Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s big-screen productions have been making headlines for all the right reasons of late. Rowdy Rathore made it to the Rs 100 crore club. His upcoming film, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, has been the talk of town lately for its hilarious promos. However, his first small-screen project has been stuck for some time now and may take longer than its promised deadline to come on air.
Bhansali has been in talks with Star Plus for producing a tele-serial based on the popular Gujarati novel, Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Madhavaram Tripathi, for a year now. The story of the show, set in the early 20th century, will focus on the reformation period which witnessed the meltdown of old social customs and traditions.
The pilot for the show was shot in January this year and has been shown to the channel already. In May, the filmmaker had told us, “It’s a huge, four-volume literary work with chunks of material. The work is still going on. But I will talk about my TV stint in detail later.”
Actors Jennifer Winget and Gautam Rode were roped in a year ago with the promise that they would play the leads in the show. However, when asked, Gautam seemed completely unaware of any developments. He says, “There is no news on when the show will go on the floors. We shot the pilot about seven-eight months ago and were extremely thrilled with the concept. We have been hearing things from everywhere except from the production house. In the meantime, I’ve taken up another assignment with Star Plus.” Jennifer adds, “We had some meetings on the show with the producers. But there is no date set for starting the shoot. Last I heard, we were starting this month. If you find out, please do let us know.”
Other producers who tried
Red Chilies Idiot Box: The company has reportedly shut shop. It produced shows like Ghar Ki Baat Hai and Up Close And Personal With PZ. They had once aimed to produce a sequel to Fauji.
Mukta Arts: In 2009, Subhash Ghai was planning to make a TV serial with a bunch of newcomers from his film school. The project is yet to see the light of the day. Rajshri Productions: Woh Rehnewali Mehlon Ki was their first show seven years ago and they’ve made many other serials after that.
Sagar Art: After making movies by the dozen in the 1970s and ’80s, this production house stepped into TV production with mythologicals.