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Star Plus’ tryst with comedy to commence in Feb
MUMBAI: After being mired in several controversies, Star Plus will finally launch Sunil Grover’s comedy show in the first week of February.
The new show will mark Star Plus’ tryst with comedy after a hiatus of over two years. Their last non-fiction comedy show was ‘Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla’, where four teams of comedians featuring celebrities from film and television competed with each other.
Confirming the news to TelevisionPost.com, a highly placed source said that the new show will target the weekend primetime band on the channel, replacing the ongoing dance reality show ‘Nach Baliye 6’ which will culminate in February.
The first promo of the comedy show is set to air tonight on ‘Nach Baliye 6’ and the shooting is scheduled to start within the next week.
“The channel is targeting the early primetime slot so that it does not clash with ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. This is more so to target a different set of audience,” the source added.
Though very little has been revealed about the format or title of the show, it is learned that Sunil Grover will be playing the character of Chutki, accompanied by multiple actors. The names of the artists are yet to be revealed as the contracts are still underway.
Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, Grover said, “My journey has been good so far and I am happy with the fact that my hard work and dreams are finally being realised and I am on the way to achieve them.”
He further said that playing the role of Gutthi in ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ on rival channel Colors marked his career high point in 2013 and fetched him a lot of love and popularity.
The show was initially surrounded by many controversies, as Sunil Grover quit ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ to start his own show. It was reported that Grover would continue using his identity of Gutthi in the new show as well and that is when Viacom18 saw red.
In November 2013, Viacom18 issued a public notice warning anybody from copying the popular character Gutthi associated with Colors’ top-rated show ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. Viacom18′s notice, published as an ad in the newspapers, stated that it “has sole, exclusive, absolute and unlimited ownership rights of all the intellectual property rights of the artist associated with the programme, including the rights in the format of the programme”.
It further added that “a certain artist and a stand-up comedian” associated with the programme, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’ aired on Colors, is “planning to launch and/or be associated with other show wherein the said artist is likely to perform the character of Gutthi or use the mannerisms or characteristic features of Gutthi or any other character played by the artist in the said programme”. It warned anybody from engaging in any activity which may infringe the exclusive rights of Viacom18 without any prior permission.
This marked the beginning of a cold war between the actors (Grover and Sharma) until they openly refuted any animosity against each other. Grover then started working on his show through a new stage name, Chutki, which would be a pivotal character in the upcoming show.