Return of the family

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 19.09.06
A moment from STAR One’s Betiyaan Apni Yaa Paraaya Dhan.

Programme differentiation was the key for the two big STAR channels — STAR Plus and STAR One — but not anymore. It may still have a youth flavour but STAR One is now getting deep diving into daily soaps of hassled mothers, troubled daughters and dutiful fathers. Come October and the channel known for shows like Nach Baliye and Laughter Challenge, will launch two prime-time soaps, Saathi Re at 8.30 pm, followed by Betiyaan Apni Yaa Paraaya Dhan at 9 pm.

Shailja Kejriwal, senior creative director of STAR India, tells Metro: “Right since the launch of STAR One, we have gone for differentiated content. While it has worked for non-fiction shows, our research has shown that when it comes to fiction, the audiences want the same stuff. So with the start of the new season of Nach Baliye 2, we are all set to revamp prime-time viewing with the two new shows that boast a combination of intense family and social drama.”

Saathi Re is the story of Suman, the ideal Indian girl — a dutiful daughter and a loving sister in a middle-class family. She keeps getting nightmares about snakes, which leave her distraught and also bring her bad luck. Finally it is revealed that there is a “nagin dosh” in her kundali and it will not only affect her life but also those around her. Newcomer Parakh Madan plays the role of Suman while Arjun Punj, a familiar face on telly, plays the male lead on the show.

Parakh Madan plays the female lead in Saathi Re.

Betiyaan Apni Yaa Paraaya Dhan is the story of six daughters and one son born into the zamindar family of Neelkanth Chanda Rana. For the father, the daughters are a burden who have come into his life only because he was trying for a son. But for the mother, the daughters’ wishes are equally important as that of the son.

Krishna, the eldest daughter and the protagonist, is based on Lord Krishna’s character who is the balancing factor amongst her sisters. Her character is played by Gauri Nigudkar while Neelkanth Rana’s role is played by the veteran Rajeev Verma (Salman Khan’s father in Maine Pyar Kiya).

Both the new STAR One shows are being produced by Sphere Origins, the company which makes the popular Zee TV serial Saat Phere. “We understand that with these two new serials, STAR One wants to give a bouquet of different types of programmes on the channel and so it is important that we deliver,” says the producer of the two shows and the proprietor of Sphere Origins, Sunjoy Waddhwa. “We are ensuring very high production values on the shows and not cutting any corners.”

With STAR Plus still having more than 40 of the 50 most watched shows on Indian television and STAR One chipping in with Laughter Challenge, the STAR bouquet is getting stronger than ever.

“So, more than competing amongst our own channels, the idea now is to grab maximum eyeballs within the bouquet,” adds Kejriwal. “Once Nach Baliye 2 is settled on STAR One, we will start the two new shows and air them from Tuesdays to Thursdays. And when Nach Baliye is over, we will run the soaps from Mondays to Thursdays.”