Crossing Borders: In June, the Pakistani show 'Zindagi Gulzar Hai' was launched on Zee Network's premium Hindi GEC - Zindagi. It became a rage. Featuring Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan in the lead roles, the 26-episode drama serial was one of the top rated shows in Pakistan in 2013. Saeed and Khan went on to win the 'Best Onscreen Couple Viewers Choice' award in the prestigious Hum Awards.
In India, people fell in love with the story, based on the novel of the same name by Umera Ahmed. After Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Khan appeared in Disney's Bollywood venture, titled 'Khoobsurat', opposite Sonam Kapoor.
A Battleground: It was one of the most talked-about shows of 2014. And why not? Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan made Sony Entertainment Television a launchpad for his fiction debut. Though it failed to garner the desired numbers, Yudh became an attraction for many Big B fans.
'Yudh' was the story of Yudhishthir Sikarwar (played by Bachchan), a man many believe to be invincible and infallible. A successful construction magnate, Sikarwar built his empire without compromising his integrity and principles. The real estate baron is diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder. The show traced his struggle with his collapsing health, his battle with business rivals and his complicated family equations.
The show was co-produced by Bachchan's production company Saraswati Creations, in collaboration with Endemol India. Anurag Kashyap was the creative director while Shoojit Sircar was roped in as creative consultant. The show ran for four weeks, with five episodes a week. The estimated cost of the show, per episode, was around Rs. 3 crore.
The channel promoted the property extensively. The marketing campaign began in the capital, where a 50-foot poster was unveiled at the Statesman House. Following this was another event where the protagonist went to list his company, Shanti Constructions, on the Bombay Stock Exchange. On June 17, trading at the BSE started when Bachchan rang the opening bell.
GENRE: NON-FICTION/TALK SHOW
Truth Prevails: The Aamir Khan-produced and hosted talk show Satyamev Jayate, which began its dream run in May 2012, also marked the television debut of the Bollywood superstar.
The show was brought back this year, in two parts - one that aired in March for five episodes and the other in October for six episodes.
Satyamev Jayate aims to empower citizens with information about their country, and urge them to take action. After influencing change at an individual, societal and policy level in the first two seasons, the show returned with the core theme 'Mumkin Hai' or 'Change is Possible'. The focus was on creating hope and positivity.
The topics dealt with were titled - 'Fighting Rape', 'Police' (the state of police affairs in India), 'Don't Waste your Garbage', 'Kings Every Day' (corruption), 'Criminalisation of Politics', 'A Ball Can Change The World' (changing lives with sport), 'Road Accidents or Murders?', 'Accepting Atlernative Sexualities', 'TB - The Ticking Time Bomb' (Tuberculosis), 'Nurturing Mental Health' and 'When Masculinity harms Men' (Masculinity in Society).
Satyamev Jayate aired in Hindi, English, Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam across eight channels. It has 6.4 million fans on Facebook and 587,000 followers on Twitter.
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