content its brand.

Just because nowadays Zee TV has got much competition doesn't mean it has lost the glory of the earlier times. Earlier a top channel's GRP was around 400. Nowadays it is around 250. Every channel has its space and loyal audiences, Zee TV being no exception.

Shobhit Jaiswal

Currently writing Punar Vivah

As a writer I feel there is a lot of creative comfort with Zee TV. They rely on their writers. The channel interference is far less when compared to other channels. They allow the writers to experiment. It is true that Zee TV nowadays faces competition from other channels, however they have their own distinct space in the market.


Kinnari Mehta

They have produced the Zee TV show's Bhagonwali - Baante Apni Taqdeer, Ardhangani - Ek Khoobsurat Jeevan Saathi, Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka, Vishwaas, Mujhe Dor Koi Kheenche etc in the past. Currently they are the producers of Rab Se Sohna Isshq.

Jay and I have been associated with Zee TV ever since 1999. It has truly been an amazing journey. Zee TV has the greatest reach- it reaches foreign countries as well as the smallest and remotest villages in India. It reaches the masses to the core. I feel that Zee TV's reality shows are the strongest amongst all Hindi GECs. The fact that Zee TV has competitors in the Hindi GEC space unlike the yesteryears doesn't mean that it has lost its glory. The very fact that it has survived for 20 years is a feat in itself. I want to be associated with Zee TV for another 20 years at least.

Dheeraj Kumar

He has produced Ghar Ki Lakshmi Betiyann, Maayka - Saath Zindagi Bhar Ka etc on Zee TV.

I was with Zee TV ever since its inception in 1992. I made one of its initial shows- Aparadh. Zee TV's founder Subhash Chandra was a visionary. He ushered the beginning of the satellite era in India with Zee TV. The Zee network has spread far and wide- it has now ventured into education, news and food.  I have worked with Subhash Chandra to Punit Goenka- I have a good professional relationship with Zee TV, in fact the channel is like my family.

To complete 20 years is indeed a milestone. This is yet another feather in Zee TV's already crowded cap. Whatever didn't work for Zee TV they closed down, for instance when Zee Smile didn't work, they closed it down. However their regional channels which have spread to various parts of India have worked brilliantly.


Rajesh Chadha

He is currently the producer of Phir Subah Hogi. He previously been involved with Ek Thi Rajkumari, Tum Pukar Lo etc on Zee TV.

I feel a big sense of pride to be associated with Zee TV. The channel ushered the satellite era in India. It has entertained viewers with many new shows and has provided careers to many people. Zee TV is the channel of the masses, it appeals to various age groups and classes. It's actually good that Zee TV has competition now. The more the competition the merrier. The channel has simply churned out better shows in the process. It didn't get complacent. The non-fiction segment on Zee TV is very strong. It has classic shows like Dance India Dance and Sa Re Ga Ma.

-          Reporter and Author: Pallavi Bhattacharya




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Posted on: 24 November 2012 at 9:13am
Tough amnt a die hard fan..but it indeed gave a new face to indian TV:)
not to forget even my DP is a still from a Zee TV show:)

Edited on:24 November 2012 at 9:13am

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Posted on: 06 October 2012 at 7:58am
Love Zee tv..its one of the best channels...all the shows here are good and have different concepts but the best is Pavitra Rishta...this is the soul of Zee tv...PR is very much responsible for current success and positions of zee and among all the shows, PR has the highest TRP and its on the top...PR is still running for so many years because it is really doing very well...hope that PR goes on for many more years and becomes a long-time member of ZEE...the show has good acting, good plot, good cast and above all good response!!! Otherwise, other shows like afsar bitiya, punar vivah, sapne suhane larakpan ke, hitler didi, etc. are also very good...but PR is the BEST!!!!!


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Posted on: 05 October 2012 at 7:42am
Loooveee punarvivah best show on zee at the moment different from all other saas bahu in the zee chain some of which has beeen streched for nothing like pavitra rishta

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Posted on: 05 October 2012 at 2:35am
Congrats Zee...ZTV was the first channel to go global...then every other channel followed...viewers in the west say a big thanks to ZTV n the teammm

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 11:55pm
Congrats Zee..but i wud like to say that Zee has always Copied StarPLus..First starplus went over a make over with a tagline and in next year Zee went in makeover with a tagline...No offence but its just mah POV...Hum Paanch was all time classic comedy show

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 4:22pm
It's great to hear from Shobhit Jaiswal that the channel gives the show writers the freedom to do their job instead of interfering with the content of the show. I hope things stay that way, because the storytellers should be allowed to tell their stories without having to sacrifice their vision! Punar Vivaah has always kept its essence intact while constantly evolving as well...Such a fantastic show with a wonderful team behind the scenes!

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 4:00pm
Punarvivah always the best show ever lov Gurmeet And Kratika

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 12:51pm
Zee did wonders in 20 years...,

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 12:28pm
Congrats Zee tv... PV, SSLK, HD rocks.. Yea, Zee's old shows were gud but Zee's current shows are awesome.. They don't have any saas-bahu drama except PR & MKKPB... Nd about did nd sa re ga ma pa.. These two are baap of all reality shows.. Zee tv, keep it up.. U doing great job...

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Posted on: 04 October 2012 at 12:16pm
Congrats Zee

Love Punar Vivah

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