The big three always hog all the attention. Especially if they happen to be C&S channels in the general entertainment space.
As far as programming initiatives go, rival ZEE has already let the cat out of the bag. Sony, though tight-lipped about its other plans, says Balaji production Kahani Teri Meri will premiere on the channel on January 20 at 9.30 pm. It will also telecast the Femina Miss India 2003 contest on January 31 at 9.00 pm with a curtain raiser, a week earlier, on January 24, at the same time. The third season of weekend thriller Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat started on December 28, 2002, with a new storyline titled Kashmakash, and Hindi feature films Moksha, Grahan and Mission Kashmir will premiere on January 11, 18 and 25 respectively at 9.00 pm.
Even as rivals firm up their plans, numero uno STAR Plus shows no signs of letting up with a mixed bag of programming lined up for the New Year.
For starters, the channel will kick off love story Kashmeer on January 16 at 9.00 pm. Directed by veteran, Suhail Tatari (who has handled projects such as Missing on Sony Entertainment Television, and directed features for Surabhi, widely regarded as the longest running television programme on DD) and written by Atul Tiwari of feature film Mission Kashmir fame, this one-hour, weekly drama series has cine stars Farooque Sheikh, Suresh Oberoi, Kulbushan Kharbanda, Smita Jaykar and former Miss India as well as anchor of Kismey Kitnaa Hai Dumm, Gul Panag in the lead.
The next is a musical game show Hai Na Bolo Bolo, which will debut on January 19 (Sunday) at 11.00 am. Created by the makers of Chalti Ka Naam Antakshari (BAG Films), this show will be anchored by Nausheen Sardar Aly of Kkusum and Karan Oberoi of The Band of Boys.
The third show is a children's programme modeled on the hugely popular Small Wonder. Titled Karishma Kaa Karishma, this programme will kick off on January 24 at 8.00 pm featuring Shweta Prasad in the lead (her claim to fame is children film's Makdee and Kahanni Ghar Ghar Ki). Directed by Lilliput, the cast includes ace comedy artistes Bhawana Balsaver and Daisy Irani among others. Interestingly, veteran lyricist Gulzar has penned the lines of the title track and Vishal Bharadwaj, the director of Makdee, has composed the music.
The fourth programme to premiere on January 24 is a talent show Kucch Kar Dikhana Hai at 8.30 pm. Hosted by Hussain of Kismey Kitna Hai Dumm and Shonali Malhotra of Sssshh…Koi Hai, this show would take on from the Sonu Nigam-anchored musical gameshow currently on air, which will proceed on a seasonal break.
The fifth, to be telecast on the same evening at 9.00 pm, is a fantasy sitcom Shararat. Loosely based on popular international shows Bewitched and I Dream of Genie (both of which have 'inspired' myriad serials last year including the present Meri Biwi Wonderful on Sony Entertainment Television), this comedy highlights the story of Rani Devi a.k.a. Nani (played by Farida Jalal) as well as her great granddaughter Jia who possess super- natural powers. Directed by Rajiv Mehra of Office Office and Zabaan Sambhal Ke fame, Shararat is produced by UTV.
Also to make its debut on STAR Plus is the Deepti Bhatnagar-Randeep Arya produced afternoon serial Kabhi Aaye Na Judaai, slated to go on air on January 27 at 3.30 pm. To be telecast from Monday to Thursday, this serial tracks the life of Rajeshwar Oberoi, a college principal and his wife Radhika who inherits the wealth of her father after his death only to be besieged by marital and family problems. Besides these, the channel will telecast the ninth Annual STAR Screen Awards on January 18 at 8.00 pm.
With the new-line up, gameshow Khulja Sim Sim (based on the international show Let's Make a Deal), which recently saw a change in format with a bigger jackpot (read Hyundai Sonata luxury car), will be rescheduled to 9.30 pm every Friday whereas thriller Sssshh…Koi Hai will move to the 10.30 pm slot. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!