Life OK: Love on air

By Raushni Bhagia , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | April 24, 2013
A fiction and a non-fiction show to be launched in the next three months will be first to be based on love stories.

Romance has always been a hit with the audience, and nearly all general entertainment channels (GECs) have love stories as a major part of their content line up. In line with the trend, Life OK, the second GEC offering of STAR India, recently began including love stories in its line up. Beginning with Kaisa Yeh Ishq Hai (fiction, launched on April 22) in the genre, the channel has also lined up The Bachelorette India, a non-fiction show based on love, which will be launched in July.

Mallika Sherawat and Ajit Thakur, Generakl Manager, Life OK at the press conference of Life OK's Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon ki Mallika

Kaisa Yeh Ishq Hai (KYIH) is a simple love story of a modern day couple who have to adapt themselves into the man's orthodox and old fashioned family. The storyline talks about the takeaways from a traditional family set in a small town and could, depending on its performance, end up as a regular show on the GEC.

The Bachelorette India, a spin-off from American competitive reality dating game show The Bachelor, has attracted significant investment from the channel, which has acquired the rights for the format and expects to launch a series of seasons in the country. It has also roped in actor Mallika Sherawat in the debut season of the show, christened The Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika.

Mallika Sherawat seems amused during the press conference of Life OK's Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon ki Mallika

The format of The Bachelorette, which has had about 25 seasons abroad in the last 10 years, revolves around finding a celebrity's love. The Bachelorette India - Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika will be shot in a palace in Rajasthan to give an ethnic look to the show. The call for entries has already begun and the show is slated to be launched in July. About 30 participants will compete to be selected as the love of her life by Sherawat.

Although the original format involves dates with the participants at different locations and under different situations, to Indianise the format, the families of the participants and the celebrity will also be involved.

Fazila Allana of SOL Productions, the production house behind the show, mentions that since families play an important role in the marriages in India, the participants' families will also be involved.

The show is slated to be launched over the weekends for about 10 weeks, a total of 20 episodes. Ajit Thakur, business head, Life OK, says, "The show is being made to suit the family prime-time on the channel. A lot of censorship will go behind the post production and production stages."

Matchmaking is not new to Indian television. Turner International's Hindi GEC Imagine TV (then NDTV Imagine) did a series of similar shows (Swayamvar series) with Rakhi Sawant (Shaadi Teen Crore Ki), Rahul Mahajan (Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) and Ratan Rajput (Ratan Ka Rishta) in an original format. Interestingly, the Swayamvar series was also produced by SOL Productions.

It may be noted that despite controversies, the final episode of the first season of the Swayamvar series (Rakhi ka Swayamvar) garnered a TVR of 8.4. The show went on air on June 29, 2009 and opened with a smashing 4.1 TVR. However, the third season of the series (Ratan Ka Rishta) registered low scores at about 1.6 TVRs during the opening. Rahul Mahajan's matchmaking in 'Swayamvar 2' fetched the show an opening of 2.1 TVRs.

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