Saaibaba Telefilms to take the plunge into fiction in 2018

MUMBAI: Having made its mark in the TV industry with non-fiction shows like Antakshari, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Voice of India, Gajendra Singh-promoted Saaibaba Telefilms is now planning to make the next big leap in content production by entering the fiction genre.

Fiction shows are the staple diet of general entertainment channels and the biggest revenue source for the production houses. Most production houses have a higher exposure towards fiction shows. Not so in the case of Saaibaba which has made non-fiction particularly singing reality shows its forte.

Speaking to TelevisionPost.com, Saaibaba Telefilms MD Gajendra Singh said that the company is taking the plunge into fiction format in 2018. The production house is already working on its first fiction show, however, Singh refused to divulge details about it since the show is in the primary stage.

Also on Singh’s to-do list is producing singing reality shows for the regional market. Again Singh didn’t want to part with any details on the projects that the production house is working on. Saaibaba also plans to enter digital content production.

Currently, Saaibaba Telefilms’ biggest priority to arrive at an amicable settlement with Prasar Bharati. Singh has pulled the pubcaster to the Delhi High Court for not honouring its commitment. The production house had won two slots under Prasar Bharati’s new content acquisition policy along with Balaji Telefilms.

However, the pubcaster cancelled the two shows produced by Saaibaba without assigning any reason. Unlike Balaji which couldn’t produce shows close to the deadline, Saaibaba was ready with its two shows, one fiction, and a non-fiction, for DD National.

The two shows were reality show ‘Suron Ka Eklavya’ and fiction show ‘MBA Sarpanch’. The latter was scheduled to telecast from 31 July at 7.30 pm slot, every Monday to Friday whereas ‘Suron Ka Eklavya’ was supposed to air from 29 July 2017 at 8 pm, every Saturday-Sunday.

The last-minute cancellation left Saaibaba in the lurch as it had invested a substantial sum on producing the two shows. With Prasar Bharati refusing to give a hearing to the producer, the production house filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court. It has sought an amicable settlement which has been agreed to by the pubcaster.

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