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Top Hindi GECs launched nine shows in July

MUMBAI: Given the absence of any big events in July, major Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) launched as many as nine new shows in various genres.

The month of July witnessed new series launches from leading channels such as Star Plus, Zee TV, Colors and Sony Entertainment Television (SET). The genres included reality shows, horror, spinoff, mythological and sequels.

Zee TV not only launched three new shows but also expanded its weekend prime time. The channel strengthened its weekend prime time with the launch of 8 pm and 10.30 pm slots. It launched home-grown non-fiction property ‘India’s Best Judwa’ at 8 pm and the new season of ‘Fear Files’ at 10.30 pm.

‘India’s Best Judwaa’, which premiered on 22 July, celebrates the special bond between identical twins. Hosted by Karanvir Bohra, the theme of the show is Kitne Jude, Kitne Judaa! This 10-week non-fiction series has been conceived, conceptualised and produced by celebrity twins Raghu Ram and Rajiv Lakshman of Monozygotic Solutions. After extensive online auditions and a comprehensive nationwide hunt, Zee TV and Monozygotic have discovered 11 judwaas from Amritsar, Pali, Delhi, Nagpur, Benaras, Sahranpur, Kashmir, Ajmer, Bangalore and Kinnaur—each with a very tangible connection.

‘Fear Files: Darr Ki Sacchi Tasveerein’ also premiered on 22 July. The new season stays true to the core proposition of presenting real-life accounts of horror. Following the success of its previous seasons, the new edition of ‘Fear Files’ presents real-life accounts that are narrated in a video diary format. The 30-episode series endeavours to demystify intriguing, unfathomable events that have occurred in different parts of the country.

Zee TV also launched a spinoff titled ‘Kundali Bhagya’ of their popular series ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ on 12 July. Produced by Balaji Telefilms, the spinoff takes a leaf out of Pragya’s (female lead of ‘Kumkum Bhagya’) life, narrating the story of her two sisters, Preeta and Shrishti. The show has managed to enter BARC India’s top 5 Hindi GEC shows in urban HSM.

Star Plus launched two new shows—the third season of dance reality show ‘Dance+’ and the third season of the popular romantic drama ‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon’.

Launched on 1 July, ‘Dance+’ replaced the channel’s dance show for couples ‘Nach Baliye 8’. The new season airs every weekend at 8 pm. In the third season, Remo’s squad, comprising five dancing stalwarts, challenges the participants. The participants have to push themselves harder and challenge their limits, in order to compete not only with India’s best, but also the world’s best dancers. The winner of ‘Dance+ 3’ will get a chance to feature in Remo D’Souza’s next film.

‘Dance+ 3′ featured the popular team of the previous seasons—team captains Shakti Mohan, Dharmesh Yelande and Punit Pathak, and ace choreographer and Super Judge, Remo D’Souza. The season is hosted by Raghav Juyal and is produced by Urban Brew Studios.

The third season of ‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon’, which was launched on 3 July, is aired every Monday to Friday at 8 pm. The show replaced Balaji Telefilm’s soap opera ‘Pardes Mein Hain Mera Dil’.

‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon’ was one of the top-rated shows for Star Plus. The new season marks the return of Barun Sobti as Advay Singh Raizada, portraying a character of an anti-hero who is extremely calculating and yet driven solely by his heart. The new season also feature actress Shivani Tomar, who plays the character of Shivani, opposite Advay Sing Raizada, replacing the original actress Sanaya Irani. Set against the backdrop of Allahabad, the new season showcases a traditional Indian cultural theme and is said to be the perfect blend of thrill, action, suspense, romance and soulful music.

Colors, which was slipping in its ranking on BARC India charts, launched two new shows in July—a mythological series ‘Mahakaali: Anth Hi Aarambh’ and the eighth season of its popular non-fiction series ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’.

With ‘Mahakaali’, the channel also introduced a new weekend prime-time slot at 7 pm. Launched on 22 July, the show seeks to reveal what makes Kaali untameable and limitless. It focuses on bringing evil to its rightful end, to make way for righteousness and positivity.

The show stars Pooja Sharma as Maa Kali and Sourabh Raaj Jain as Mahadev. It also features Falaq Naaz as Goddess Saraswati, Nikita Sharma as Goddess Laxmi, Akash Kumar as Lord Brahma, Gagan Kang as Lord Indra, Abhaas Mehta as Shumbh, Danish Akhtar as Nishumbh and Arjit Lavania as Nandi. The show is produced by Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s Swastik Productions.

The eighth season of ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ debuted on 22 July at 9 pm. Produced by Endemol Shine India, the new season is built on the theme of ‘Pain in Spain’ and marks the return of Bollywood director Rohit Shetty as the host of the show. The 20-episode series features 12 contestants namely acclaimed wrestler Geeta Phogat, ‘Bigg Boss 10’ champion Manveer Gurjar, Shibani Dandekar, Lopamudra Raut, Monica Dogra, Nia Sharma, Ravi Dubey, Karan Wahi, Rithvik Dhanjani, Hina Khan, Shiny Doshi and Shantanu Maheshwari.

The two newly launched shows have helped Colors improve its ranking on the charts.

SET also launched two new shows—a comedy series ‘The Drama Company’ and a drama series ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’. The channel launched the one-hour comedy show ‘The Drama Company’ on 16 July and broadcasts it at 8 pm every Saturday and Sunday. The show replaced the existing kids’ reality series ‘Sabse Bada Kalakar’. With the launch of this show, the channel now offers two one-hour stand-up comedy shows, the other one being ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’, which comes at 9 pm.

Produced by Preeti Simoes, ‘The Drama Company’ features Kapil Sharma’s arch-rival Krushna Abhishek along with other stand-up comedians, namely Sudesh Lehri, Sanket Bhonsle, Ali Asgar and Sugandha Mishra. The show has also got on board veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty, who has been part of several reality series.

Every episode features the team of misfits aspiring to make a blockbuster play to impress Shambhu Dada (Chakraborty) in exchange for a promise of a world tour. The hilarious turn of events pushes the madcap team to start afresh with a brand-new play every week. In reality, Shambhu Dada is a sham who is running his own business by selling tickets for the play.

On 17 July, SET launched ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’, which is aired at 8.30 pm every Monday to Friday. The show replaced the channel’s recently launched ‘Jaat Ki Jugni.’

Produced by Shashi Sumeet Mittal, ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ stars Tejaswi Prakash of ‘Swaragini’ fame, Afaan Khan and Suyyash Rai in lead roles. ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ tells the story of an 18-year-old princess named Diya (Tejaswi Prakash) who is married to a 10-year-old prince Ratan Singh (Afaan Khan). The show projects the sensitive issue of child marriage. It aims to throw light on this social evil and its effect on people. The controversial theme has attracted a lot of backlash from the viewers.

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