Zee TV created a splash in satellite entertainment landscape in the 90s with programs that made people sit up and take note. The channel began broadcasting on October 2, 1992. Here are some of the best programs aired on Zee TV in the 90s –
1. Zee Horror Show – Zee Horror Show aired at 11 PM made you reach for the bed-sheet, so that you could wool it around your eyes to shield yourself from the gore. But that did not take away from the fact that you would still sit up and happens next. Zee Horror Show directed by Ramsay Brothers was bang on target and has still not found a better successor.
2. Khana Khazana – The first cookery show on Indian television, it had Sanjeev Kapoor explaining how to cook different dishes on television. This was a far cry from today where recipes are dime-a-dozen on YouTube. The show inspired many cookery shows in time to come and Sanjay Kapoor continues to be the toast of chef world.
3. Tara – Aired in 1993, this was the first ever contemporary soap opera on urban Indian women. The show had solid characterizations for all the four women in it, who had their own shares of professional and personal problems. While Navneet Nishan essayed the titular character, she was ably supported by Amita Nangia ( who played Sheena), Ratna Pathak Shah (who played Kanchan) and Neha Shara (who played Aarzoo). Alok Nath played Tara’s boss and love interest.
4. Banegi Apni Baat – Directed at college life and youth problems, Banegi Apni Baat was equivalent to Beverly Hills 90210 for India. It dealt with problems of rich collegians, their brush with bad company, drugs, romance, and corruption in colleges, family problems and peer pressure. The TV serial that ran from 1993 to 1997 was a footing for some of today’s biggest stars like Irrfan Khan, R. Madhavan and Sandhya Mridul.
5. Amanat – Amanat was one of the longest running TV soap operas aired on Zee and ran successfully from 1997 to 2002. It also enjoyed the highest TRPs for TV serials during that period, for shows across many channels. The story was about a man with seven daughters. Some of the actors who became popular after being in the show include Sudhir Pandey, Gracy Singh, Smita Bansal, Swapnil Joshi and Sheya Talpade.
6. Philips Top 10 – Philips Top 10 was a movie countdown based show aired on Zee TV in the 90s. In spite of tough competition from popular shows of that genre like Superhit Muqabla and BPL Oye on Channel V, Phillips Top 10 was a topper alright, thanks to some fabulous hosting by Satish Shah, who at that time, was the highest earning anchor on television.
7. Sansui Antakashari – The age-old singing game show played among friends, got widespread appeal when it was showcased as a game-show on television for the first time on Zee TV. Gajendra Singh conceptualized and directed the show; it ran successfully from 1994 to 2005, hosted by Annu Kapoor, Rajeshwari Sachdev and Pallavi Joshi.
8. Junglee Toofan Tyre Puncture – One of the first shows to be aired on Zee TV, the channel usually began its shows with this program. It was targeted towards the kids with puppet shows and interesting anecdotes.
9. Saanp Seedi – Saanp Seedi can be safely called the first game show on Indian television. Uniquely based on the popular indoor game of Snakes and Ladder, the set was designed in the form of ‘snakes and ladders’ and contestants would ascend or descend depend on questions asked. Mohan Kapoor hosted the show.
10. Filmi Chakkar – Ashoke Pandit directed this comic-caper of a fully filmi family consisting of Satish Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and their two kids. For the family, everything was cinematic and their everyday dialogue was peppered with filmi-lingo. Absolute riot!