It was only a matter of time before the American reality-TV world would get a shot of Bollywood, and “Made in America” meets that much-need infusion on the small screen, in its bid to diversify the content that could potentially reach every living room in this country.
Earlier television shows featuring Indian-Americans and South Asians have been sitcoms, and those have had varied levels of success. The success of the first reality-TV show featuring this subgroup of Americans will become clear over the coming weeks.
The show about six South Asian millennial women, featuring Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, as the host, was launched by Zee TV Aug. 2, in New York. The Indian television network described it as “the first English language South Asian Reality show” it has ever brought out.
Even as the network has somewhat of a captive audience in the South Asian population in this country which numbers close to 4 million, it will meet a considerable challenge not just against the numerous high quality mainstream reality-TV shows in America, but also with capturing the second and third generation of South Asian youth in this country, whose needs it says it is meeting.
Over a period of 10 weeks, the six contestants participated in “grueling” physical training, beauty and wardrobe styling, personal talent training, acting classes from New York Film Academy, dietary training, and more, Zee TV said in a press release. “All of this lead to shape their physical and mental strength to compete against the best in the world,” it added.
During the filming, contestants also participated in community outreach programs, and competed in one challenge per episode ranging from, “Best Walks to Best Wardrobe, Best Swimwear and more.” A winner was chosen in each episode, ultimately decreasing from six contestants to a final single winner.
The winner of the show will be announced Oct. 10, and she will be crowned as the, “Made In America” Woman. Prizes will include an acting course from the New York Film Academy; an “opportunity” to be cast in an upcoming Bollywood movie as well as be cast in a ZEE TV original content produced show in America; and showing off Andre’ Aquinol Couture during New York Fashion Week. The winner also gets a one year modeling contract with a top New York City modeling agency, Zee TV promises.
“We realized that there was a need in the marketplace that was to reach younger South Asian women who had an enormous desire to be in the glamour world,” Sameer Targe, CEO of Zee TV America, is quoted saying in a press release. “Made in America” intends “giving the opportunity and inspiration to these women to fulfill their dreams and create a platform for them to be able to showcase themselves,” Targe added.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited is one of India’s leading television media and entertainment companies. It reaches viewers in 172 countries, it said in the press release.