Zee5 to stream 16 Telugu original series in 2023, says Zee’s chief cluster officer A Gudur

Mumbai: Streaming service Zee5 has 16 Telugu original series in the pipeline for financial year 2023, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (Zee) chief cluster officer – Telugu Anuradha Gudur told Indiantelevision.com. The platform announced 11 out of 16 titles at a gala event in Hyderabad recently.

After launching Telugu originals shows on and off for the last four years, Zee5 has unveiled an entire slate of content in 2022 increasing its focus on regional content, specifically in the south. The platform had announced its Tamil original slate in May.

Zee5 is planning to launch one to two Telugu shows every month till March 2023. Many of the series are written by debutant writers and will showcase fresh faces on the screen.

On 17 June, Zee5 will begin streaming its upcoming title Recce, a multi-starrer thriller featuring Shiva Balaji, Sri Ram, Dhanya Balakrishna, Rajeshwari Nair, Aadukalam Nareyn, Sharanya Pradeep, Sammeta Gandhi and Ester Noronha. The plot revolves around a supari killing that takes place in Tadipatri which becomes a political hotbed. The story follows the point-of-view of the murderers.

There’s Maa Neella Tank, a romantic comedy based in a small village set in the Vellore district in Andhra Pradesh that marks the OTT debut of Sushanth opposite Priya Anand. ATM is a heist comedy featuring Subbaraju, Prudhvi and VJ Sunny, set in the slums of old Hyderabad city. Aha Nee Pellanta is a romantic comedy of a man’s failed attempts at finding a spouse.

Zee5 has associated with the production house Pink Elephants once again for Hello World! created by Niharika Konidela. The show is based on the life and trials of a group of youngsters on the cusp of their careers in the prominent IT sector of Hyderabad. Pink Elephant was the studio behind Zee5’s successful show Oka Chinna Family Story that touched the pulse of the Telugu audience.

Oka Chinna Family Story was set in Warangal (district in Telangana) and was about a boy who refused to grow up and become a responsible son. It showed the relationship between a mother and son after their father took out a loan of Rs 25 lakh and passed away the next day leaving the family in a fix,” said Zee’s Anuradha Gudur.

“The story did extremely well in terms of completion rates and subscription numbers on Zee5. There was a lot of feedback from audiences who felt emotionally connected to the show,” she added.

In the coming months, Zee5 will offer a variety of Telugu narratives such as spy drama Mission Tashaffi produced by Kamakshi Movies and directed by Indo-American film director Praveen Sattaru (known for PSV Garuda Vega), and legal drama called The Black Coat written by Anand Ranga and featuring Karthik Ratnam, Hebah Patel and Kamna Jethmalani.

It will also showcase Prema Vimanam produced by Abhishek Nama aimed at viewers who prefer more light-hearted content. Another Zee5 Telugu series Hunting of the Stars is created by Kona Venkat and stars Lavanya Tripathi & Aadi Saikumar.

Speaking about the shows that resonate with Telugu audiences, Gudur responds, “When a show gets the regional nuances and emotional connect, right then, there is far more affinity towards the content from audiences. That’s what OCFS (Oka Chinna Family Story), which was set in Warangal, did so well. The slang and way the characters conversed was spot on.”

Gudur notes that she expects advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) audiences to slowly convert to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) because of Zee5’s inclusive line-up of Telugu originals. “The audiences for AVOD and SVOD are two distinct audiences. The AVOD viewers come to watch catch-up content and may subscribe to watch the same content before TV. But we have family-oriented shows in our original line-up that they may want to watch.”

Zee5 recently began streaming SS Rajmouli’s “RRR” on its platform that garnered 1000 million streaming minutes of watch up within 10 days of streaming and has been trending on No. 1 across four languages (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam).

The platform has been ramping up their regional library with blockbuster acquired as well as original content to further consolidate their foothold in regional markets and keep the viewers entertained with quality content.

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