Mumbai: ZEE5, India and Bharat’s largest home-grown video streaming platform and multilingual storyteller for multiple entertainment seekers, has announced a partnership with BBC Studios India, the production and distribution arm of British media conglomerate, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The two top entertainment companies will work to build a robust content slate of new ZEE5 originals in Hindi across genres exclusively for ZEE5 viewers. With this initiative, ZEE5 aims to further bolster its existing premium content offerings with captivating and diverse stories based on successful British formats.
The first Hindi project introduced as part of this ongoing partnership is an original drama series titled ‘The Broken News’, which also marks actor Sonali Bendre’s debut on OTT with ZEE5. It is an adaptation of the popular British series ‘Press’, directed by award-winning Director Vinay Waikul with a stellar star cast featuring theatrical favourites like Jaideep Ahlawat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Indraneil Sengupta, Taaruk Raina, Aakash Khurana, Kiran Kumar, amongst others. The plot of the show features two rival news channels based in Mumbai – Awaaz Bharati, an independent, ethical news channel, and Josh 24/7 News, which offers sensationalist and invasive journalism, and what transpires between the main characters in their quest for news.
Commenting on the partnership, Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India said, “This year we have a fantastic line-up with many big titles announced in the first quarter of the year. The focus for 2022 is to bring premium quality content across genres and languages. ZEE5, in addition to bolstering its portfolio of Hindi originals, is simultaneously working on curating a list of unique stories across formats and languages to build a platform of varied choices for its viewers. With ‘The Broken News’ we are marking the beginning of another partnership with a reputed content studio to bring interesting and unique story narratives for our audiences. This partnership is in line with ZEE5’s strategy to build a portfolio of unique and compelling content for an enhanced value from the services. We are sure our audiences will enjoy and love it as much as they have loved our content so far. ZEE5 has been working with the best talent in the creative ecosystem to create a riveting slate of originals, in line with our content strategy of keeping the viewers at the centre of the business.”
On the announcement of the new title, Nimisha Pandey, Chief Content Officer, Hindi Originals, ZEE5 said, “The Broken News is an extremely relevant story for the times we live in. We are glad to partner with BBC Studios India and director Vinay Waikul to bring this story to life. It is a riveting drama depicting the nuances of the media houses and the daily hustle-bustle of a newsroom. The story revolves around the ideological differences of the protagonists, beautifully played by Shriya Pilgaonkar and Jaideep Ahlawat. The story has a strong, contemporary and compelling narrative making it a perfect addition to our content bouquet.”
Speaking on the partnership, Sameer Gogate, General Manager – BBC Studios India, shared, “We are thrilled to join forces with ZEE5 as part of this partnership to produce this riveting BBC Studios format, set in the fascinating world of TV news journalism. The strength of our formats lies in their ability to transcend across cultural boundaries and languages. We are honoured that Jaideep Alhawat, Sonali Bendre and Shriya Pilgaonkar will be a part of this journey directed by Vinay Wiakul and we hope ZEE5’s Hindi audience will enjoy the gripping personal and professional dramas facing the characters under the pressure of a 24-hour news cycle.”
In line with the theme of the new series; to generate excitement amongst the news viewers, ZEE5 will announce the release of ‘The Broken News’ in the prime-time slot across prominent news channels on 11th May.
The original UK series, Press, was created and written by award-winning writer Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, King Charles III), and is a Lookout Point, BBC Studios and Deep Indigo production, co-produced with Masterpiece. It aired on both BBC One in the UK and on PBS Masterpiece in the US in 2018, with the original series set in a print newsroom rather than a TV newsroom.