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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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