Alokananda Chakraborty

Sahara goes for revamp; launches Balaji soap Kahi To Milenge

The channel, known for its often gritty but somewhat middle-of-the-road programming, is donning a new avatar

On November 11, 2002, the Subrata Roy-promoted Sahara TV, part of the Sahara India Pariwar, launched Balaji Telefilms soap Kahi To Milenge at the 8.00 pm slot and signalled a new phase in its two-year existence as a Hindi general entertainment channel. For one, Kahi To Milenge marks Balaji's debut on Sahara, besides being the latest addition to its growing list of new programmes during weekdays including Chacha Chaudhary at 7.00 pm, Shubh Mangal Savadhan at 7.30 pm, the Bhagyashree starrer-Kagaz Ki Kashtti at 8.30 pm, Parchaaiyan at 9.00 pm, Woh Kaun at 9.30 pm and Virasaat at 10.00 pm. For the other, the channel has beefed up its Friday line-up with the gritty, award-winning Haqeeqat coming in at 8.00 pm and Zindagi Teri Meri Kahani at 8.30 pm.

"Sahara has always been known for good programming, which is slightly different in nature," claims V Basvraj, vice-president, programming, Sahara TV. "Reinvention is imperative for the survival of any channel today. To us, however, it is also part of our continuous growth process since our launch two years ago."

What is ‘different' about its latest launch Kahi To Milenge is the very concept itself, states Basvraj. Choosing to move away from its highly successful saas-bahu format, Balaji - which has the maximum number of television serials on air from a single production house at this point in time - has opted to tap younger minds instead. The story revolves around teenager, Sanjana, one of the four separated siblings brought up by a single mother. The serial attempts to portray her relationship with her foster mother as well as her dealings with her other siblings, all studying in the same college, unaware of their blood relationship, and struggling to find their roots.

"We are always on the lookout for new concepts," claims Basvraj. "Balaji is a good production house and we have been planning to work with them for a while. Produced by Sahara India Media Communication Ltd (SIMCL), Kahi To Milenge has been directed by Gautam Sobti and includes newcomer, Geetanjali in the lead role of Sanjana and Gargi Nanda as her mother, Kanika Mathur.

Besides ramping up its prime-time line-up, the channel is working closely with cine stars Sridevi and Karishma Kapoor, who are set to make their small screen debut on Sahara TV next year. Though details about Sridevi's Sahara venture are not available, some details about Karishma's launch pad have come to light. This untitled production from SIMCL is nothing short of a magnum opus featuring Bollywood stars Sanjay Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Jugal Hansraj and Sharad Kapoor among a host of others. Anu Malik has been commissioned to compose the title track whereas Manish Malhotra is in charge of dress design.

Scripted by Sachin Bhowmick, the "daily soap" has 50-odd songs, with 25 of them being shot abroad. "The Karishma-starrer will be launched in January next year whereas the soap featuring Sridevi will premiere in April," is all that Basvraj would say at this stage. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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