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Despite IPL, Hindi GECs launch 8 shows in May

MUMBAI: Although the IPL ran through much of May, the month saw the Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) launch as many as eight new shows in various genres.

After launching a new afternoon slot in April, Star Plus expanded its ‘dopahar’ band by half an hour with the launch of ‘Love Ka Hai Intezaar’. The channel’s original afternoon band ran from 12 noon to 2 pm (Mon–Fri), and with the launch of the romantic drama, it got expanded to 2.30 pm (Mon–Fri). Produced by Alchemy Productions, the show, starring Keith Sequeira and Sanjeeda Sheikh, showcases the love story of a royal prince and a Bollywood star.

The month also saw Colors expand its programming hours with the launch of two new shows—‘Savitri Devi College and Hospital’ and ‘Bhaag Bakul Bhaag’. The channel opened its 5 pm band, thus extending its original content hours to six on weekdays. The 5-pm time band started with the channel’s existing show ‘Thapki Pyaar Ki’, which was earlier telecast at 6.30 pm. It was followed by the new comedy series ‘Bhaag Bakul Bhaag’ at 5.30 pm and a one-hour medical drama ‘Savitri Devi College and Hospital’ at 6 pm.

Produced by Rashmi Sharma, ‘Savitri Devi College and Hospital’ focuses on medical issues and malpractices that take place in hospitals and affect people’s lives. The weekday series stars actors like Mohan Kapur, Shilpa Shirodkar, Swarda, Neha Bagga, Sharan Kaur and Vikram Sakhalkar. The story is primarily set in a Delhi-based multi-speciality hospital.

The other show, ‘Bhaag Bakul Bhaag’, is produced by Sanjay Kohli of Edit II Productions and is written by Anukalp Goswami. It stars Hiba Nawab, Jay Soni and Shruti Rawat in lead roles. The sitcom revolves around a man named Bakool who lives a dual life. He simultaneously lives a rural and an urban life, which has caused a lot of problems in his life, as he is married to two women and has to keep them apart in order to live a peaceful life.

Apart from the weekday fiction drama, the channel also launched a new interactive show entitled ‘India Banega Manch’. The show is the Indian version of the successful Israeli format ‘Win the Crowd’ and airs every weekend at 9 pm. Hosted by Krushna Abhishek and Mona Singh, the one-hour show replaced ‘Rising Star’.

The interactive show takes place on the streets with no audience, votes or judges. The talents are scored based on the number of people whose attention they are able to grab through their performance. Shot at iconic locations like Red Fort and Delhi Haat in New Delhi, Juhu Beach and Kala Ghoda in Mumbai, and New Market and Prinsep Ghat in Kolkata, the show requires the contestants to attract the crowd’s attention within five minutes of the performance. The top scorer of every location wins a spot on the ‘Jeet Ki Seat’.

The show is produced by BBC Worldwide Entertainment and features talents like contortions, belly dancing, beat-boxing, music bands, rope walking, street magic, body balancing, female martial arts, bone-breaking, clapper boys and a cappella.

&TV also launched its first action reality series in May. Entitled ‘India’s Asli Champion…Hai Dum’, the weekend series airs at 9 pm. Produced by Colosceum Media and hosted by Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, the show tests the physical and mental endurance of contestants. The show is being touted as the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance, where contestants from different walks of life will compete for the title of India’s ‘Asli Champion’.

The show marks the comeback of Shetty on television, who acts as a mentor to the contestants, encouraging and guiding them to push their limits and achieve new goals on the show. Shetty’s last appearance on TV was as a host on Sahara One series ‘Biggest Loser Jeetega’.

&TV also launched a weekly comedy drama series entitled ‘Chupke Chupke’. Airing at 6.30 pm, the show replaced the channel’s existing series ‘Queens Hai Hum’. The show is produced by Indian Magic Eye Productions and deals with the topic of contract marriage. The story revolves around two couples who meet for the first time and try to convert their new love story into a marriage.

Towards the end of the month, Zee TV launched a romantic drama, ‘Aisi Deewangi…Dekhi Nahi Kahi’, which is produced by Dee Jaa Films and Pixx Entertainment. The series replaced the weekday family drama ‘Sanyukt’ at 7.30 pm.

The series features newcomers Pranav Misshra and Jyoti Sharma in main roles, along with Archi Pratik, Rey Parihar, Arjun Manhas, Rasik Dave, Hina Rajpur, Kalpesh Patel and others in supporting roles. Set in Gujarat, the romantic drama revolves around Prem (Misshra) and Tejaswini (Sharma), who start off on the wrong foot but eventually fall in love with each other. As the name of the show suggests, they are willing to go to any extent for their love.

In May, Sab TV launched the new comedy series ‘Sajan Re Phir Jhoot Mat Bolo’ in the 9-pm slot. The show, which is being produced by Optimystix Production and is a sequel to ‘Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo’, is based on the theme of how one innocent lie entangles the life of the protagonist.

It marks the comeback of actor Hussain Kuwajerwala on the channel. The actor has been away from fiction shows for the last eight years. The show also marks the comeback of actress Sana Amin Sheikh, who was last seen as Aradhya in Colors’ ‘Krishnadasi’.

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