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How Discovery is experimenting with different genres

During the two years of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, the entire nation went nostalgic while watching old epics Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan’ and BR Chopra’s ‘Mahabharat’ on Doordarshan. Even after over 30 years of first being telecast on the national broadcasters. Both the epics gained tremendous traction during the first lockdown period. In some form or the other, almost everyone has read or heard about the two epics. The scale of Ramayan is huge – it is not just another story, but something that is imbibed in our culture.

Now, Discovery has launched a new docu-series, ‘Legends of the Ramayana’, narrated by bestselling award-winning writer and diplomat, Amish Tripathi. Tripathi will traverse across geographies as he sets out on his own mega adventure in the footsteps of Lord Ram to retrace his sacred journey and unravel the under-explored mysteries around the text. Tripathi’s immense knowledge of Indian mythology and effortless expertise to juxtapose the richness of history with the charm of modern-day storytelling, makes him the perfect fit for ‘Legends of the Ramayana’.

Speaking about the new docu-series, Megha Tata, Managing Director-South Asia, Discovery Inc, told Adgully, “‘Legends of the Ramayana’ will be like seeing Ramayan through the lens of discovery, which is in the space of docu-series. The whole concept was very interesting when it came to us that we all know about Ramayan. What if somebody was to capture the journey of Lord Ram from Ayodhya and what happened in those times? And so when doing this research, so many interesting mysteries came about, which not many people know about. And that, to us, was a very interesting play. That curiosity and, like someone asked, “Why 14 years and why not five years? Why not 20 years?” There’s a rational vibe. I did not know that Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan had an elder sister. Then you find out the cave where Sita was kept. So, that was an aspect we thought was worthy to bring onto our platform. It is a docu-series backed by science and research.”

Talking about how the first quarter turned out for Discovery+, she noted, “It really did well for us. Because last year, the number of hours we produced was more than what we probably produced in over 20+ years that we have been in the country. So, that has been the commitment for us to create original content out of the India, and a lot of that content resonated very well. The first half, first quarter of the year had some great new shows that we launched. In fact, including the recent show, ‘India’s Ultimate Warrior’ starring Vidyut Jamwal and then it had Akshay Kumar in one of the episodes. That was a great show on our platform, and some interesting, investigative murder content – that genre is doing very well for us as well – shows like ‘Money Mafia’ or ‘Annie’,  which was a murder mystery, and also ‘Honeymoon Murder’. It was all really intriguing and did really well. So, we are playing around with different genres – whether it’s mythology or science or adventure, or now crime investigation, that’s the space we are exploring. Thus, I think we had a great first quarter on Discovery+.”

Not disclosing much for what is next for Discovery+, Tata said, “For the time being, this is one big launch and of course, we have a few shows lined up in the coming months, very interesting ones. I can’t talk about it, but there are a couple of shows, which I think would be very nice, in the genres of crime, mystery and investigation.”

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