The channel’s first show from its revamped package goes on air tonight. Bitto, the story of a girl struggling with the caste system in the interiors of the country, is the umpteenth show of its kind. The next one would hopefully be Shor, the story of a mute girl married into a wealthy Gujarati family in the interiors of Gujarat.
When asked, Avinash Kaul, the new CEO of Sahara One channel, says that despite belonging to a certain genre, the shows are different. “Our aim is to tap the audience in the hinterland that still doesn’t have any access to modern technology. The show will establish connect with them. And the drama will draw the metro audience too,” he adds.
Apart from a hip red logo, the channel now plans to have at least a bunch of seven new shows, each of which will be launched at a gap of at least three-four weeks, with one new show a month on an average. According to Kaul, the channel doesn’t plan to phase out all its current day shows — Kesariya Balam Aavo Hamare Des, Mata Ki Chowki and Wo Rehnewali Mehlon Ki — at one go.
“You can’t change the pattern of shows overnight. That’s impractical and impossible. Even if someone tries it, it surely won’t work. So, gradually shows like Ganesh Leela have been shown the door. There are some others that will also make a polite exit in the months to come.
Wo Rehnewali Mehlon Ki has drawn the audience for five years. So, that probably will be the last one to get the marching orders,” he says, adding that hopefully the re-launch would be completed before Diwali this year.
Back to reality shows?
Over the last six months, buzz is that the channel has planned to come up with various kinds of reality shows and daily soaps to strengthen its daily prime time and weekend slots.
Rumour is that the channel’s finest reality show, Biggest Loser Jeetega, that involved obese contestants to lose weight, is expected to make its comeback three years after it ended in 2007, hopefully with actor Suniel Shetty as the host. It’s also heard that choreographer Saroj Khan is expected to produce shows for the channel in the months to come.
“She could be producing a dance-based reality show. She has been entering and exiting meetings with the channel’s head honchos. Her production company also has plans to start a daily soap for the channel. It’s still to be seen which idea clicks better and which one eventually sees the light of the day,” informs a source. The choreographer, who is reportedly planning a Broadway musical, Amrapali, was unavailable for comment.
When asked, Kaul, without confirming or denying the news, says that the channel doesn’t plan to have a reality show immediately. “No Hindi general entertainment channel works without reality shows either.We first want to strengthen our daily prime-time line-up because that is a little weak right now and then move on to the weekend slots.
As of now, there’s no plan to rope in any Bollywood star for a show, but we can’t deny the possibility either. All I can say is that every reality show that we produce from now on will have an earthy flavour to suit the tastes of the hinterland masses because they need their dose of shows too,” explains Kaul.