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With fatigue factor setting in, cross-genre stories are emerging on OTT: Nimisha Pandey

ZEE5 is set to expand its content offering with another Original series, ‘The Broken News’. An official adaptation of the popular British series, ‘Press’, the drama series will premiere on the OTT platform on June 10, 2022 in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada languages and will be accessible across 190+ countries.

Produced by BBC Studios India and directed by Vinay Waikul, ‘The Broken News’ marks actor Sonali Bendre’s comeback to acting and is her maiden OTT show. The series also stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Taaruk Raina, Indraneil Sengupta, Faisal Rashid, Kiran Kumar, Aakash Khurana and Sanjeeta Bhattacharya in pivotal roles.

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In conversation with Adgully, Nimisha Pandey, Chief Content Officer, Hindi Originals, ZEE5, speaks about the OTT platform’s performance in the first half of 2022, growing the content slate, shift in audience’s viewing preferences, and more.

How has ZEE5 performed so far in 2022?

It has been a fabulous year. We started the year with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwatii’, which was one of the interesting things that we did, because when the entire world was doing only crime and thrillers, we came up with this family entertainer. We are seeing the rise of a lot of co-viewing. We launched Season 3 of a very big franchise, ‘Abhay’; meanwhile, ‘Never kiss your best friend’ returned with another very sweet and lovely subsequent season. Nakul, Karan Wahi and Sara were really good in the show. We had ‘Mithya’, which turned out to be one of our biggest shows of all time. We also had a show called ‘Bloody Brothers’. We had the OTT premiere of Salman Khan’s ‘Antim’ also happen this year. We have ‘The Kashmir Files’ lined up for premiere on the platform. The second half of the year will be even more power packed with new shows and movie premieres.

Coming to regional shows, ‘Vilangu’ in Tamil became one of our most watched shows, not only in its native language, but also in the dubbed versions, and it became one of the high performing shows coming from the South. It was a great start for us as we opened the regional slate. Then there was ‘Anantham’. So, we’ve had quite an exciting first half and managed to keep the audience entertained.

Which genre has garnered the maximum audience attention on ZEE5?

The good thing about OTT storytelling is that there is an audience for all kinds of genres. Thrillers especially do really well across all. But I have seen that increasingly the trend is shifting, because now there is fatigue. Viewers are more curious now and are open to new kinds of storytelling.

Also, I see cross-genre stories emerging, and it will be stories like those that will start to rise. Currently, the thrillers are doing well. But you are also seeing a saturation happening. The shift that we are beginning to see is not towards a specific genre, but a shift towards the audience wanting more things. So, that is where we are and it’s a good time to give them different stories.

Is ZEE5 more interested in building franchises of their former shows?

That is always an ambition. The bottomline is that it really depends on how the first season has worked. This year we are coming back with a lot of great sequels – such as the next season of ‘Rangbaaz’, which we are very proud of; Season 3 of ‘Tripling’; Season2 of ‘Sunflower’; the next season of ‘Pitchers’, and more. I hope that with all the new Originals that we are launching this year, people will love them and they will wait for their subsequent seasons as well.


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