Popular music and lifestyle channel, Zing will be reducing the amount of airtime it devotes to its local production, ‘Cloud 9’.
From Friday 1st March, ‘Cloud 9’, which currently airs at 10:30, 16:30, 18:30 and 22:30 Monday to Friday and an omnibus edition on Saturday evenings, will discontinue three slots to make way for Bollywood magazine shows it was broadcasting prior to the launch of the drama. ‘Cloud 9’ will only air at 18:30 and be repeated the same day at 22:30. There will be no further omnibus package of ‘Cloud 9’.
The channel said it had launched ‘Cloud 9’ in January in numerous time slots to ensure the show was sampled by as many viewers as possible. It however, was reverting the show back to a the regular telecast pattern with an original showing, followed by one repeat – an exercise followed by most other shows on the channel. The ‘Omnibus’, which was broadcast between 17:30 and 20:00 on Saturday evenings has been axed outright.
While the channel has been applauded for its experiment with a local drama production, ‘Cloud 9’ is yet to make a significant impact on the ratings. Most days are
rating zero (an audience too small to be registered by audience measuring body, BARB). The biggest audience ‘Cloud 9’ has delivered has been around the 44,000 mark – however, it has not been able to sustain the viewership.
The channel is planning to introduce new hard-hitting storylines and more characters to the show to entice new viewers.
Valmike Rampersad who plays Ajay in ‘Cloud 9’, “Whilst I have played many diverse characters in mainstream and Indie media, this is my first role on an ethnic channel and the level of support I have had for Cloud 9 from my peers in the industry has been amazing. It۪s promising to see that they have been following it and are liking the storyline. I am looking forward to seeing the story and my character develop further.
Rakhee Thakrar who plays ‘Cloud 9’۪s Simran, “I have loved playing Simran so far and I’m thoroughly enjoying the love triangle she has got herself caught up in. Working with talented and hard working Actors such as Valmike Rampersad and Niki Walia has been an absolute joy – bringing together both mainstream and ethnic experiences.”
Archana Kanade, Zing Business Head, “The show continues to be a rewarding experience and it is constantly evolving with the feedback of viewers; there is no history to take learnings from but we surely are paving a path for others to learn from. We are proud that Zing has created history with this show but more importantly we are proud that we are able to take the risk and make a difference. We are also happy to be able to give an opportunity to British Asian actors, helping them pursue their talent, in a space where there is no such platform. It’s extremely impressive to see such fabulous actors, who otherwise go unnoticed.”