New entertainment channel 9X launches today

New Hindi entertainment channel 9X, which began its innings Monday with Ekta Kapoor's drama series "Kahe Naa Kahe", will dish out drama, romance, comedy and kitchen politics in a fresh format, its promoters promise.

"Our aim is to make 9X the one-stop shop for fiction and non-fiction entertainment, and our content will be distinctive and compelling. It will have the very best of global production standards customized for the Indian audience," Indrani Mukerjea, founder and group executive director INX Media Pvt Ltd, said in a press statement.

Launched under the flagship of INX Media Pvt Ltd, 9X promises to provide world-class fiction and non-fiction programming and Bollywood films.

"We see ourselves as a force for change. Our mission is to develop world-class television that will appeal to Indian viewers not just in the country, but globally. We have envisaged 9X as the Indian leader that sets global standards," said Mukherjea.

Other prime time soaps going live Monday are small screen's favourite daughter-in-law Smriti Irani's family drama, "Mere Apne", which marks the TV debut of Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna.

There is a bouquet of four weekly comedy shows for late night viewers.

At 10.30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, the channel will showcase once a week the Supriya Pathak-Deven Bhojani starrer "Remote Control", Tanuja and Gaurav Gera starrer "Babban Bhai vs Bimla Tai", Mihir Mishra and Mona Vasu starrer "Jamegi" and a romantic comedy "Dhak Dhakk in Dubai" starring Shruti Seth, Chandana Sharma, Puneet Vashisht and Tarun Khanna.

"The idea of having a comedy at 10.30 p.m. is to make sure our viewers end their day on a cheerful and relaxed note," said Mukerjea.

There are special programmes for kids too.

In the non-fiction category they are offering reality shows, including "Mission Ustaad", which marks music maestro A.R. Rahman's television debut and will feature some of the biggest names in the musical entertainment world. There will also be game shows and talk shows.

Morning shows like "Good Morning Zindagi", an infotainment-packed magazine presented by Shakti Anand and Gurdeep Kohli, are part of the package.

The channel's production partners include Balaji Telefilms, Synergy Adlabs, Endemol India, Ugraya Entertainment, Cinevista, B.A.G. Films, Hats Off Productions, Creative Eye, Miditech, Wizcraft, Edit II Productions and Beyond Dreams.

Its broadcast is based on the MPEG4 format and is completely HDTV-ready in order to cater to the expanding technology platforms in India. Beamed from the Insat-4A satellite in a free-to-air format, 9X will be available across all television delivery platforms including cable, TV, DTH and IPTV, the company said.

Indo-Asian News Service