We couldn’t have asked for a better year: Sameer Gogate on BBC Studios’ content slate

ZEE5 is set to launch yet another Original series, ‘The Broken News’, which revolves around two rival news networks and reveals the lives, lies, love and struggles of a dynamic group of journalists. Produced by BBC Studios India and directed by Vinay Waikul, the drama series is an official adaptation of the popular British series ,‘Press’. ‘The Broken News’ will premiere on June 10, 2022 in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada and will be accessible across 190+ countries on ZEE5.

The show marks actor Sonali Bendre’s comeback to acting and her OTT debut, and also stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Taaruk Raina, Indraneil Sengupta, Faisal Rashid, Kiran Kumar, Aakash Khurana and Sanjeeta Bhattacharya in pivotal roles.

Awaaz Bharati is an ethical and a credible news channel, headed by Editor-In-Chief Amina Qureshi (played by Sonali Bendre) and Josh 24/7 News, headed by Editor-In-Chief Dipankar Sanyal (played by Jaideep Ahlawat), is India’s No.1 news channel as per TRPs but believes in brash sensationalism and invasive journalism. Between these two extreme characters is Radha Bhargava (played by Shriya Pilgaonkar) who believes in ethical journalism but is frustrated with the restrictions which come along.

In conversation with Adgully, Sameer Gogate, General Manager, BBC Studios India, speaks about the collaborations with ZEE5 and other OTT platforms, performance of BBC Studios, content piracy and more.

Speaking about BBC Studios’ performance in the beginning of this year, Gogate commented, “I think we couldn’t have asked for a better year. ‘Rudra’ launched this year. We have ‘Criminal Justice’ coming out. We have got a show in production with Amazon. We had ‘Gaali Vaana’, which as streamed on ZEE5. ‘Broken News’ looks fantastic. It is slightly clutter breaking content in today’s world of crime and murder mysteries. I think you will see something really different. It’s a reflection of the society today. We will be making more announcements in the next couple of months.”

Speaking about the content piracy that continues unabated even today, Gogate said that it was a risk for the industry and the cause for concern for all platforms. “We as producers are also concerned about it because so much money has been put in by these platforms. And if content is getting leaked, that is a revenue loss for everybody. They need to make money for us; subscribers need to pay for this kind of content,” he maintained.

Continuing further, he called it an industry problem and noted, “There is some amount of awareness today that consumers need to stop watching pirated stuff. You can watch it on authorised websites on authorised channels, which is better for the industry. It’s a nuisance that we all have to collectively work and solve.”

Talking about the projects lined up for the year ahead, Gogate informed, “We’ve got a pretty exhaustive slate for this year, you will see ‘Criminal Justice’ return for Season 3, you will see ‘Rudra’ stage a comeback after just finishing this season.  We’ve got something going on with Amazon. We just started filming ‘Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan’ Season 4 with Voot.”

He further added, “We are planning something with Disney right now, which is under production. So, we’ve got a fairly busy slate. And I think the landscape is changing pretty fast. We will see some big announcements on the TV side as well. ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ is one of the biggest brands. We’ll see some news on that front, however, it is still in the early stages. The announcements will be made eventually.”


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