MUMBAI: The festive month of August witnessed a lot of activity in the Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) space—from the launch of new shows to the rebranding of an existing channel.
While Sony Entertainment Television and Zee TV each launched two shows, Star India rebranded its second Hindi GEC Life OK as Star Bharat and was launched on Freedish, Doordarshan’s subscription-free DTH platform.
Following the rebranding, all Life OK shows were discontinued, except ‘Savdhaan India’. Star Bharat offered fresh programming targeting the rural Hindi-speaking market (HSM). The channel has five new shows besides ‘Savdhaan India’, and these include a devotional music reality show ‘Om Shanti Om’, a political drama ‘Saam Daam Dand Bhed’ as well as a revenge drama ‘Ayushman Bhav’, and two sitcoms ‘Kya Haal Mr Panchaal’ and ‘Nimki Mukhiya’.
‘Om Shanti Om’ is a devotional music reality show where tradition meets trendy, creating ‘trenditional’ music. The show depicts the musical journey of 14 singers who add a contemporary touch to devotional songs. Produced by Colosceum, the show marks the debut of Baba Ramdev on TV as the ‘Maha Judge’, along with a panel of judges comprising actor Sonakshi Sinha, singer-composer Shekhar Ravjiani and singer Kanika Kapoor. The weekend show airs at 9 pm.
‘Kya Haal Mr Panchaal?’ is a comedy of errors where a mother’s quest for the perfect bride lands her with five. A prayer of a desperate mother for the ‘perfect’ bride with five essential qualities is answered in the form of five women with five different qualities. The show is created in association with Optimystix and features Kanchan Gupta as the saas and Manindar Singh as the son. The show airs at 8 pm, Monday–Friday.
Set in Bihar, ‘Nimki Mukhiya’ is the story of a village that has been ruled by men for years. However, for the first time ever the village witnesses something extraordinary as a naïve and bubbly young girl named Nimki (Bhumika Gurung) decides to become the ‘mukhiya’ of the village. Produced by Qissago Telefilms, the show airs at 8.30 pm, Monday–Friday.
‘Saam Daam Dand Bhed’ is the personal journey of Vijay Namdhari, played by Bhanu Uday, a highly potential but misguided youth who doesn’t know what he wants in life. The show, produced by Shakuntalam Telefilms, will trace Vijay’s transformation from a carefree youngster into a political leader, who becomes the inspiration to many. The show airs at 9 pm, Monday–Friday
Set against the backdrop of Mathura, ‘Ayushman Bhav’ depicts the tale of an eight-year-old boy whose childhood is not as simple as others. Like any other kid his age, Krish plays with toys and games, but he also harbours a burning desire to seek justice for the wrongdoings committed against him in his past life. Produced by White Horse International, the revenge drama stars popular child artist Ricky Patel as the lead. The other cast members include Avinash Sachdeva, Megha Gupta and Manish Goel. The show airs at 9.30 pm, from Monday to Friday.
Sony Entertainment Television launched a fiction and a non-fiction show. In the week of Ganesh Utsav, the channel launched the mythological show ‘Vighnaharta Ganesha’. Premiering on 22 August, the show airs at 8 pm, every Monday to Friday, replacing the channel’s existing mythological show ‘Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanumaan’. Produced by Contiloe Pictures, the show is shot with a motion capture camera, which is a first for an Indian TV show.
In August, SET also brought back the ninth season of its popular quiz game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ after three years. The weekday show, which was launched on 28 August, airs at 9 pm. The one-and-a-half-hour quiz show is hosted by Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan.
In order to make the game more interesting, show-makers Big Synergy have introduced a jackpot question of Rs 7 crore. The jackpot question is the all-or-nothing deal and will remove all the lifelines for the contestants. There are some changes in the format and the lifeline of ‘phone a friend’ has been replaced with ‘video a friend’. For the first time, the show will also allow contestants to bring a partner on the hot seat through a new lifeline called ‘Jodidaar’.
August also saw Zee TV launch two new fiction shows. ‘Jeet Gayi Toh Piyaa Morre’, an Indian interpretation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, was launched on 21 August. Produced by Jay Mehtaa Productions, the show replaced Sethji’ at 7pm slot of every Monday-Friday.
Zee TV also launched ‘Bhootu’ on 21 August, which airs at 6.30 pm every Monday to Friday. Produced by Essel Vision Productions, ‘Bhootu’ replaced the channel’s existing romantic show ‘Bin Kuch Kahe’. The show is an adaptation of a successful Bengali series of the same name. It has the same child actor Arshiya Mukherjee who played the lead role of Pihu in the Bengali version.