ZEE KANNADA SCRIPTS SUCCESS OF REALITY SHOW ‘DRAMA JUNIORS’
Raghavendra Hunsur, business head of Zee Kannada told reporters that the channel which completed 10 years of providing entertainment this year has grown its market share to 21 percent from 6 percent when it started in 2006. He said Zee Kannada had reported revenue of Rs 97 crore in 2015-16 from a modest Rs 3 crore revenue it posted in 2006-07 and it expects a revenue of Rs 130 crore for 2016-17 which will be about Rs 9 crore less than the number one channel Colors Kannada. He said the reality show ‘Drama Juniors’ has been a major revenue driver for the channel across India which is almost two to three times more than what other reality shows have reported.
Drama Juniors has completed 38 episodes of telecast and is now heading towards the semi-final and the finale. Raghavendra said the channel will telecast 44 episodes of the reality show and the finale will be shot in Gadag on September 19. He said 3,500 children were auditioned and 18 were selected among the last 30 selected for the show.
He credited the success of the show to his 120-member team from the fiction and non-fiction sections of the channel who worked together to put the show together. He said credit should go to all the children, their parents and mentors for bringing the innocence and cuteness of children to the fore. He also thanked judges T N Seetharam, Lakshmi and Vijaya Raghavendra apart from the host Anand for the success of the show. Seetharam was chosen for his strictness while a mother figure like Lakshmi was required for the show and a youngster like Vijaya Raghavendra were chosen as judges. Anand who was himself a child artiste was considered the right choice to anchor the show, he said.
T N Seetharam said judging the show was like a paid holiday for them. He said he was sad to bid adieu to the set where it was being shot for the last time. He said Drama Juniors had given him more recognition than as a serial director and also given him complete satisfaction.
Vijaya Raghavendra said he has learnt a lot as he got to know the children’s vibrations. Lakshmi said Drama Juniors gave her an opportunity to be part of a learning process. She said she bettered her Kannada from Seetharam and learnt good behaviour from Vijaya Raghavendra. She said she learnt discipline and intelligence from children and the show gave her instant recognition. She said all the parents were united and supportive of the decisions taken by the judges.
Master Anand said the show was like a recap of his childhood days and added he had earned a number of fans among the kids which is a new category. He said he recalled how his father must have taken him around and been a support during his childhood.
Raghavendra Hunsur thanked Anthony for the ideation of Drama Juniors, director Sharanayya, Harsha Priya for scripting the show and Pradyumna for choosing the themes. He thanked Suresh Adappa for erecting the set and the entire team of Zee that was involved in the show.